...as I have learned so far...
*If you give a child a small cup of juice and tell them they can have more when they finish what they have, they won't drink it. They'll exclaim that they're a big boy/girl and demand that you fill the cup. When you cave and pour more in the cup, they will spill EVERY SINGLE DROP on the kitchen or dining room floor you just washed.
*You no longer have any qualms about using the lavatory with an audience. In fact, when you go to a restaurant and lock the stall behind you, it seems odd to take care of your business in peace.
*At some point, you will wake up with a child's face 4 cm from your own and their eyes will be staring at you so intensely that you will recoil in fear.
*It doesn't phase you one bit when a crayon goes through the washing machine and the bits of the wrapper are all over the clothes; it only pisses you off if the crayon isn't discovered before the clothes go into the dryer.
*Once you finally figure out exactly what your child will and will not eat, they will change the lists, without cc'ing you on the memo so you haven't a clue until you've made something that is now on the "I ain't eating that" list.
*There will come a time when you're so desperate to get your errands done that it doesn't matter that your child is dressed in a princess/super hero costume and is carrying a magic wand/thermo-nuclear powered bad guy zapper. You will get your errands done but you'll get stared at...a lot.
*Once in a while, letting a child eat a cupcake for dinner is perfectly acceptable...especially if your mental health/stability depends on it.
*Loud noises don't get you worked up anymore, and blood only gets you upset if it comes from an injury that can be classified as a "gusher." If it is a gusher, then go get a paper towel, some cold water, a few adhesive bandages (the child will invariably find a few other injured body parts that will desperately need bandaging, like a paper cut from 3 weeks prior), anti-bacterial ointment and a few cookies. Give the child the cookies to eat so they'll stop screaming so loudly that they can be heard 3 states away. You can probably figure out what to do with the rest of the stuff, right?
*Once you have a child, you start praying more. Here's an example: O, Dear Lord, In Heaven, please make this child stop screaming and go to sleep before I shove a steak knife in each ear.
In all seriousness, I love my daughter with every cell in my body. I know I was supposed to have that child at that particular point in time. She is funny, smart, sassy as all hell, thoughtful, a bit shy at times, and a good sleeper for the most part (thank heavens!). There are times when she makes me absolutely batty but then she says something that will make me laugh out loud.
This is parenthood.
You have to be able to shift priorities in a nanosecond. You have to pick your battles wisely. You have to be vigilant about the lessons and values you want to instill in your children. You need to know when to leave a child to their tantrum. You need to pass on the little tidbits of information/knowledge to other parents. You need to be able to not sweat the small stuff.
And it also helps if you have a well-developed sense of humor and if you hide your breakables.