** There's a time and a place to give your kids positive praise. Like when they've remembered to wash their hands after going potty or they clean up their room without being reminded 32,487 times. But not when they're all quietly (and nicely) playing together.
Because the minute you say, "I love the way you all are playing so nicely together", shit WILL hit the fan.
Do yourself a favor...take a mental note that your children are capable of such good behavior and leave it at that.
** Telling your kids to stay away from the hot stove will prove to be too much of a temptation. It's as if you're practically begging them to touch it so you can enjoy the rest of your day with them in the emergency room.
From now on, just tell them the boogie man lives in the oven. That will keep them far, far away.
** Don't bother threatening your kids with the overused (and ignored) threat, "You all better be on your best behavior while we're in this store".
Why, oh why, would you even allow these words to come out of your mouth? You are simply inviting trouble.
Just do what I do and say, "If any of you acts like a jerk while we're in this store, I will get on the loudspeaker and sell you to the highest bidder. Believe that."
** It's pointless to get excited over the beautiful eggplant that has finally come to life in your container garden.
Why? Because just as you're about to tell your kids it's not ready to be picked yet, one of them will violently rip it from its vine and proudly announce, "Mommy, it IS ready...see, I picked it for you!"
** Never ever throw away any paperwork they bring home from school. Unless you plan to shred it into a million pieces first and shove it to the very bottom of the trash.
Because they will notice it immediately when it's in the garbage can...even though you were pretty sure they had no clue where the garbage even was since none of THEIR trash ever seems to make it in there.
** Buying them expensive outdoor equipment to play on, like a huge trampoline or an awesome play structure, is a complete waste of your money. Not to mention a huge waste of your time, since most of these things require 2, 188 hours to assemble. And trust me, people, you will never get back those precious 2,188 hours ever again.
Your kids only think things like this are super cool to play on when it's in someone else's backyard.
Case in point: We gave our fabulously amazing play structure to a friend of ours because, of course, her kids loved it. When we went to visit her, one of my spawn actually whined, "That's not fair. I want a play structure like this!"
It took sheer willpower to stop myself from smacking him upside the head and screaming in his face, "Uh, HELLO....this WAS our play structure and YOU never played on it!"
** Your kids will pretty much ignore you until you're involved in a gripping novel. That's when they'll want to have endless discussions with you about some of life's biggest mysteries, like why blood is red, why God didn't give rabbits any vocal cords and how come earwax tastes funny.
** Boys will be boys. You might as well give up that pipe dream that all of their pee will miraculously end up in the toilet and that their rooms will smell as a fresh as a summer breeze.
It will never, ever happen...not in your lifetime, anyway.
These are the same creatures that think farting in one another's faces is the ultimate in hilarity. And successfully burping the entire alphabet is everyone's goal in life.
Just leave well enough alone because it's ingrained in their DNA. I'm sure your MIL would agree.
** Never give your kids choices, especially when it comes to food.
Tell me if this sounds familiar.
You: "Johnny, do you want an apple or grapes with your sandwich?"
Johnny: "I'll have a banana"
You: "We don't have any bananas. Your choice was an apple or grapes."
Johnny: "Okay, then I'll have a plum"
Need I say more? Just give the kid whatever damn fruit you want and call it a day.