No one ever told me:

1. That things can happen in the delivery room that are never spoken of, because if they were, human reproduction would end.

2. That I would live to regret every time I ever criticized another parent's performance.

3. That some moms haven't learned Rule No. 2.

4. That it's actually OK to feed beans to a baby.

5. That 5-year-olds still have tantrums. That 10-year-olds still have tantrums. Hell, some days I still have tantrums. It might not get that much easier as they get bigger.

6. That there is no such thing as taking the kids for a quick swim.

7. That in the phrase "cookie after lunch," a 1-year-old hears only one word. Not "lunch."

8. That 85 percent of the stuff you are supposed to do for your kids is superfluous.

9. That the other 15 percent is extremely important, so don't get distracted by the 85 percent.

10. That it would be this hard.

11. That it would be this awesome.

12. That basic skills such as counting to 10 would wither right away once I left the workplace.