There are things a person just has no opportunity to say before you have kids. A few examples:
On observing small puddles of a mysterious liquid on top of the piano (which is slightly under head level if my kids stand on the piano bench)…
“Abby and Rebecca, you can play the piano, but you can’t stand on the piano bench and drool.”
Another example: I’m calling my parents to ask them to babysit our kids for an evening. This is just after I’ve allowed Abby and Rebecca to have a small amount of pop as a treat. I’ve just discovered that my parents are not home and I’m leaving a message on their answering machine.
“Hi Mom and Dad. I was wondering if you might—”
Suddenly there is a sound of gargling, then of two children giggling. Then, more gargling.
“Abby, Rebecca, you need to stop doing that right now. Do you ever want me to give you pop again?”
They do not stop.
“Mom, Dad, call me back. I need to go deal with something.”
My parents found that message amusing.
The next example isn’t something I got to say to kids, but merely about them:
I’m at a cousin’s wedding, sitting at what amounts to “the kids’ table” in that many of the same cousins I used to sit with at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners are there too. The difference is that now most of us have kids of our own.
We are talking about putting children to bed. I have just remarked about how long and drawn out bedtime can be between baths, tantrums and sometimes horrible, toilet-related accidents.
One of my cousin’s recently had her first child (within a year anyway). They’re still in the middle of multiple nightime wakings and constant diaper changes.
Her husband said, “You mean it doesn’t get better?”
I was amused.
The truth, of course, is that it does get better and simultaneously worse in another area (which in turn will also get better with time).