If you are thinking about having children you might want to try the following simple tests…

The mess test:

Smear peanut butter on the settee and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and rub them on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish finger behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

The toy test:

Get a huge box of Lego. (If Lego is not available, you may substitute roofing tacks or broken bottles.) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake your child at night).

The shopping test:

Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the supermarket. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

The dressing test:

Try to get hold of a large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff it into a small net bag making sure that all its arms stay inside.

The feeding test:

Find a large plastic milk jug. Fill it halfway with water. Suspend it from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy Weetabix into the jug whilst pretending to be an airplane or choo choo train. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

The physical test (for women):

Get a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Finally remove 10% of the beans.

The physical test (for men):

Go to the nearest chemists and put your wallet on the counter. Ask the pharmacist to help him/herself. Now proceed to the nearest supermarket. Go to customer services and arrange for your pay to be directly deposited there. Buy a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

The final exam:

Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and child’s table manners. Emphasize how they should never allow their children to run riot.

Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.