There are lots of debates as to when life begins. I suggest a debate about when parenting begins.

I think you are a parent if:

  • You have brought a new baby home and had to take a panic attack-fueled walk (alone) in the brisk air because the idea of having this baby IN YOUR HOUSE is overwhelming.
  • You have bought your fourth stroller, which is the one that is going to solve all of the difficulties of the previous three.
  • You have cleaned the nasty concoction of sour milk, cheerios, noodles, and pieces of dried up fruit from underneath the seat pad of the high chair.
  • You have half of a completed baby book for your first child and a 50% reduction of that for each subsequent child.
  • You have wiped away “neck cheese.”
  • You have scraped ear wax out of a child’s ear (usually with your finger) on his/her way into school.
  • You have had a baby roll off the photography platform at the Sears Portrait Studio.
  • You have gone to the emergency room.
  • You have forgotten at least two consecutive doses of Amoxicillin.
  • You have thrown away a pair of children’s underwear instead of attempting to wash them.
  • You have bought some sort of liquid yogurt drink.
  • You have cooked breakfast for dinner.
  • You have taken a forgotten lunch bag or musical instrument to school.
  • You have lied to them about a toy store being closed.
  • You have gone to a pumpkin patch or to Target for “something to do.”
  • You have sat through a play, a concert, a sports tournament, AND a parent teacher conference in the same month.
  • You have accidentally missed a play, a concert, a sports tournament, or a parent teacher conference.
  • You have actually spent time and money on the items that go into a three year old’s birthday party favor bags.
  • You have thrown away your three year old’s birthday party favor bag — the one that the other parents actually spent time and money on.
  • You have thrown away a piece of your child’s artwork in a complicated, folded, origami pattern so they didn’t see it in the trash.
  • You have told your child (after they found the artwork in the trash) that you clearly made a mistake.
  • You have thrown away bags of school Valentines, Halloween Candy, and Easter Basket leftovers.
  • You have stolen candy from their Halloween or Easter stashes.
  • You have attempted to organize a Lego collection.
  • You have given up attempting to organize a Lego collection.
  • You have dug around on the floor of the car desperately trying to find something for show and tell.
  • You have awoken with a hangover and a young child climbing on you, wondering how, on Earth, you are going to get through this day.
  • You have been awoken by a child in the middle of the night and had no idea who they were and if you were having a heart attack.
  • You have changed sheets in the middle of the night.
  • You have given baths in the middle of the night.
  • You have scooped poop out of a bathtub.
  • You have no matching socks, no matching gloves, and no matching mittens in your house.
  • You have let a child go to school in any outfit of their choosing, with high water pants and mixed patterns.
  • You have said, “Wow. You really need a haircut.”
  • You have attempted to cut your child’s hair.
  • You have stopped attempting to cut your child’s hair.
  • You have packed up bins of too small clothes.
  • You have gone back to those bins of too small clothes years later … and put your face to them and smelled, longing for any recollection of a baby or toddler who you can barely imagine in your arms.


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