Generally, I am not one to tell people how to live their lives. But if you’re a parent—for your own good—take my advice on these things you should really never do.

1. Take a good, close look at your walls. 

They will make you want to cry and then hose down your house with disinfectant.

2. Swear. 

Even if your kid still pronounces “banana” as “babana,” as soon as you drop a profanity word —just once—the little tyke will say it perfectly and repeatedly. In the most horrifying of places, of course. The doctor’s office or your grandmother’s house.

3. Assume that “the toddler who never gets into things” – won’t get into things. 

Our toddler was not the type of kid who would take my $900 camera off its hook, unearth it from its protective bag, and smear liquid hand soap all over it. But, oh yes he did.

4. Mistake silence for peace. 

Silence with kids in the house usually means one of three things:

1) They’re doing something they shouldn’t be.

2) They’ve exited the premises without you realizing it.

3) They’ve simultaneously knocked each other unconscious.

5. Reach out your hand when a 3-year-old says, “Here” 

Without looking to see what she’s giving you. I’ve been handed many boogers that way.

6. Stick your finger down the back of a diaper to see if it’s wet.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised.

7. Give a toddler an Oreo.

The combination of toddlers and Oreos creates a chemical reaction that makes matter multiply and spread like a virus. I’m still finding Oreo smears from the time I gave one to our daughter when she was three. She’s now eight.

8. Lean over a crouching child and startle them. 

A child’s head is a concrete wrecking ball and your nose is their bulls-eye. I’m surprised more parents aren’t killed by having their noses crushed into their brains by little kids’ heads. It hurts badly.

9. Tell a kid that the plugged toilet will overflow if they keep flushing it.

Without also explaining that that would be a bad thing. There’s nothing as exciting to a 4-year-old boy as an overflowing toilet.

10. Blink.

You’ll miss something. It might be something adorable, it might be something abominable, but either way, it’ll be something you didn’t want to miss.

This article was originally featured on Annie’s blog, Motherhood & More. Featured image via.

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Yes, you read that right. Meet Max – probably the only 4-year old in existence that would prefer to visit a farm full of broccoli instead of going to the circus. 

Uploaded by Max’s dad to youtube, the video shows him having a complete meltdown in all his toddler glory, which is the complete opposite reaction his parents expected! Apparently, Max was super excited to visit the “broccoli farm”, a place his parents made up in order to surprise him with the real treat, a night of high-flying performers, elephants and people shooting out of cannons. Poor little buddy. Hang in there, Max!

SEE MORE: THIS LITTLE GIRL HAS A MELTDOWN WHEN HER DAD TELLS HER SHE DOESN’T HAVE A BOYFRIEND

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Meltdown

You’d think the parents of this adorable 2 year old Alabama girl would have a few more years before they had to worry about boys…

SEE MORE: THIS LITTLE GIRL IS DEVASTATED TO LEARN THAT SHE IS GOING TO HAVE A THIRD BROTHER

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Funny Toddler

“I just have two brothers already…”

Preschool is a wonderful, fabulous, heavenly place where your kid goes for part of the day and interacts with his peers. It’s where children learn to share things, like toys and books and lots and lots of really gross germs.

I don’t know if the kids are licking the toilets as well as each other, but the Muffin Man has been a preschool student for all of five weeks, and he’s already logged two sick days and a bout of diarrhea. The kids are constantly washing their hands – in the morning when we first arrive, before and after eating – but a toddler’s version of “washing” isn’t exactly what I would call thorough. These endless rounds of illness seem to pretty much go with the preschool territory, and supposedly it’s an important part of children building up their immune systems. Which is all well and good, except for the fact that when your kid is sick, he can’t go to school.

Do you want to know what sucks more than having a sick kid? Being stuck at home with one.

3AM Your toddler wakes up crying because he’s coughing or barfing. You stumble down the hallway in an exhausted fog and comfort your crying child. If vomit is involved, this will require the participation of both parents, as one will have to change the bedding and the other will have to hose down the puke-covered child.

3:47AM After several rounds of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, your kid finally falls back to sleep and you stumble to bed.

5:30AM Your second, still healthy, child wakes up ready to take on the day. She is in the best mood ever and cannot understand why you are crying into your coffee cup.

6:30AM Your sick toddler wakes up in the worst mood ever and wishes you good morning by throwing a book at your head.

6:35AM You pray that your toddler does not have a fever, so that you can send The Devil’s Spawn to preschool in a few hours.

