You may be a parent if . . .

. . . you’ve ever said one or more of the following:

• Have you done your homework?

• When I was your age, I walked to school barefoot through five feet of snow in fifty-below-zero temperatures.

• Go to your room! Clean your room! Don’t jump on the bed.

• Turn down that music! All that music sounds alike. I can’t understand the lyrics.

• Don’t drink out of the carton. Close the refrigerator door!

• That candy is going to spoil your appetite. Eat your green beans. Children in Africa are starving.

• Flush! Put the lid down!

• Don’t hit your brother. Don’t tease your sister. It takes two to Tango.

• If you’re not good Santa will leave you a lump of coal.

• Don’t make me stop this car.

• Some day you’ll appreciate your family.

• Wipe that look off your face. If you keep making that face, it will get stuck like that. Don’t roll your eyes at me!

• You’ll shoot your eye out!

• Because I said so. Because I’m your mother! Don’t talk back to me, young man! Don’t walk away when I’m talking to you.

• This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you. I’ll give you something to cry about. Do you want a spanking? If you do [or don’t], you’ll be sorry! You just wait till your father gets home.

• Do the words “military school” mean anything to you?

• I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.

• Do you know what time it is? You’re grounded.

• [Your child’s first, middle, and last name]

• Money doesn’t grow on trees.

• Why don’t you just grow up! I just bought you new shoes. When you grow up, I hope you have kids just like you!

Here’s how to score this quiz:

1-10 matches: You’re a parent.

11-20: You’ve become your parents!

21-30: You are the mother of all mothers.

30 or more: Seek professional treatment immediately.

And as you tuck your children into bed, don’t forget . . .

• I love you.

• I’m proud of you.

• When you grow up, I hope you have kids just like you.

Copyright © 1997 James N. Watkins

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