kidsSure, you love them, but people love their pet hamsters. This is not to guarantee that your offspring are mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging simians—determining that, beyond reasonable doubt, requires their face-to-face meeting with trained experts, lasting for at least two minutes. However, you can get a start right here.

Remember that this is a cumulative test; it depends on all of the answers together. So if little Dharma or Jason fails one, she or he may still be almost fully human, and even abnormally skilled in computer programming or lifting heavy objects. You can grade your answers from one to ten, or, if you are what Freud called anally retentive, from one to one hundred. However, we recommend a simple yes or no. Ready?

10: Do They Dress like Everyone Else?

By this we do not include Nobel Laureates giving their address in white-tie and tails, nor wearing a business suit (male or female). We mean that, after they walk past, can you see at least one inch of underwear.

9: Do They Lack a Community?

Imaginary friends including comic-book characters, and internet “friends” whom they’ve never seen, or have not seen physically in more than three years, do not count.

8: Are They Pig-Ignorant of the Past?

We do not mean can they give an impromptu, 15-minute summary of The Council of Trent. But neither if they can barely puzzle out which came first, World War Two or World War One. How about this? Can they list five US Presidents in sequential order, or three popes?

7: Do They Have an Animal’s View of Beauty & Truth?

Meaning, do their lives consist of anything more lasting than breathing, sleeping, eating, defecating, procreating and playing Grand Theft Auto? For this questionnaire, plankton count as animals, while Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic do not. Regarding unionised schoolteachers, you must make up your own mind.

6: Are They Deaf to Melody?

Or does their music start and stop with rich white guys pretending to be rich black guys pretending to be chronic jailbirds who cannot rhyme or carry a tune?

5: Is Novelty Their Only Art?

This can range from pickled sharks to photocopying their hindquarters, even though neither is innovative anymore.

4: Do They Believe in Zombies and Sasquatches, but Not in God?

Here Scientology counts as a yes.

3: Do They Believe that Bacon is a Plant?

Or do they know that it is a mineral?

kids2: Do They Never Mature?

Even cheese matures, for goodness’ sake! Can you imagine them ever not living in your home, and paying off their own credit card bills?

1: Do They Read Entire Books?

This is not to be confused with “making book” at a racetrack, although that may be a potential career if nothing else works out.

Since you are visiting this online journal, it is fairly likely that your children share your attraction to Beauty, Truth and Goodness. But it never hurts to make sure, does it?

Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore

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