When I was in my early twenties, my friends and I were obsessed with the quizzes in Cosmopolitan magazine. You remember the ones—self-tests with sensational titles like “Are You Too Obsessed with Your Ex?” and “Do You Know When a Guy is Into You?” All you had to do was simply answer the questions, and at the end, voilà! The answer you’d been looking for.
It was like therapy but cheaper.
As my friends and I grew up and got married, some of us found ourselves staring longingly at babies, feeling tinges of jealousy while watching pregnant women waddle through our local supermarkets. “Having kids looks like SO MUCH FUN,” we said. “Diapers can’t be that bad, can they?”
TweIve years and three kids later, I thought it might be considerate of me—given my plethora of knowledge on the subject—to create a quiz for those asking themselves the same questions. Ready to find out if YOU are prepared for kids? Mark your answers, and find out below:
1. Force yourself to stay up all night. Grab your cat and walk aimlessly around your house rocking it back and forth. Do NOT, under any circumstances, set the cat down. In the morning, will you:
a. Feel super! It was like an all-night bender in college but with less alcohol.
b. Immediately call in sick to work and spend the day rocking back and forth on the couch.
c. Push your husband down a flight of stairs.
2. Borrow a friend’s toddler and let her watch you poop. How did you react?
a. No problem! I didn’t even break eye contact.
b. It was a slightly uncomfortable experience, especially when she tried to feed me Cheerios.
c. I’d rather my mother watch me have anal sex than do that again.
3. Spend an entire weekend playing board games (but only ones that involve chutes, ladders, and Gum Drop Mountain) and making crafts with blunt scissors and washable markers. When it’s over, you think:
a. What a magical way to spend a weekend! It was like being a kid all over again.
b. Candyland can be enjoyable after six martinis.
c. I should have made a papier-mâché rope with which to hang myself.
4. Attempt to carry on a conversation with a friend while someone screams in your ear at the top of their lungs. Afterwards you feel:
c. Sympathy for Charles Manson.
5. Someone asks you to buy a live squid, feed it cocaine, and attempt to put tiny shoes on each of his tiny suctioned feet (lace-up shoes, not Velcro). Your response?
a. That sounds hilarious! That squid will look adorable all dressed up.
b. It reminds me a lot of Spring Break 2001.
c. No can do, I just got a manicure. Can I keep that cocaine though?
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6. Take an entire carton of Oreos, smash them to bits, and throw them like confetti into the back seat of your car. Then hide a dead goldfish in your air vent. After driving around for a week, you say:
a. Well, I made it three days before breaking down and driving through a car wash.
b. I’ve smelled worse things in my car.
c. Fuck you.
7. Volunteer to pick the lice out of a child’s hair. If you cannot find a lice-infested child, dump a bag of Moon Sand into your husband’s hair, then methodically pick out each grain with a small plastic comb. You find the experience:
a. Super fun! I’m always up for a challenge.
b. It was slightly more enjoyable than Candyland.
c. You had to Google Moon Sand.
Mostly A’s: Flush your birth control down the toilet, find yourself a partner and get to fornicating. You’re either ready for parenting, or America’s Got Talent. Surround yourself with other helicopter parents and start those anxiety meds.
Mostly B’s: Children are not out of the realm of possibility for you, but be cautious. Why not take up chess or paddleboarding first? If you find these new hobbies bring you as much joy as watching your neighbor’s kid tear off his diaper and shit in his front yard, you may want to pump the brakes.
Mostly C’s: I urge you to reevaluate your decision to become a parent. If I were you, I would hesitate to buy even a hermit crab at this point.