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What to Expect When Your Babies Become Children

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1. Children do not "run off and play" with toys or other children. They want to play with you and only you. If you invite other children to your house as playmates, you are simply inviting more children into your house that will want to play with you.

2. You cannot sit anywhere alone unless you turn on a very loud appliance that frightens the children into another room, in which case, you might manage to drink a cup of coffee while crouching next to the appliance, gesticulating with your free hand as if using the appliance.

3. If you have precious things, such as 40-year-old candied wedding almonds wrapped in delicate lace, your children will eat them. They will come to you chewing, you will ask what they are chewing, they will say Granny and PiPaw's wedding almonds. You will have serious thoughts of driving into the desert until the gas runs out. Instead, you will emotionally eat a Costco-size bag of salted pistachios.

4. Do not bring home a puppy or kitten. They will hurt it. All pictures of adorable children gently hugging tiny animals were taken moments prior to an assault.

5. Children learn from your example. If you drop the F-Bomb while cleaning, they will drop the F-Bomb (not while cleaning) while standing in line at the store, as in: "Why won't you buy me this F-ing slinky!" You will have a meltdown as you explain that F-ing slinkies get tangled and are a waste of hard-earned money. In response, they will have a meltdown.

6. Children do NOT learn from your example. If you buy them something, they will not buy you something with any of the balled-up twenties in their piggy bank from their aunties.

7. The once beloved, fun-to-sing "Clean-Up Song" will awaken the behemoth of war in your child. Do not sing it.

8. Getting them into their beds at night is not unlike bringing down an Imperial Walker. It can be done, but first you have to put pajamas on it. Therein lies the first of your problems.

9. Well-meaning "olden time" ladies will advise you to nap while your children nap. A) Children do not nap in their beds when the sun is up, therefore B) you cannot nap while they are napping because you will be driving them in circles while they sleep in their carseats only to wake cramped, sweating and crying, yet well-rested.

10. You will secretly bathe them less often. In public you will say things like: "Time to go, kids. Almost bath time!" Once home, rather than break up bathtub arguments over naked Barbies, you will let them watch "educational programs" on Nick Jr. while you make dinner (add powder to wet noodles) and drink wine. (Use diaper wipes on the bottom of their feet and clean under their fingernails. Should be fine for about a week.)

11. You cannot use a cellphone or computer. Once you attempt to use either device, children flock to you screeching like large, wounded birds until you hand them the device and step away, careful not to draw further attention.

12. If you get sick, you cannot lie down. You must do everything you did yesterday, only you must do it with the flu.

13. Sometimes, your child will prove to be your best friend by saying things like: "Will my teeth be yellow like yours when I grow up?" You will hug and thank child, teary-eyed, then secretly plan to use some of her balled-up twenties for ZOOM Whitening treatment at the mall.

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