1) If you clean something, it will be ruined instantly.
Change the beds? Someone will wee on them. Hoover the floor? Someone will spill cheerios and then tread in them.
Cleaning is almost never worth it (see the last point on this post here if you’re not convinced) and certainly not if you’re a parent.
Most recently: The MOT was due so out the car seats came so that we could give the car a going over, and took the opportunity to wash the car seat covers, a job that I only usually do when I absolutely have to.
Not two weeks later, the smallest puked all over his seat after a bout of travel sickness which he hasn’t suffered from in well over a year. Anyone who has ever changed the covers on a car seat will know that this is not something to be undertaken twice in the space of a fortnight.
2) Lie-ins are only for weekdays when you need to get going.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that kids only ever sleep in late when they have to be up.
School day? Still comatose at 7.45am when they have to be forcibly removed from their beds.
Weekend? Nowhere to be? Well of COURSE they need a wee, or perhaps they just want to sing, at 6.25am.
3) If you pass a service station on the motorway, your child will definitely need to pee.
You can ask them ten seconds beforehand and they’ll be adamant that they don’t, but they are lying. LYING. Holding a child while they pee on the hard shoulder? Not an experience I can wholeheartedly recommend.
4) Naps are for losers, unless it’s inconvenient
If you want your overtired toddler to fall asleep, they won’t, even if you’ve timed the nap to perfection and they’re really. Damn. Tired. Bonus points if you’re stressing because you need them to behave well during the afternoon.
If you really don’t want them to fall asleep, then of course they will.
Hello the car nap. How you suck.
5) Children can be the devil incarnate at home but they will always be a delight for grandma.
They might be waking up every 45 minutes in the night the 363 days that you’re on night duty, but you just know they’ll always sleep through for their grandparents, or in fact anyone else.
And they’ll probably have a lie in while they’re at it, as well as taking 2 hour naps and eating broccoli.
6) If you have family or school photos coming up, they will make sure they hurt their face.
Starting school and your mum wants nice pictures to commemorate your first day? Come off your scooter and make sure you have a big scab on your nose.
See also: Cut their own hair.
7) They only listen when you don’t want them to.
This starts out when they’re babies:
“Go on, say Ma-ma. Mama!”
“Maaaaa – maaaaaa”
“Oh for fuck’s sake”
…And it continues long into toddler- and preschooler-hood and beyond. You can ask them a question or perhaps request they get their shoes on and nothing; it’s as if you are talking to yourself most of the time. They do not listen at all.
Whisper something about ice cream under your breath from two rooms away and they’ll know about it.
8) Planning a night out? Get ready for your child or you to come down with something awful.
Kids like to time their periods of sickness for the most inconvenient times, usually around half an hour before a babysitter is due to take over before your go out for first night out in four months, or else they will pass you a lovely illness just in time for your birthday/holiday/important work deadline.
9) It will rain on the school run.
Even if it’s been sunny all day, just for that brief period between 3 and half past, you’ll wish you had an umbrella.
It just will, you know this by now.
10) Just when you figure it all out, it all changes.
Never ever utter the words ‘I think I know what I’m doing’. You don’t.