What If You DID Need a License to Have Kids?

February 23, 2022

How often have you heard, “You need a license to drive a car, but not to have children”?

Well, here in Babyland we’ve finally decided to set some standards, to make sure our cherubs are placed in the very best hands!

First the written test. If you pass this, you get your learner’s permit; you can then parent during daylight hours, accompanied by a licensed parent.

1) Complete this sentence: When beginning to parent, first check your a) rearview mirror b) seat belt c) superior attitude about the way you were raised. _________________

2) What is the speed limit (if any) for leaving a grocery store after your child has knocked over that huge “Souper Bowl” display of cans of Campbell’s chicken noodle and ripped open five family-size bags of cool ranch Doritos? _____________________________

3) How far away must you park your stroller from a fire hydrant?____________________

4) Too close! How did your baby figure out how to open a fire hydrant anyway?_________

5) When four parents approach an intersection with the sixth grade teacher at the same time, which one gets to attack her first?__________________________

6) When approaching a slow-moving 15 year old 20 minutes after the alarm has gone off, is it legal to turn on your flashers (bedroom lights) and sound your horn (scream)?_________________

Congratulations, perfect score! Now for the road test!

Make sure you are getting into the driver’s seat, and staying there for the next 18 years.

Turn on the coffeepot (“ignition”) and pull carefully into the day.

Watch out! You nearly hit your toddler! Calm down! One more incident like that and we’ll just go right back to the DMV.

Parallel parenting time! Navigate placing yourself precisely between two parked moms at this crowded playground. Be careful of the one giving a play-by-play of her son’s recent victory on the T ball field. Oops, now watch that you’re not too close to the one drinking from a thermos of margaritas while her kids push your child off the slide.

Doing fine!  Think you can handle the expressway? You have no other choice! On the entrance ramp, now…merge expectations with your teen’s (do they get an after-school job at Chipotle, or a ridiculously generous allowance from you, apparently for breathing? ) OK good, now keep watching every second as you rapidly speed up. Braces. Wait—braces off already? Why are her teeth still crooked? Acne? Your investment in clear skin will buy the dermatologist a beach house! SATs? Just 1550? Hmmm, he better take them again or kiss Harvard goodbye. Prom? She is NOT leaving the house dressed like that! Senior Week? He is NOT going to Cancun with his friends from detention! Hold on, going WAY too fast! Take the next exit!!

Whew. Great! You passed. We think you’re ready to be a parent! Congratu---

Wait, where are you going? Come back! We thought you WANTED this job!

Maybe we’d better go back to no standards. We’ll never unload all the babies this way.


    I am an author (of five books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a retired director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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