Our day was full of adventure and lessons learned.
Lesson #1: Ants like children's toothpaste. I'm not sure where the ants were coming from, but they made a beeline for the counter where Caleb had last left his toothbrush and there was a trail all the way up to the toothbrush holder where they were swarming on our toothbrushes. Nice.
Lesson #2: Ants also like dead flies. I found a whole bunch of them clustered around a dead fly on Caleb's bedroom floor.
Lesson #3: Little boys who can swat flies with flyswatters need to also be taught how to pick up dead flies.
Lesson #4: When you get the idea to send your potty training toddler to the potty, make sure you follow up on it. Don't listen to her when she says, "I don't have to go. You don't have to worry about it." You do have to worry about it. Otherwise you will have to worry about cleaning up pee. And poop. Out of dress up clothes that are not machine washable.
Lesson #5: Don't leave the baby in her play gym when her big sister is reading books nearby. Especially if the books are on the coffee table. They can gain just enough momentum as they fall to make baby wail.
Lesson #6: It sometimes isn't enough to tell your little boy that boys don't wear earrings when he comes to you requesting help putting on his sister's clip-on princess dress up earrings. "But rock stars wear earrings..." "Do you want to be a rock star?" "No. Will you help me put these on?" (I made him do it himself.)
Lesson #7: Teach your children to put their dirty clothes away immediately after taking them off. That way you won't put the last of the dirty clothes in the washer only to discover a pair of Ninja Turtle underwear hidden among the dress up clothes and have to use the sniff test to determine they were dirty. Also, it will save you the trouble of sorting the clean from the dirty when your husband decides the best thing to do with all of the clothes in your daughter's room is throw them into a bin and let them sit for a few days - or until you get around to dealing with them - so you can sort the clean from the dirty. Now there's an extra load of laundry to do. Almost. Well, not quite. Just enough to sit around and stink up the house.
Lesson #8: People who pee standing up need to look where they're peeing every time. Otherwise the bathroom will probably smell like pee until Mom can figure out where the pee is hidden. (Remember, if you can't hear the pee hitting the water in the toilet, it probably isn't.)
Lesson #9: If you button your daughter's dress when she puts them on in the morning, she is likely to scream when it gets stuck on her head as she tries to take it off two hours later to change her clothes. It's much better to leave them unbuttoned (or unzipped) so she can change when the mood strikes her.
Lesson #10: Old bunny Halloween costumes that are tough to get on are likely to be uncomfortable and difficult to take off.
Lesson #11: Crackers are not a food that should be fed to children in the living room (even at the table) unless you want to sweep the floor.
Lesson #12: It sometimes takes school staff several tries to determine which bus your kindergartener will ride on his first day of school three days from now. Even if you give them your address, describe the location, give landmarks and cross-streets, and even plot it on a map for them, they are likely to deny that any bus will go past your house. They will suggest a bus add him to their route; then he can be picked up at 7:00. When you try to explain (again) where you live and that, oh, there is a bus that goes right by your house to pick up the other elementary school kids in the neighborhood at 7:20, they will call you back telling him that another bus is willing to add him to the route and will pick him up at 6:45. When you explain (again) that there is a bus that goes right by your house at 7:20 and that's where the other kids from that school pick up the bus, they'll still act like they don't know what you're talking about. Here's how to solve the problem: Walk down the street to get the house number of one of the neighbor kids and give that to the bus lady. Also give them the neighbor kid's name so they can look up where she picks up the bus. Bus lady will then call you back to tell you that there is a bus that goes right by your house and will actually stop in front of your house at 7:20 on the first day of school.
Lesson #13: If you give your toddler yogurt and water at the same time during dinner, don't expect them to stay in separate containers for long.
Lesson #14: Little children don't realize the value of waiting for fruit to ripen. Hard crunchy peaches taste much better than ripe juicy ones, didn't you know.
Lesson #15: Don't let your toddler dump the pee out of her little potty by herself when her brother is in the bathroom. Toddler + pee + big brother on toilet = pee on bathroom floor + pee on big brother + pee on toddler + big brother screaming that he got pee on him + toddler screaming that her dress is covered in pee + one screaming baby because her mother had to stop feeding her to go clean up pee + one mother who is tired of cleaning up more messes that she doesn't make.
Lesson #16: Even when they're driving you nuts and making you want to pull out your hair, children are such wonderful, exciting people.