This is a work in progress...
1. Playing with food (ie. Painting with pudding) is NEVER a good idea. Whoever thinks it is needs to get a grip. No normal functioning adult should paint with their food, why should we teach our children to do it? That is why they make freakin' washable finger paint.
2. Moon Sand is horrible.
3. Play Doh should only be played with outdoors during warmer weather. When it dries and hardens, consider it to be a permanent addition to the throw rug under your dining room table that you shouldn't have even bought when you have young children.
4. You should put a diaper on your child if they are not potty trained as soon as possible after a bath. If you don't, you can pretty much guarantee that they will pee on your floor.
5. Arts and crafts with kids is jaw-clenchingly annoying (you know when you can't stand how half-assed and messy they are being with the craft that you took days to think of and prepare for and you stand there watching with your jaw clenched and teeth ready to chip and fall out from the pressure and you just want to grab the craft and say, "MOVE IT, I will take it from here!")
6. My kids will dress better than me 9 out of 10 times. (They get new clothes with each season as I wear the same shirt for the better part of a decade.)
7. Full day kindergarten is fabulous.
8. Your kids will not sleep late when you want them to but you will have to wake them and be borderline Mommy Dearest to get them ready when you need to be up and out early for school/work.
9. You would be surprised how much you can get done during naptime.
10. On that note, naptime is never long enough.
11. Children lack many social graces. "Eww, I don't like what you are wearing." "Why does it look like there is still a baby in your belly?" "That lady is really old." (said loud enough for "that lady" to hear)
12. People become millionaires preying on the poor taste of small children at the cost of their parents' sanity (ie. The creators of many shows on Sprout).
13. Talking dolls are so motherf&^*ing creepy...especially when in the darkness of night you hear "Mommy, I'm hungry...tinkle, tinkle...hehehe".
14. Children can eat a ridiculous amount of snacks.
15. If you don't want children to touch/play with/ruin something, then don't have it in your house. If you bring it into the confines of your home, that is the risk you take.
16. You can know every word to a movie without ever actually seeing it thanks to the rear entertainment system in your minivan. (I STILL have not figured out how to make it so they can watch a movie in the back while I listen to the radio up front...if that is even possible.)
17. When the kids are too quiet, you can generally be certain that things are going to end badly.
18. Don't ask a rhetorical question to your child when you are angry. They will try to answer you and this will intensify your anger/frustration.
19. Kids don't know if something is expensive or cheap. Use this to your advantage and spend no more than $20 on a present until they get old enough to ask for the big stuff.
20, Your kid will survive if they don't eat their dinner...and you still let them have dessert.
21. You will be surprised by how much patience you can have, even if you have to summon up that patience from the very deepest depths of your soul.
22. Enjoy the newborn phase. It is exhausting but it doesn't last long.
23. If it ain't broke, don't fix it...and if it breaks, still don't fix it because it will probably get broken again.
24. Sometimes it is better to just relax, yell less, and drink more.
25. You will worry about your children everyday (and it will begin the moment that you know that you are going to have a child.) Don't worry so much, you probably aren't screwing them up as much as you think you are;)
PLEASE share some of your lessons learned! Like I said, this is a work in progress.