For those with children - or those thinking about having them!


Taking on a baby is no small matter. It involves loads of multi-tasking. And project management skills. And leadership. And courage. And piles of sweets. And high-speed Internet access. And a 20-gig hard drive. Hold on, that's one of my other guides. But are you actually ready for it?

Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple exercises for expectant parents to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a mother or father.

  1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front. Leave it there for nine months. After nine months, take out 10% of the beans.

    to prepare for paternity, go to the local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper. Read it for the last time.

  2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it - it'll be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

  3. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. At 10 p.m. put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at twelve and walk around the living room again, with the bag, till 1 am. Put the alarm on for 3 am. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2 am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2.45 am. Get up again at 3 am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4 am. Put the alarm on for 5 am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

  4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut butter onto the furniture and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish finger behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

  5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this - all morning.

  6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a pot of paint turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet paper tube. Using only sticky tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas cracker. Last, take a washing up liquid container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Co-co Pops and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations. You have just qualified for a place on the play-group committee.

  7. Forget the Mazda 626 and buy a Ford. And don't think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that. Buy a chocolate ice-cream and put in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a two euro coin. Stick it in the cassette player. Take a family size packet of chocolate biscuits. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There....... Perfect!!

  8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come back in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk- down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette end, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and each insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you’ve had as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just, about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

  9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

  10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child; a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.

  11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Weetabix and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon while pretending to be an aeroplane. Continue until half the Weetabix is gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a twelvemonth old baby.

  12. Learn the names of every character from Postman Pat, Fireman Sam, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Telletubbies. When you find yourself singing "Postman Pat" at work, you finally qualified as a parent.

  13. Obtain a giant box of Legos (you may substitute roofing tacks if you wish).   Have a friend spread them all over the house.  Put on a blindfold and take off shoes.  Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen.   Do not scream because this would wake a child at night. 

The only time a woman wishes she were a year older is when she is expecting a baby.

So we've established that you're ready for the parenthood thing and you know your arse from your elbow  So now it's time to learn the language of lurrrrrrrvvve [NB say that in your best Barry White voice]. The lingo for making babies.

It's all a bit technical. It's like the language of computer programming really, only it's slightly different obviously. You have to get the grammar just right, so pay attention at the back of the class, and open up the README document...

BABY 1.0:


BABY - create new process from two parent processes

/usr/bin/BABY [ -sex ] [ -name ]

example: BABY -sex m -name jason

BABY is initiated when one parent process polls another server process through a socket connection (BSD) or through pipes in the System V implementation. BABY runs at a low priority for approximately 40 weeks then terminates with heavy system load. Most systems require constant monitoring when BABY reaches final stages of execution.

Successful execution of BABY results in new process being created and named. Parent processes then typically broadcast messages to all other processes informing them of their new system status.

The SLEEP command may not work on either parent processes for some time afterwards, as new BABY processes constantly send interrupts which must be handled by one or more parent.

BABY processes upon being created may frequently dump in /tmp requiring /tmp to be cleaned out frequently by a parent process.

sleep(1) cigars(6) dump(5) cry(3) mothercare(8)

And that's it! All a bit technical, we know, we know, but apparently it works. Next week's lesson (definitely maybe): "Childbirth And Getting The Chisellers Into A Posh School" (again)

Children's Property Rules

  1. If I like it, it's mine.
  2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.
  3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
  4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
  5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
  6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
  7. If it looks just like mine, it's mine.
  8. If I think it's mine, it's mine.
  9. If it's yours and I steal it, it's mine.
  10. If it's broken, it's yours


Kids in the back seat cause accidents; accidents in the back seat cause kids

Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your nursing home.

Ever though of quitting as a parent? . . .  Here's how

I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. 

I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8-year-old again. I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four-star restaurant.   I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a road with pebbles.   I want to think smarties are better than money because you can eat them.   I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer's day.   I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew was colours, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn't bother you, cos you didn't know what you didn't know and you didn't care.   And all you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.   I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good.   I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.   I want to live simple again. I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, medical bills, ESB bills, phone bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.   I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.

So... here's my chequebook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my bank statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first, cos... "Tag! You're it!"

Them top ten signs that your child is going to be a mad fuckin' scientist bast*rd C*n*...

  1. Never cries. Instead, mumbles "Curses! foiled again".

  2. First sentence: "Fools! I'll show them all!"

  3. Plans for secret death ray found on his Etch-A-Sketch.

  4. His crèche sidekicks are called Padraig and Igor.

  5. Keeps drinking conical flasks of acid and asking for directions to the Young Scientists Exhibition.

  6. He makes a new teddy bear out of his five other teddy bears parts.

  7. Already has rivalry with handsome, debonair, tuxedo-wearing toddler.

  8. Refers to Ma and Da as Test Subjects A and B.

  9. Is reading "Dolling Kindersley Little Book of World Domination"

  10. His/her first word is Electrogravitical.

Maybe you should think why Kittens Are Far Better Than Having A Baby

And when I was a child, there were the things My Mother Taught Me

My Mother taught me LOGIC...
"If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can't go to the shops with me."

