So, your relationship is going great, and you've decided with all of your adult wisdom to test your love by adding stress to every aspect of your life, huh? Good for you! After living the bore of your nine-to-five stability, you’re ready for some extra, life-long, exciting (did I say “life-long”?) responsibility. I mean, you have yet to kill your cubicle mate, so you’re probably responsible enough to raise a child.

Being a parent is exactly as easy as you think. I’m not talking about the two hours of sleep every day. Everyone knows that. No, you’re prepared for the random crazy events that occur so regularly your drooling poop-machine probably planned them in the womb. That’s why Gerber meat-flavored baby vomit exists. Revenge. You ever try that stuff? It tastes like roast beef that’s been dipped in sewer water.

Pint-sized diaper-gremlins, or “children,” as you amateurs call them, provide a constant source of entertainment. You can’t take your eyes off them, because if you do, they’ll friggin’ kill themselves. You’ll get to wake up at 9 AM to a silent house and the feeling that something’s seriously wrong, just to walk into your four-year-old’s room and find her naked, covered head to toe in Vaseline. It takes three days and four jars of peanut butter to get that stuff out of her hair. But, you already knew that.

It’s a good thing you have that savings account to supplement the diaper and formula costs that exceed your monthly paychecks. Speaking of diapers, there’s a finite limit of excrement a diaper can hold. And, your baby, well, they won’t care about that limit. They’ll blow diapers with fifty megatons of force at Outback Steakhouse covering you in brown despair during your birthday dinner. These “blowouts” happen often. You can do your best to cinch diapers tight with zip ties before going out (fun for the whole family), maybe wrap your kid waist down in Glad wrap (Don’t get mad! Get plastic or whatever!), or buy some baby-sized shackles and mount them to the bathtub. (Probably don’t do any of these. Your neighbors might talk. Like, to the Department of Human Services.) Between blowouts and projectile spit-up, you’ll ruin every band t-shirt you bought when you were thirteen and, for some reason, still wear everywhere. Not to mention, your will to live. Which is why you packed an extra outfit and will to live in the trunk. You’re always prepared.

Your love of shopping will be an asset on this child-rearing quest. In fact, you’ll shop for a new miniature wardrobe every three months, or until you kick your kid out of the house. Most experts agree you can do this sometime between 4 and 45. Granted, when they've gone off to college, they’ll purchase clothes themselves with your emergency credit card. Children grow at the speed of a common housefly and live much longer if you parent semi-correctly. By my calculations, and I’m not a mathematician, that’s a SHITLOAD of YOUR income spent on clothes. Before you rip the tag off that last 3T shirt, they’ll be in 6T. (Pro Tip: Wrap your child in spandex. It’ll stretch with them as they grow, and save you roughly $6 million after your child runs away to find parents who won’t wrap them in spandex. Cheapskate.)

As a parent, sex goes out the window. All twelve seconds of it. Gone. Never to be seen again. There’s a six-week postpartum period. No sex. After that, you have a short, the-rest-of-your-fucking-lives, where you’ll be too tired, stressed, or working to pay off their “emergency” credit card bill. When you think you’re safe, your child comes home from their playdate early or wakes up screaming. It’s a good thing you enjoy your celibacy because screaming starts at the snap of the bra. I know what you’re thinking, “We’ll still be able to have sex while they’re at a sleepover,” or maybe, “Nick, you’re making me uncomfortable, now get out of my office.” But, when your child is away, you’ll be unconscious faster than a drunk Star Trek fan brave enough to mock Mike Tyson’s lisp wight to hith face. Live long and prosper.

Being a parent makes you hope for the little things. Like, that girl who called your daughter ugly getting gum in her hair or your kid’s friend that talks them into bad decisions moving to Antarctica because The Secret Council of Parent’s is tired of dealing with their shit.

The truth is that everything scares you now. Literally. The car driving by a little too slow. The thought of your child falling off the bed. The blatant truth that your children will, in all probability, turn out exactly like you. For the next fifty years until your death, you’ll spend full nights surfing WebMD, and you’ll cry, sweat, and hyperventilate. Pretty much exactly what you’re expecting.

I’m glad you started with a goldfish. “But, Nick, I’ve already flushed my goldfish!” That’s fine. Children are easier than goldfish. All you’ll have to do is keep them alive, because this little monster is non-refundable, bought “as is,” instruction manual not included. But, that’s why you thought this one through. You’re ready to be a parent. Aren’t you?

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