Years ago, before I had children, I read a chain email someone sent around at work. It was titled “Things I’ve Learned from my Children (honest and no kidding)”. What followed contained many fun facts, such as how long it takes the Austin, Texas fire department to respond and how a piece of Lego will pass through a child’s digestive tract in one piece. At the time, as a child-free adult, I could laugh without also crying just a little.
Like most parents, I’ve learned a few things since having children. While my own lessons are not as hilarious / terrifying as that chain email, they’re nonetheless extremely hard-fought. Today, as a public service, I am sharing them with you so that you won’t have to learn them for yourself. Although you probably will anyway, because kids just love providing us with these lessons.
My little teachers – it’s a good thing they’re so adorable
Things I’ve Learned from my own Children
- In an attempt to “fix” your printer, a four-year-old will completely destroy it. Your protests that it was not broken in the first place will not change anything. A printer that makes that sound is never printing properly again.
- Printer ink stains.
- It is possible to find peanut butter in a small child’s hair when that child has not been anywhere near peanut butter in a week, and they’ve had several baths since.
- Kids can always reach just a little bit higher than you think they can. And their ability to climb is uncanny.
- The fact that they opened the closed bathroom door, uninvited, intruding on what you were hoping was a rare private moment, will not stop your children from complaining about the fact that it ‘smells bad in here’.
- Always, always bring a pair of emergency pants for each child when you leave the house. Because if you don’t, that will be the occasion when you really need them.
- Store employees may say they don’t have a public bathroom, but when faced with a 3-year-old doing the pee-pee dance, one will magically appear.
- Children prefer to conduct all cooking experiments with your most expensive supplies – good vanilla, free trade chocolate, herbs and spices that you can only find at the gourmet shop.
- Lego isn’t the only thing that passes through a child’s digestive system intact. So do corn, peas, and crayon pieces.
- 9-1-1 operators will really put you through your paces when your two-year-old accidentally calls them up. “No, there is no emergency here. Yes, everyone is safe. No, we do not need an officer to come by to check on us. Yes, I will delete you from my speed dial and move the phone out of reach.”
- When cheap jewellery gets shoved into a power outlet, it makes some really impressive black marks.
- The genitals that you spend the most time discussing, often loudly and in public when you’d really rather not, belong to a toddler.
Now it’s your turn. What have you learned from your children – whether you wanted to or not?