My Mother taught me MEDICINE...
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're going to freeze that way."

My Mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD...
"If you don't pass your spelling test,  you'll never get a good job!"

My Mother taught me ESP...
"Put your sweater on; don't you think that I know when you're cold?"

My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE...
"What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you... Don't talk back to me!"

My Mother taught me HUMOUR...
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT...
"If you don't eat your vegetables,  you'll never grow up."

My mother taught me ABOUT SEX...
"How do you think you got here?"

My mother taught me about GENETICS...
"You are just like your father!"

My mother taught me about my ROOTS...
"Do you think you were born in a barn?"

My mother taught me about the WISDOM of AGE...
"When you get to be my age, you will understand."

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION...
"Just wait until your father gets home."

My mother taught me about RECEIVING...
"You are going to get it when we get home."

And my all time favourite thing-JUSTICE
"One day you will have kids,  and I hope they turn out just like YOU.  Then you'll see what it's like."

Pregnancy Q&A

The Answer Man(Woman) Tackles Pregnancy:

Q: Am I more likely to get pregnant if my husband wears boxers rather than briefs?
A: Yes, but you'll have an even better chance if he doesn't wear anything at all.

Q: Can a woman get pregnant from a toilet seat?
A: Yes, but the baby would be awfully funny looking.

Q: What is the easiest way to figure out exactly when I got pregnant?
A: Have sex once a year.

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q: How will I know if my vomiting is morning sickness or the flu?
A: If it's the flu, you'll get better.

Q. My husband and I are very attractive. I'm sure our baby will be beautiful enough for commercials. Whom should I contact about this?
A. Your therapist.

Q: My brother tells me that since my husband has a big nose, and genes for big noses are dominant, my baby will have a big nose as well. Is this true?
A: The odds are greater that your brother will have a fat lip.

Q: Since I became pregnant, my breasts, rear end, and even my feet have grown. Is there anything that gets smaller during pregnancy?~
A: Yes, your bladder.

Q: Ever since I've been pregnant, I can't go to bed at night without onion rings. Is this a normal craving?~
A: Depends on what you're doing with them.

Q: What is a chastity belt?
A: A labour-saving device.

Q: What is the most common pregnancy craving?
A: For men to be the ones who get pregnant.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My blood type is O-positive and my husband's is A-negative. What if my baby is born, say, type AB-positive?
A: Then the jig is up.

Q: The more pregnant I get, the more often strangers smile at me. Why?
A: 'Cause you're fatter than they are.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q: Under what circumstances can sex at the end of pregnancy bring on labour?
A: When the sex is between your husband and another woman.

Q: What's the difference between a nine-month pregnant woman and a Playboy centrefold?
A: Nothing, if the pregnant woman's husband knows what's good for him.

Q: How long is the average woman in labour?
A: Whatever she says divided by two.

Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labour, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labour?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q: What does it mean when the baby's head is crowning?
A: It means you feel as thought not only a crown but the entire throne is trying to make its way out of you.

Q. What is the grasp reflex?
A. The reaction of new fathers when they see a new mother's breasts.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: Does labour cause haemorrhoids?
A: Labour causes anything you want to blame it for.

Q: Under what circumstances should a baby not be circumcised?
A: When it's a girl, for starters.

Q: Where is the best place to store breast milk?
A: In your breasts.

Q: Is there a safe alternative to breast pumps?
A: Yes, baby lips.

Q. I'm modest. Once I'm in the hospital to deliver, who will see me in that delicate position?
A. Authorized personnel only -- doctors, nurses, orderlies, photographers, florists, cleaning crews, journalists, etc.

Q. Will I love my dog less when the baby is born?
A. No, but your husband might get on your nerves.

Q. What is colic?
A. A reminder for new parents to use birth control.

Q. What are night terrors?
A. Frightening episodes in which the new mother dreams she's pregnant again.

Q: What does it mean when a baby is born with teeth?
A: It means that the baby's mother may want to rethink her plans to nurse.

Q: How does one sanitize nipples?
A: Bathe daily and wear a clean bra. It beats boiling them in a saucepan.

Q: What are the terrible twos?
A: Your breasts after baby stops nursing cold turkey.

Q: What is the best time to wean the baby from nursing?
A: When you see teeth marks.

Q: Can a mother get pregnant while nursing?
A: Yes, but it's much easier if she removes the baby from her breast and puts him to sleep first.

Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q: Nannies aren't cheap are they?
A: Not usually, but occasionally you'll find a floozy.

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

Guide to Having a baby!
Lesson #1: "How To Know You're Ready For Parenthood"

At least one baby has been conceived and born on my discussion boards already, so I thought I'd better have a cut-out-and-keep e-jits guide to having another one.

Right, quiet at the back of the prenatal class, breathe in, relax and off we go...

Lesson #1: "How To Know You're Ready For Parenthood"

Taking on a baby is no small matter. It involves loads of multi-tasking. And project management skills. And leadership. And courage. And piles of sweets. And high-speed Internet access. And a 20-gig hard drive. Hold on, that's another E-jits Guide. But are you actually ready for it?

This introductory lesson involves seven small tests to find out whether parenthood really is for you...