6:45AM After ten minutes of trying to take your toddler’s temperature, and him screaming “No! I don’t like that!” and batting the thermometer out of your hand, you finally bribe him with either money or candy to allow you to take his temperature.

6:55AM You deduce, after seven readings from the ear thermometer, that your child does, in fact, have a slight* fever
*101

6:56AM You cry into your third cup of coffee.

7AM Your toddler requests pancakes for breakfast, and because you are a masochist, you make some.

7:15AM Your toddler refuses to eat the pancakes, and throws them on the floor instead. Your other child eats three pancakes and follows that up by taking a drink from the sick child’s cup of milk.

7:25AM You seriously consider sending your sick kid to school. Sure, it’s a dick move, but your sanity may not survive a whole day trapped in your house with this terror.

7:26AM Your child barfs/sneezes/coughs all over you, thereby destroying your fantasy of pawning your little germ factory off on the school.

7:27AM You park both kids in front of TV and pour yourself another cup of coffee.

8AM Your spouse comes downstairs and has the gall to complain about being tired.

8:02AM You consider choking your spouse to death with his tie.

8:30AM TV has lost its magic. Your toddler now wants to build a lego tower, but he refuses to let his younger sibling play, thereby resulting in fighting and tears.

8:35AM Your toddler announces that he is bored.

8:36AM You suggest taking a walk. Mainly because you need more coffee.

8:37 – 8:42AM Your spouse watches* the kids while you shower.
*checks his email/makes phone calls

8:43AM Your spouse leaves, which causes both of your children to cry hysterically.

8:50 – 9:30AM You attempt to get your children dressed, which involves at least one tantrum and some bribery.

9:35AM – 11AM You take your kids to get bagels. It takes an hour to get to your destination because your toddler refuses to ride in the stroller and you have to stop to wipe his nose every two minutes. You feel marginally guilty for infecting people with your child’s germs, but you are thrilled that your outing took up most of the morning and that your kids only had one public meltdown.

11:15AM Arrive home. You are euphoric because your kids are tired and that means it’s almost nap time.

11:25AM Your adrenaline has kicked in and you hustle your kids through their pre-nap routine. Your bed is calling you and you can’t wait to imprison these Hellions in their cribs so that you can catch a few winks yourself.

11:30AM While the older kid goes potty, you deposit the younger one into her crib without preamble. You are sure that this one day of not reading her a story is going to lead to years of therapy, but you are too tired to care.

11:35AM Your sick kid has managed to poop all over the bathroom. It’s like he’s in possession of an exploding ass.

11:36AM You throw a few towels over the mess, take your super pooper into the shower, and hose both of you down.

11:43AM Your sick kid is so tired he’s falling asleep standing up. You try to put him in bed without the usual routine, but he throws an epic tantrum.

12:10PM Ten books, six songs, and a nursery rhyme later, your kid is finally asleep. You collapse into your own bed.

12:15PM You realize that you haven’t eaten anything and you are starving. You drag yourself to the kitchen to get some food.

12:20PM You hoover some cold leftovers.

12:30PM You go back to bed. You are so exhausted your body is vibrating.

12:31PM You realize you forgot to clean up the poopslosion in the bathroom. You decide that you’ll deal with it later*
*leave it for your Husband

12:35 – 2:30PM You enjoy some glorious, amazing, life-giving sleep.

2:30PM Your younger kid wakes up.

2:40PM You go in to pick up your younger child only to discover that she has taken off her diaper and has smeared poop all over herself, her crib, and her room.

2:43PM You take another shower with your second poop-covered kid.

2:50PM Your sick toddler wakes up screaming. Again.

2:51PM Your sick toddler screams and screams because he wants his Daddy, which sets off the younger kid. You consider locking them in the basement for an hour while you watch the newest episode of Empire, and then decide against it, mainly because your neighbor would probably have you arrested.

3:05PM You finally succeed in stopping the tantrums by suggesting your kids have a snack.

3:10PM Your children HATE every snack you offer them. Finally, in desperation, you simply hand them the basket of snacks so that you can recline on the couch for a minute.

3:11PM They descend on the snack basket like a swarm of locusts. Pretzels, nuts, and granola fly all over the house.

3:14PM After decimating the entire stash of snacks, your offspring announce that they are bored.

3:15PM You set them up with art supplies with the belief that this will be a quiet activity that they can do together.

