After writing about the secret language of moms, it dawned on me that there are so many unique qualities that we share as parents -- and they literally set us apart from every other life force on Earth.
So, here you have 'em -- the 40 signs that you are definitely a mom or dad. Folks, you know you're a parent IF:
1. You haven't heard your actual name the entire day, but you've been beckoned relentlessly.
2. You sing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" with the same enthusiasm you once sang "I Will Survive."
3. Lying is always an option, as in... "I'm sorry, the arcade is closed on Sunday." "You're right, you do sound just like Beyoncé when you sing," and, "No, they don't give ketchup at the drive-thru."
4. You have some sort of stain on your clothing that you would literally have to taste to place. What is that latte or spit up? Hmm... Gimme a sec... Oh, it's spit up.
5. You've recently consumed a partial plate of sliders, french fries, chicken nuggets or mini hot dogs and you weren't attending Mayor McCheese's wedding.
6. There's a finger in your eye, your ear, or up your nose and it's not yours.
7. You've circled the block quite a few times, solely to extend your date night past 9 p.m.
8. You've actually fallen asleep while reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, singing the alphabet or trying to figure out what sound a chick makes.
9. You have an arsenal of shameful tactics to convince other humans to eat ("Here comes the plane." "There's a party in your belly." "Of course, there aren't veggies in this brownie. Why would anyone do something crazy like that?").
10. A bulldozer could roll by your bedroom and you wouldn't even rustle, however, you would pop up at the sound of a sniffle at 4 a.m.... across the house... without a monitor... in a thunderstorm.
11. You've recently been asked to look at someone's poop for assessment or for no reason at all.
12. You repeat things you swore you would never say, like: "Because I said so," "One day you'll thank me," and, "Are your legs broken?" simply because they buy you a minute of peace.
13. Someone at some point has peed, pooped or thrown-up on you and all of the above may have occurred the same day.
14. You consider scented hand sanitizer to be a fancy purchase.
15. You live in a world where "Maybe" means never and "We'll See" means when hell freezes over, but somehow, those around you haven't picked up on it yet.
16. You can cut a sandwich into many more shapes than two triangles.
17. You consider a night at TGIFriday's fine dining.
18. You can't pee, sleep or shower without knowing there's a distinct possibility you'll have company.
19. You've used all the dishes out of the dishwasher before you got around to actually unloading it.
20. You can use your keyboard, phone or iPad, but there's a good chance your fingers will stick to it.
21. The term "minivan" has a certain je ne sais quoi.
22. You're busier than Martha Stewart, Ryan Seacrest and Donald Trump... all rolled into one.
23. You do more pretend cooking in a miniature kitchen than you do actual cooking in the full-sized one (and frankly, you're not sure which tastes better).
24. You secretly wish there was some mommy competition involving your child's trendy crafts because you're a freakin' whiz on the Rainbow Loom, you make a mean potholder and you're not so bad with a spool of lanyard.
25. A dance party, song fest or drawing competition may be impromptu... but it's never unexpected.
26. Dealing with a monumental breakdown over the over the tag in a shirt, the seam on the sock or the elastic on of a pair of undies seems totally normal.
27. You know the one rule about stuffed animals: One Can Never Have Too Many of Them!
28. Your make-believe life is way more exiting than your actual life.
29. ANYTHING can be over-dramatized... a trip to Target feels like a Spanish soap opera.
30. There's a Happy Meal toy in your purse.
31. You find yourself holding a living creature that you would usually run away from screaming.
32. You have an unhealthy knowledge of the point/gem system for Temple Run, Dragonvale, Bakugan, Plants vs. Zombies, Cube Runner...
33. You can't muster the brain power to recall what you ate for breakfast, yet you can inherently transform a Transformer (without the 30 pages of directions it came with).
34. You bought a car based solely on how much you could fit in the trunk.
35. You've actually placed yourself under a tree with the feeling that, if that kiddo loses footing, you'll at least be there to break the fall.
36. You know the pain of stepping on a Lego... and may, in fact, have one embedded somewhere in your body right now.
37. You've found yourself saying things like, "No, you can't ride the dog." and "Yes, you do have to keep your pants on in public."
38. You can't wait until your child is old enough to watch Airplane, The Naked Gun, Caddy Shack, Vacation, Fletch, The Three Amigos or anything by John Hughes.
39. You're on a first name basis with the orderlies at the ER who provide slings, splints, casts and those velcro boots.
40. You have a love so intense, so fierce, so all consuming, it can only be understood by another parent.