(1) THE MESS TEST: Smear some strawberry jam or peanut butter on your couch and curtains. Now rub your hands in a wet flowerbed and rub them on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Easy or what? Now take your blood pressure.

(2) THE TOY TEST: This one's even simpler. Obtain an eight-gallon drum full of Lego bricks (if Lego isn't available, simply substitute carpet tacks or broken bottles). Get a friend to sprinkle the bits all over the house. Put on a blindfold, and try to walk to the loo or kitchen - in your stockinged feet. NB: do not scream (remember: this could wake a small child at night).

(3) THE SUPERMARKET TEST: Borrow one or two small animals (a goat is perfect) and take them with you as you shop at your local supermarket. Always keep them in sight, and don't forget to pay for anything they eat or damage.

(4) THE DRESSING TEST: Obtain one very large, very unhappy, very live octopus from your local fishermen. Stuff it into one of those old-fashioned "onion net" shopping bags, making sure that all arms stay inside. Nothing to it.

(5) THE FEEDING TEST: Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill it halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with some stout string. Get the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (e.g. Cornflakes or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor. See, this parenthood is easypeasy!

(6) THE NIGHT TEST: Fill a small cloth bag with 8 to 10 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8 pm begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9 pm. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10 pm. Get up, pick up the bag, and sing every song you have ever heard, including Kylie Minogue's greatest hits and several ancient ballads. Make up about a dozen more and sing them until 4 am. Set alarm for 5 am. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for five years. Look cheerful.

(7a) THE PHYSICAL TEST (WOMEN): Obtain a large beanbag cushion and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for nine months. Now remove 10 per cent of the beans.

(7b) THE PHYSICAL TEST (MEN): Go to the nearest chemist's. Plonk your wallet on the counter. Ask the person behind the counter to help him/herself. Now proceed to the nearest supermarket. Go to its head office and arrange for your wages to be directly deposited to the supermarket chain. Purchase a copy of your favourite newspaper. Go home and read it quietly, for the very last time.

And that's the end of the lesson! We don't know what all the fuss is about.

Next Lesson: "How to make deposits and withdrawals at the sperm bank"

Definition of a Teenager (noun)

1) A mammal found extensively throughout the planet, often clustered in groups in front of television sets (See SLOTHS). Thought to be a member of Homo Sapiens due to physical similarities, though social and emotional behaviour leads many researchers to consider Teenagers to be a completely different species altogether (See PARENTS). Very territorial. (See ITS MY ROOM, STAY OUT OF MY ROOM.)

Teenagers are extraordinarily social animals, seeking contact with their peer groups to such a great extent they will forgo family, chores, food, and responsibility (See FATHERS, QUOTATIONS OF).

The males of the species forage for food constantly (See MCDONALD'S) and can consume three times their weight every day. When in full plumage, the males are usually drab, marked by loose fitting garments which slide off their backsides and look ridiculous (See FATHERS, QUOTATIONS OF).

The females, on the other hand, sport striking colours under their eyes, throughout their hair, and on the tips of their fingers. Females often attract males by wearing garments to accentuate chest development (See WONDER BRAS).

The call of the female is complex and shrill: "Like, O m'Gosh! O m' Gosh!" Males are less vocal, signalling to other males with a salutatory "Yo. Yo. Yo. S'up? S'up? S'up?" Teenagers line their nests with discarded undergarments. The females hold telephone receivers to their ears an average of six hours a day. When challenged for possession, they snarl and warn intruders "I'm doing my HOMEWORK. My HOMEWORK. My HOMEWORK."

The males lie immobile for hours at a time, conserving energy and listening to violent electronic signals from radios. Male Teenagers concentrate on important information (See FATHERS, LECTURES OF) by rolling their eyes, shrugging, kicking dirt and sighing.

Females burst into tears and slam doors. Many Homo Sapiens families have a host-to-parasite relationship with one (See STRESS) or more than one (See EXTREME STRESS) Teenager. These host families often develop a resistance to the parasite, rejecting them some time in the eighteenth year of life. Often, though, this rejection is merely theoretical, with the Teenager continuing to live off of the host Homo Sapien family for many years afterward, often at great sacrifice (See COLLEGE).

2) Of, relating to, and especially EXPLAINING irrational, intolerable, or inexplicable behaviour. ("She's a Teenager.")

3) A request for sympathy, offered by adult parents to each other in support. ("I have a Teenager at home.") Often accompanied by sighs, headshaking, tongue clucking, and shoulder shrugging.


1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fibre, not the joy.
7) Children need to feel secure, so strap them down whenever possible


1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Granddad's lap.


1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

16 Things that take 50 years to learn

  1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

  2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

  3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

  4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

  5. You should not confuse your career with your life.

  6. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

  7. Never lick a steak knife.

  8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

  9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

  10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

  11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

  12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

  13. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

  14. Your friends love you anyway.

  15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

  16. FINAL Thought after 50 years:
    Men are like a fine wine. They start out as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.


At age 4 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . having friends.
At age 16 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 35 success is . . . having money.
At age 50 success is . . . having money.
At age 70 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . . having friends.
At age 80 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.

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