Lessons We've Learned The Hard Way

The fastest way to learn what not to do is by doing something terribly wrong the first time. And in my world, those lessons tend to present themselves in some dramatic ways. So please allow me to share with you some things our family has learned in hopes of sparing yours some trouble...humiliation...and maybe a few run-ins with the law.

Don't try to persuade your 6 year old that swallowing a children's aspirin is soooo easy that you can swallow one dry. He's 21 and still uses liquid Tylenol thanks to my gagging, choking, and violent vomiting into the kitchen sink demonstration. It got stuck, okay?!?

Don't sign up to take someone from church a post-surgery meal the same day you and your husband are going to a couple's costume party. Or maybe just don't go dressed as a slutty cop and robber and then get caught standing in their driveway holding a casserole fighting over who should ring the doorbell. Six of one, really.

Don't plan an elaborate gender reveal involving 50 feet of chord soaked in fire starter liquid on the beach at a resort ... or on one of their tennis courts for that matter. A blue cake might be boring, but it's legal and far less dangerous than a flaming 'Boy.'

Don't give your constipated infant a suppository the day you're going to an amusement park. Just, don't.

Don't see a water balloon launcher, tub of cheese balls and a 4th floor condo balcony as a super cool way to feed the ducks on vacation.

Don't leave me home alone all day with half a leftover sheet cake and a plastic fork and then dare ask where the cake is that night. You knew damn well what would happen here.

Don't presume when your teenager asks you to do her hair that she's going to agree that the 80's look still totally rocks. What-EVER.

Don't take an over-the-counter fat blocking pill on Thanksgiving ... unless of course you wanna spend the next 48 hours ejecting turkey dressing from every orifice of your body.

Don't worry about that last one. Turns out they took those off the market. Can't imagine why.

Don't drop your anchor into the water before tying it off. And sure as hell don't everybody swim away from the boat before realizing what you've done.

Don't pray for patience. Ever.

Don't sunbathe naked in your backyard just because your house is surrounded by cornfields. (Said no farmer ever.) Dude. Stop waving at me.

Don't circle 'Advanced' on your daughter's Kindergarten screening forms before finding out that she answered "14" when they asked her how many legs an elephant has, that clothes are made out of cardboard and fish swim fast because they have feet. But hey, she can make her own coffee in the morning and retort 'That's what she said' with the best of 'em. That's right, be amazed.

Don't let your newly licensed teen drive around a new city. Alright, tourist on a bicycle, it was an accident and by how fast you jumped back up and glared into our van windows, I think you're fine.

Don't name your dog Axel unless you want your toddler telling everyone the dog's name is asshole.

Don't Google 'Home Remedies for yeast infection. If accidentally inserting the Peaches 'n' Cream yogurt instead of the plain isn't painful enough, the humiliation of having to ask your Gynecologist to find and remove the clove of garlic will put you over the top. Do everyone a favor and buy the damn Monistat.

Don't assume that sarcasm is always appropriate and/or appreciated...

 ... Don't ever let that stop you.