By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK
new momDon't you just love it when a couple adopts a rescue puppy in an attempt to "prepare" for a baby? As if keeping a water bowl filled at all times and stocking up on lint rollers can somehow prepare you for the (literal) crapstorm that hits town the instant a child is pulled from your body. Your OB would be doing you a gigantic favor if she followed up the usual announcement, "It's a beautiful baby girl!" with, "...who will not allow you get a single thing done for the next five months, will cause you to start speaking in baby talk to all adults-including wait staff at restaurants, your dry cleaner and your boss-and will require your new favorite sleeping position to be sprawled out on the floor with Goodnight Moon propped open under one hand!"
We thought about this when we read the hilarious Tracy Moore's recent post on Jezebel, entitled "You're So Not Almost Ready for a Baby, Even If You Think You Are." In it, she outlines her Baby Squad™ Fitness Program for Actual Baby Readiness, a list of moves designed specifically to prepare women for the 24/7 juggling act that is becoming a new mom. Her suggestions were so amusing, even our babies spat up milk reading them. Tracy inspired us to compile our own compendium of tips to prepare yourself for baby bootcamp.
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1. Stand outside a random stall in a public restroom. Every time a stranger poops, jump up and down, clap, and yell, "Good job, Boo Boo!"
2. Walk around with one boob out at all times, even when your father-in-law is present.
3. Start carrying a water bottle so that when your breast milk unexpectedly lets down, you can splash your whole chest with water and pretend you just finished a really great workout and are not, in fact, turning into a human geyser.
4. Download the William Tell Overture and blast it as you attempt to simultaneously get dressed, shove a bagel down your throat and pee before the baby wakes up. Oh, wait: She's up.
5. Massage nipples with sandpaper 10-12 times per day. Clamp on chip clips in between.
6. Start speaking in the "royal we," especially when saying something insane like, "We do not eat toilet paper!" or "We just love creamed spinach mixed with rice and bananas, don't we?!"
Related: Real Moms Share: Baby Name Disasters
7. Ask someone to puke, pee, and splatter milk on you. Do not change shirt for two days.
8. Watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame and attempt to imitate his posture. You may wish to strap a bowling ball to your shoulders to help you perfect the hunch.
9. Practice calling loved ones by anything but their given names. Bonus points if you can involve both food and a bodily function: "How's my little poopy potato doing?!"
10. Make up arbitrary rules that should never have to be said, such as, "No pooping in waste baskets" and "No untying strangers' shoes while they stand in line at the grocery store." Don't even pause to think how ridiculous you sound.
11. You know the bowling ball strapped to your shoulders? Place it on top of your bladder. Hire a midget to squirt your underwear with a watergun every time you laugh or cough. Have him switch to an actual Super Soaker when you sneeze.
12. Ask your friends invasive questions in public: "Did you really brush your teeth? Really?? Let me smell your breath!" Ask them about their underwear next.
What's your best tip for preparing for motherhood?
Leslie Goldman is a women's magazine writer, author of The Locker Room Diaries, blogger and brand-new mom of a beautiful baby girl. Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a women's magazine writer, author of The Great Fitness Experiment, blogger and not-so-new mom of 5 amazing kids.
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