I’m not expecting a child anytime in the near future, but my colleague and his wife are. I suggested he write a list of things of things he will or will not do when he is a parent, but then I thought: Hey, I could do that too!
When I am a parent…
1. I will not use my child as a hood ornament.
a. Even if he or she likes it.
b. Especially if he or she likes it.
2. I will not enroll my child in a baby-fighting tournament, with cutthroat, winner-take-all competitions in events such as Smelliest Diaper, Shrillest Scream and Fastest Creeping, or even High-Volume Drooling.
a. Baby beauty pageants are also out.
3. I will not use my child as a basketball.
a. I will also not paint my pregnant belly like a basketball and attempt to dribble myself. It’s just awkward.
4. I will not tell my child I bartered away six radishes in exchange for him or her at an open-air market in Bangladesh and then tried to return him or her because he or she was only worth five radishes. That is what siblings are for.
5. I will not embarrass my child by suddenly becoming a nerd when he or she hits the teenage years. I will be pre-nerdy for my child’s convenience, so nothing will change whatsoever.
6. I will sing to my child, but only if he or she turns out to be as tone-deaf as I am. Otherwise singing would fall under cruelty to children statutes and would not be permissible.
7. I will not steal my child’s toys and play with them myself. Instead I will share my child’s toys with my child. Sometimes. If my child asks nicely (or offers bribes).
8. I will most certainly not feed my child to a dragon.
a. Unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
9. I will not allow my child to attempt to sled down the steps in a cardboard box. It never works. Instead, I will instill in my child a more adequate understanding of physics such that he or she knows a toboggan or, failing that, a sibling, would work better.
10. I will attempt to teach my child science. I will, however, discourage mad science, as it tends to be hard on the Tesla coils.