3:17PM Since your children are incapable of sharing, this activity devolves into a fight in a matter of seconds. You are not sure if they are actually injured, or just covered in puce paint.

3:20PM You seriously consider taking your sick kid to the park, but decide to be a responsible parent instead.

3:25PM You take your kids out to the backyard and whisper words of gratitude for the weather in LA.

3:26PM – 3:45PM Miraculously, your children play without incident. You consider celebrating this achievement by moving cocktail hour to 4PM.

3:46PM Your Pinterest search for “Autumn cocktails” is cut short by your younger, previously healthy, child barfing into the kiddie pool.

3:47PM You tell your toddler that it’s time to come inside so you can take the baby’s temperature, which results in yet another tantrum. You fantasize about drowning yourself in the kiddie pool.

3:55PM Your bribe of TV and yogurt pops succeeds in luring your children inside. You say a little prayer of thanks that you live in a world with television.

3:57 – 4:30PM Your toddler expresses the fact that he’s feeling better by jumping on all of the furniture and singing The Wheels on the Bus at the top of his lungs. Your younger child alternates between vomiting, explosive diarrhea, and sobbing. You say “f*ck it”, and pour yourself a glass of wine.

4:30 – 4:40PM You realize that you need to feed your family dinner. You remember that you haven’t had time to grocery shop this week and that the only thing in your house is a can of pumpkin and a jar of capers. You cry, and then you order a pizza.

5PM – 5:05PM Your toddler eats dinner, which means that he takes two bites of a slice of cheese pizza and then says he’s done. Your younger child enjoys a dinner of Pedialyte and saltine crackers.

5:10PM – 6PM You mentally give your Pediatrician the finger and turn on the TV. Too much screen time? F that.

6:15PM Your spouse returns home, surveys the house, and asks what happened. You wonder if it’s possible to suffocate someone with a slice of pizza.

6:16PM You hand your spouse the bucket of cleaning supplies, tell him good luck, and head off to bed, because all of the sudden, you’re not feeling so hot yourself.

This post was originally featured on Anna Lane’s blog, Misadventures in Motherhood. Featured image via.

It is my personal belief that everyone should have to work in the restaurant business at least once in her life. Why, you ask? Mainly because I think it’s an excellent window into both the best and the worst of human kind, but also because having to deal with the demands of ornery customers is fantastic preparation for parenthood.

I’ve worked many a food service job, and the rudest, most horrible customers of my past have nothing on my toddler.

READ MORE: TOP 10 WAYS TO KNOW YOU’VE CROSSED INTO MOMMYHOOD

1. He sends back the dish. Unlike a restaurant patron, however, instead of politely asking for something that he finds more agreeable, my son throws his plate across the table and screams “I don’t want that!”

2. He’s rude to the staff. I had plenty of boorish customers during my time as a waitress, but to my knowledge no one ever threw their food at me. I have now lost count of the times my toddler has unrepentantly pelted me with produce.

3. The temperature is never right. For some reason, it seems to be impossible to serve a toddler food at an appropriate temperature. Things are either too hot or too cold, and God forbid a human under the age of three should have to wait 30 seconds while you fan a piece of fish, because in that minuscule amount of time he will have completely lost his willingness to try the offending food stuff and will refuse to eat it once it has cooled down. Hand a kid a glass of cold milk and he will, for sure, demand a “warm milky” instead. Beware the wrath of a child not given food at his preferred temperature, or “dinner time” will turn instead to “tantrum time.”

READ MORE: CRAP JOBS AND BIG GIRL PANTS

4. Ketchup. On everything. In the restaurant business there are always those customers who put salt on dishes before tasting them, much to the chagrin of the poor waiter who is forced to ask for a salt cellar from a mercurial Chef who believes that his dishes need no additional flavoring. Toddlers are like this with ketchup. If it’s being served to them, they want ketchup. There is no thought put into whether the food stuff is complemented by ketchup; if it is something they plan to eat it must have a side of ketchup. My son assures me that oatmeal with ketchup is delicious. I’ll take his word for it.

5. If Mommy made it, I don’t want it. This may be a phenomenon that is exclusive only to Casa Lane, but if I make something for dinner, Noah wants nothing to do with it. Forget eating it, he won’t even try it. If we go out to eat at a restaurant, however, he will ask for seconds of the exact same thing that he refused to eat at our house just the night before. He won’t touch the meatballs I make at home – he screams when he even sees them being prepared – but serve the kid the identical thing, from the identical recipe, at our local Italian restaurant, and he’ll eat four of them in one sitting. I know that I’m not exactly a domestic Goddess, but I don’t think my cooking is so bad that it deserves rejection before even being sampled.

