When I was a high school freshman, the guidance department counselors gave our English class a “career assessment” to help us figure out what we wanted to be when we grew up.
According to the assessment–a series of questions like “do you prefer working with people or by yourself?” and “do you enjoy lifting heavy objects?”–I wanted to be a social worker.
Which, given that both my parents were social workers, made sense.
Until I realized I’m not social and don’t work particularly well with people. (I’m not saying this is good, only that I realized it.)
So I went into journalism instead. I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, a specialization in journalism, a cognate in literature, and a minor in church music. (Long story.) All of which does me 0.00 percent good on a daily basis.
On the other hand, getting a PhD in motherhood would have been a brilliant idea–with these core classes figuring heavily into my pre-maternal studies.
2. Maternal medicine. Is this one of the times I actually do need to haul my child to the doctor and pay the insanely high copay only to be told it’s a virus that just has to run its course? Or is this the time for movies and medicating with Popsicles?
3. Stain identification and removal. Hot for oil, cold for blood. Got it. But what about stains of questionable origin and makeup? Is that brown splotch chocolate? I think it’s chocolate. Please, let it be chocolate.
4. Sibling conflict negotiation. Never mind world peace. I just want peace at the breakfast table.
5. Sleep deprivation management. Or, how to look and act like a well-rested, functioning adult when your sleep debt makes the national debt look trivial.
6. Cooking for picky eaters. Wherein the kid who loves chicken one night refuses to have anything to do with it the next but you somehow intuited this and already decided to serve grilled-cheese sandwiches.
7. Everyday plumbing. I’ve got Draino and I’ve got a snake, and I’m not afraid to use them.
8. Math for moms. If Timmy has two apples and he puts both of them on a train traveling 63.7 miles per hour that leaves Chicago at 9 p.m. Australian Central Time, how long will it take for mommy to run screaming from the room to email the math teacher a strongly worded message about the stress of homework on children and their families?
9. Psychotherapy for hormonal adolescents. Otherwise known as, “It will be okay, honey. How about some homemade chocolate-chip cookies when you get home from school?”
10. The care and funding of orthodontia. Me to my daughter: “I will buy you a pony if you can just decide you’re fine with those two weird vampire teeth.”