I’ve learned recently that, while many readers of this column already have offspring, quite a few of you don’t.
You kid-free readers seem to fall into one of the following categories: One, you’re considering having a baby and looking for information; two, you’re thrilled every time you read this column that you’ve decided not yet to delve into the dark underworld of child-rearing; or three, you’re somewhere in between, depending on the weather.
For those of you who are hoping for a baby, thinking about it, or even, possibly on the journey (i.e., impregnated or impregnator), here’s a quiz to help you figure out how ready you really are (non-breeders can go ahead and start laughing gleefully).
So, are you ready to have a baby? Answer each question below (honestly, please).
1. I’m in a relationship with:
a. Someone who also wants a baby.
b. Someone who theoretically wants a baby.
c. A battery-operated boyfriend or blow-up doll.
2. I think babies are:
a. Adorable. Even when they spit-up on my shoulder.
b. Kind of cute. Particularly when they look like little old bald men.
c. Pass the spawn to someone else, please.
3. My gag reflex is:
a. I have the stomach of an ER nurse.
b. I’m a bit sensitive to strong odors or bodily fluids.
c. I can’t walk past the Thomas Wolfe auditorium johns without gagging. Or wait, maybe I’m choking on the marijuana smoke.
4. Health-wise, I:
a. Am in great shape. I love playing “monster” with the neighborhood kids.
b. Admit my running shoes are a bit dusty.
c. You want me to walk up and down the stairs 90 times carrying a 10-pound sack of potatoes?
5. How do you feel about sleep?
a. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
b. As long as I can catch-up every few days, I’m OK.
c. Are you kidding? Sleeping’s the best part of living.
6. A fun night for me means:
a. Scrabble and movie night at home.
b. Going out for a romantic dinner, but home by 10.
c. Warm up with beers at Dirty Jacks. Check out the act at the Orange Peel. Hit Cinjade’s for a little after-party action.
7. I’ve had experience putting clothing on the following:
a. A large, irritated octopus.
b. A medium-sized, angry raccoon.
8. The cost of diapering a baby for up to three years:
a. Is what it is.
b. Makes me nervous, but more credit card debt won’t hurt-too much.
c. You want me to pay $2,800 for items I throw in the landfill covered with bodily fluids?
9. I don’t mind taking a break from my career if:
a. It means contributing to raising my child.
b. It’s just for a few months, and then a day here and there.
c. I win the lottery.
10. I can say no:
a. No problemo. No.
b. To everyone except my parents.
c. To my partner’s request to stop using birth control.
For every “a,” give yourself three points. For every “b,” two, and for every “c” one point.
• 22-30 points: You are totally ready to take on a baby. Get procreating!
• 15-23 points: You’re close to ready-definitely heading in the right direction. This is a good time to practice, practice, practice!
• 14 or fewer points: Right now, your biological clock is out of batteries. Give it a few more years. Maybe that clock will power up. Or maybe not.