I could start an entirely new website based only on My Pre-Parenting Claims. As in: I will never organize my whole day around my baby’s naptime. As in: I will continue to travel to Europe even when the kids are babies. Or: I will only let my children watch TV on special occasions. Perhaps my favorite: I will dedicate an entire corner (maybe even an entire room) in the house to art supplies so my miniscule Monets would always be able to paint a portrait of their loveys with acrylics on canvas, or craft a terrarium out of a discarded shoebox, or build a caterpillar out of an old egg carton. Needless to say, none of these things ever happened. (To readers out there who are not yet parents or who hope to be parents someday, I think my biggest piece of advice is this: Do Not Make Any Claims. At least, do not make them out loud with parents in the room.) The only thing that came close to actually happening was the art studio. Except the studio ended up being more like a small shelf in the TV room. And the stash of acrylics and canvases is more like a huge ream of plain old 8 1/2 x 11 paper and a 36-pack of Pentels, which cost more than Crayolas but last about 30 times as long (and which are the main point of this post in case it’s getting lost in my usual longwinded set-up). It turns out that this is really all we need to inspire a regular roll-out of homemade comic books starring Robot Man, or maps of “Abby-Land” and “Phoebe-Land” (“It’s all vegetarian, Mom, except you’re allowed to eat steak!”) or your garden-variety bathroom-themed masterpieces. To the point where when we run out of paper, like we did last week just in time for two snow days, it was like running out of ketchup or maple syrup — I’m not sure how we made it through the day without it.