How I Determined the Sex of Our Baby—The Miracle of Birth
by Tim Bete
In The Beginning...There Were No Diapers: Laughing and Learning In The First Years Of Fatherhood by Tim Bete.
Parents forget they have children. It’s not that they want
to forget, it’s just that kids suck an enormous amount of thinking
capacity out of your brain. The result is the inability to remember your
kids’ names and often if you even have kids. That’s why I’ve created the
“Rate the Risk That You’re a Parent” quiz. I got the idea from Ken Pence
of the Metro Nashville Police Department. Officer Pence—who is an actual
police officer and not a member of the fertility police—created a great
set of “Rate Your Risk” quizzes, including “Is someone going to break in
and burglarize your home?” and “Are you going to be robbed, stabbed, shot,
When I took Officer Pence’s “Rate Your Risk of Being
Murdered” quiz, I was relieved to see I will live to meet my
grandchildren. My high school guidance counselor must have been familiar
with the quiz because he never once asked me to consider becoming a highly
paid bank executive who moonlights as a fast food/liquor store clerk in a
large city in an unstable foreign country, and is a gang-member who
carries more than $2,000 cash in his wallet and has recently terminated
the employment of a hand-gun owner. And I thought those career aptitude
tests were a bunch of hogwash. It’s clear they saved my life.
You might ask, “Isn’t it obvious that you’re a parent? You
know if you have kids, don’t you?”
That’s an excellent observation since most moms and many
dads were present at the birth of their children. I have a faint
recollection of sitting next to a hospital bed in which my wife had
complete authority over the television remote control for eighteen
straight hours and I was forced to beg her to turn back to Little House
on the Prairie so I could see if Michael Landon saved the neighbor
girl who had fallen into a well. I even have a videotape of the
experience. The episode of Little House, not the birth.
But, in my estimation, ninety-eight percent of parents
forget that they have children. If you don’t believe me, just look at the
kids raiding the candy bin at the local grocery store checkout and the
adults pretending those kids are someone else’s progeny. My quiz will help
jog your memory.
The following quiz rates the actual risk that you are a
parent. The test uses known risk factors identified by adults who have
been scientifically proven to have children. Don’t panic if you have a
high score. It could explain why the three-year-old raiding the candy bin
looks exactly like you.
Check the box of each question that applies to you.
Is your minivan encrusted with so many
Cheerios and Rice Krispies that when you hit a puddle it “snaps, crackles,
Does your dining room set include six wooden
chairs and one tall white plastic chair with an attached tray table
covered with a layer of spaghetti sauce?
Have you been awakened in the middle of the
night by a call for “a glass of water” followed two hours later by a call
for “dry sheets”?
Did the most recent video you watched
include talking vegetables, a train named Thomas, or a square sponge that
In public places, do complete strangers come
up to you and say, “God bless you! I don’t know how you do it!”
Is every window in your home or apartment
covered with fingerprints, mouthprints, and noseprints?
Has your spouse ever asked, “Guess what your
Have you yelled, “Stop making that noise!”
while reading this chapter?
Have you considered visiting your local
health clinic for their $9.95 lobotomy special?
Score your quiz by counting the number of boxes you
0—You probably aren’t a parent. Retake the quiz in nine
1 to 5—Either you have kids or your neighbor has a large
family and you left your back door open.
6 to 9—Botta bing, botta boom—you’re a parent! You may even
have more than one child. Wait until midnight and do a bed check to be
three children and many trips to the grocery store, my wife and I are as
astute as CIA agents at hiding from the watchful eyes of the fertility
police. And, with a record of three for three, I’ve perfected my expertise
at determining the sex of a baby. But, with children, there are always new
mysteries to be solved. For many of our friends with teenagers, the
mysteries involve theft. That’s why I’m working on a new quiz, “Rate Your
Risk of Having Your Car Keys—As Well as Your Heart—Stolen by Your
In The Beginning...There Were No Diapers: Laughing and Learning In The First Years Of Fatherhood by Tim Bete. Copyright 2005 by Timothy P. Bete. Used
with the permission of the publisher, Sorin Books, P.O. Box 428, Notre
Dame, IN 46556. www.sorinbooks.com
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