You know you're supposed to celebrate the independent spirit in your toddler, but when she's lying on the floor amid a pile of clean diapers after removing her own poop-filled diaper, attempting to wipe herself, the "I do it!" fight is about the last thing you want to deal with at that moment.
Despite how it was when you were growing up, you've found that the age at which children no longer think their parents know anything isn't in the teens anymore. It starts around seven.
Since your paper shredder broke months ago, and the pile of to-be-shredded junk mail has officially taken over your computer room, you set your girls loose with a pair of safety scissors and permission to mutilate the papers in front of them. An hour later, you take the full trash bag of shreds and crumples to the trashcan with the sinking feeling that this "brilliant idea" is probably going to backfire, and you high-tail it inside to better safeguard your important, not-to-be-shredded documents. But hey, at least the shredding is done. For now.
You've learned through many a fight with miniature spaghetti-stained clothes that spaghetti night at home means no shirts on the kids. That's right...keepin' it classy.
You used to think when your kids were toddlers that they were too young to help out around the house. Now you take advantage of it while you can. At least at that age they're impressionable and agreeable. They're great for making deliveries from one room to another. (e.g. - Here, Sarah, take this toilet paper to the bathroom.)
You realize your four year old is trying to develop a taste for coffee when you find her walking around the living room with a mini-mug into which she's poured a tablespoon of coffee and stirred a cup of sugar and a half a pint of creamer as evidenced by the mess she left in the kitchen.
P.S. - I promise that's not the only mug I own. But it is my favorite.
It's probably some sort of exploitation, but you let your four year old stay up late as long as she keeps rubbing your head, brushing your hair, and/or putting lotion on your legs and feet. The greasy spot in your hair from sixteen squirts of No More Tangles while she plays hairdresser is totally worth it.
You might be the worst parent ever, but you tell your child that if he/she scores a goal in soccer they can pick the restaurant of their choice to go to after the game, knowing that the chances of your excessively passive children actually kicking the ball, let alone scoring are slim to none. (Of course, you don't tell them you think that.) It worked pretty well at motivating them to go after the ball. The sad thing is that after seeing them "kick up" the effort you realize how bad eating at home must really be to them.
Your heart swells with pride at your kids' soccer games when in the afternoon heat with temps in the 90's, they persevere and don't even mention how unbearably hot it is out there. You could stand to take a lesson from them.
Kids are awesome. (Most of the time.)