If you feel sorry for your three-year-old when you discover that, having only ever been allowed to watch his sister use the computer, he’s never learned to use a mouse, don’t. If you think it will take him a long time to learn to use a mouse once you give him the chance, don’t. In no time at all, you’ll be trying to use the computer yourself to the constant accompaniment of a desperate preschooler crying, “I want to go on [Tele]tubbies.”
If you think your daughter will come down with bad croup the same morning after your husband leaves on a three-day business trip, you’re right. If you think your husband will never fully understand your physical and emotional exhaustion after a few days of caring for her and the rest of the kids, and particularly after, on one of the days he was gone, a couple of minutes of hearing your daughter choke out “I can’t breathe, Mom–I really can’t breathe. I’m scared,” while you try to decide whether to take her to the emergency room, you are right: he will never fully understand. At least, he won’t understand unless you become a chemical engineer and leave him with the five kids for a few days while you go to a professional conference, having first arranged for at least one of the kids to get very sick. (I haven’t tried this tactic.) Mabel is doing great now, with only a little bit of a residual cough. But Hazel now has a cough. And I don’t really want to leave Dean alone with the kids (and I certainly don’t want to become a chemical engineer.) I just never want him to travel without me ever, ever, ever again. (I’m doomed for lots of disappointment in life.)
If you think your three-year-old will ever stop lamenting that you absent-mindedly removed the granola bar wrapper instead of letting him do it for himself, you’re right, but only if you fish the wrapper out of the trash, replace it on the granola bar, and let him pretend to cut it open himself. Fortunately, three-year-old obsessiveness is a cloud with a silver lining: if you ask him to clean up all the little shards of paper on the floor from an earlier cutting project of his, he will do an excellent and thorough job.
If you think your kids will put themselves down for their naps while you write a blog post, and that your baby will be happy left alone in her high chair after she runs out of Cheerios, you are wrong.
“Pirate Alyssa” is on the right, wielding her back-scratcher sword. On the left is “Pirate Key.”
Update: If you’ve put the cute new top you bought for your baby on her, and it’s just not as cute as you thought it would be, and she seems not to like wearing it, you might want to check whether the matching panties that came with it aren’t still attached to the shirt’s underarms.