These are the things one should end up training for in addition to birthing classes:
1. Untying the teeniest tiniest knots in the teeniest Polly Pocket dolls' hair - about 2 years of practice before they are 5 (you only have 5 mins).
2. Finding a needle in a haystack or a Polly Pocket shoe the size of a pin head in a MESSY house when it could be anywhere. The training for this must be done with a stop watch to improve your time, while still keeping calm and there must be a soundtrack of increasingly louder screaming as you search for it. You can't practice this in your 2 room flat, you need a big space to practice in like the Cape Town Convention Centre and it could be anywhere.
3. To practice not going red in the shopping centre when something embarrassing happens like your kid says, "Mom why don't you dance around to your cell phone music ringing like you do at home? "Or telling a complete stranger that the car guard was angry with mom because he didn't think the 2 rand she gave him was enough: You need to wear totally see through clothes and have someone drench you. Cold water is best as you can practice looking non plussed when you are actually take -your- breath -away- shocked. And, it is great practice not to feel embarrassed about things being spilled on the floor.
4. To practice not being embarrassed about plates or glasses breaking in public eateries, go to a restaurant with your partner and throw a couple of plates on the floor and see how they treat you and charm your way through it on 3 hours sleep.
5. Get into bed with nice laundered crisp white sheets and duvet. Get your partner to wake you at 1am; 3 am; 5 am and pour half a bottle of milk on your sheets and pillow each time and see if you change the sheets each time or just put a towel on it and change the sheets in the morning.
6. Run a bath and fill it with squeezy bath toys. Get your partner to sing " The wheels on the bus go round and round" no less than 10 times while you try and wash your hair, brush your teeth, exfoliate your face in 15 mins. Your partner must not let you have 1 mins piece while all this is going on especially if you need the toilet during this exercise. It is very important that the song be sung over and over again. If you beg for mercy, ensure your partner makes the singing gets louder and louder.
7. You need to get dressed for work in the morning INCLUDING applying eye liner and sun screen without getting your work clothes messy while having a baby orangutan around your neck the entire time, who is eating a honey and peanut butter sandwich. Special deal with Monkey World on Orangutan hire if you quote the name of this blog.
8. This is a Memory test that I will give you. There are 30 kids in the class. You need to not only remember the children's names, but also the names of the moms, the nannies, the grannies and the au pairs who sometimes fetch them from day care and work out a clever way to save them all in your cell phone/ BB/ I -phone.
9. Get your dog or cat to eat broccoli AND peas instead of meat or pellets repeatedly every day for 2 years.
10. Make your cat or dog get into a drawer (like a bed) over and over again ten times a night without getting angry.
But what you won’t need to practice is being grateful despite all this. It will come naturally.