6. He refuses to pay the bill and stiffs me on a tip. For all the trouble I go to, I should at least get some small token of appreciation. A few coins from his (full) piggy bank, or a “thank you for fixing me dinner even though I found it disgusting”, or a kiss on the cheek to show that he loves me, but no. No thanks are given around these parts. I’m seriously considering adding an 18% gratuity on every bill to avoid this blatant abuse of my serving staff.

This post was originally featured on Anna Lane’s blog, Misadventures in Motherhood. Featured image via.

Do you remember the first time you heard your kid say a word they probably shouldn’t have? Did they learn it from you?

If the answer to either of those questions was yes, this video is for you. These kids just so happened to have their first curse words caught on camera, and now we get to enjoy it right along with their parents.

If you’re a child of the 80s and 90s like I am, you probably recall the More You Know commercials that saturated Saturday morning programming (they still appear in modern times but with less frequency). I remember them vividly – they rudely interrupted Saved by the Bell and forced me to the edge of my seat, anxiously waiting to see if Jessie Spano would survive her horrific caffeine pill addiction. It is fair to say that I too was so excited, but also so, so scared.

Back then, it seemed like these PSAs were mainly aimed at teenagers and other young adults. Blossom talked about STDs, the Fresh Prince said to stay in school, and several celebrities reminded us to just say no to drugs (to which we replied, “Duh….Nancy Reagan already told us that!”). My point is that a lot of The More You Know campaigns were aimed at middle-schoolers and above. Now, imagine if they were aimed at toddlers.

Of course, there’d be a PSA about eating broccoli and never going anywhere with strangers. But there’d also be these gems:

The PSA for Sharing

Sharing is an important thing to do because it fosters generosity and cooperation, but it’s also a little unfair: why should you have to share something that is yours? But don’t worry, it will pass.

Adults don’t share, unless they’re on Facebook. Then some of them share way, way too much.

The More You Know.

The PSA for Enjoying Your Youth

It can be tough being a kid, what with all the bedtimes and Brussels sprouts. This is why a lot of you can’t wait to grow up. But don’t be in a rush – enjoy your youth because you only get to once.

Adulthood comes with its own kind of crazy. You get to a certain age where it’s no longer socially acceptable to refer to others as “Dude,” for instance. You also have financial debt and mundane responsibilities. And then there’s something called a turkey neck.

Whatever the heck that’s about.

The More You Know.

The PSA for Being Quiet

Every time you want a cookie, you ask your parents to get you one. Every time you want another bowl of ice cream, you kick and scream at the injustice of a single serving. Every time you paint the wall with the glitter glue your uncle idiotically gave you, you show it off to Mom and Dad. Getting your way: you’re doing it wrong.

You see, there’s a secret that toddlers haven’t caught onto – being quiet is key.

If you tiptoe to the pantry and help yourself to an Oreo, your parents will never know. If you open the refrigerator and run off with the entire carton of chocolate chip, they won’t find out until it’s too late. If you paint your walls quietly, Mom and Dad will smile at each other while sipping their wine and commenting on how good you’re being.

If you’re quiet, you can get away with almost anything.

The More You Know.

The PSA for Potty Training

It might seem super inconvenient to be potty trained – why use a bathroom when you can just walk around with a built-in toilet? Yes, diapers are a real time saver for the rat-race that two and three-year-olds live in.

Still, being potty trained is sort of necessary. If you aren’t, no one will want to room with you when you go off to college.

The More You Know.

The PSA for Toys

You know that room you have in your house? The one with all the Legos and mismatched puzzle pieces? The one your parents call the toy room? There are things in there you should play with. They’re much more fun than the bottle of sunscreen and dish rag that have been entertaining you for the past hour.

Just be sure to take care of them because toys cost money. There’s no reason all your Barbies should have their heads pulled off – unless you’re playing French Revolution.

The More You Know.

The PSA for Taking Naps

Taking naps might not seem like any fun, but, believe it or not, there will come a time when you consider them a real treat. Still, they can be risky. While you’re sleeping, Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse might visit everyone who’s awake and hand out puppies and butterscotch by the handfuls.

Yes, it’s possible that that could happen. But don’t worry: it probably won’t.

The More You Know.

Image via Giphy.