All I knew before having boys could be summed up in one word: NOTHING. 

Unaware of just how hardwired little boys are for epic household disasters and bodily maladies, all of which are fueled by a seemingly never-empty tank of childhood gas (the fart kind too), I naively assumed it would be all snips and snails and puppy dog tails. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails? What the hell does that even mean? It’s more like bruises and farts and Nerf Gun darts. Why didn’t anyone tell me?

1 | Evidently, getting hit in their private parts really, REALLY hurts.

All those cheap shots to a boy’s nether regions I always saw on TV – the ones that brought grown men to their knees – are actually a thing. Protect the “house” at all costs.

2 | How many different names for penis are there? More than you can imagine.

Wanker, wiener, dingie, peter, twig and berries (just to name a few) are all now part of my personal anatomy vocabulary. Lucky me.

3 | Everything becomes a weapon.

EVERYTHING. Spatulas, hair brushes, nine irons, mops. If something can be used as a weapon to inflict pain on their brother, they will figure out a way to use it as such.

4 | “Clean” has a whole new meaning.

So does dirty. And sometimes, they are the exact same thing. What you once considered borderline filthy is now acceptably clean. Boys lower cleanliness standards. Big time.1

5 | They like things resting in their hands. Think TV remote. And their own genitals.

One hand resting down their pants, the other flipping through channels equals the male version of true bliss.

6 | They don’t require expensive toys.

A $100 Lego set entertains for two hours. A $5 basketball entertains for a decade.

7 | They will wear and lose about 1,000 pairs of socks during childhood.

Just go ahead and buy them by the case.

8 | The world is their bathroom.

And honestly, thank God for that. No searching for bathrooms when a tree is readily available.

9 | You will need serious toilet plunging skills.

And the ability to use a plumbing snake and auger. Make friends with your local hardware store manager, he’ll be a lifesaver.

10 | Helmets. They need them. All the time.

Don’t even think for one second about sending them off on anything with tires or wheels without protecting their noggin. EVER.

11 | Some things are just plain innate.

Like wanting to kick all the toys. One day they’re  lovingly playing with a baby doll and the next they’re using the same doll as a soccer ball. Don’t look at me, I never once modeled that behavior.