Dispensing Knowledge Up In Here

I wrote this list a couple of years ago for any kids I might have in the future. Now that I actually have kids, I dug it out and wanted to share it again.

101 Things a Child of Mine Needs to Know

  1. I will always love you. No matter how much of my stuff you ruin, how many tantrums you throw, how often you disobey, or how many times you hate me, I will still love you. We can renegotiate this if you become a Conservative.
  2. Don’t run with scissors, knives, or anything pointy, including the cats.
  3. “Anyways,” “supposebly,” and “guestimate” are not words. “Ain’t” gets a pass because I’m from Kansas.
  4. Never let anyone tell you what you “can’t” do when you grow up; not even your mom and me.
  5. Take courses in home and auto repair. You will not regret it.
  6. It’s ok to love both Star Wars and Star Trek.
  7. Pesto is a seasoning, not a sauce.
  8. Just because your old man said a “bad” word doesn’t mean it’s ok for you to say it.
  9. Always treat retail employees with respect.
  10. Movies are just pretend.
  11. Spiders are your friends. They eat nasty bugs like mosquitos. This will be confusing when you see your old man removing spiders from the bedroom while your mom is in the other room yelling at him, so you’ll have to trust me.
  12. Quitting smoking is harder than you could ever imagine. Don’t start.
  13. READ! Books, comics, newspapers, the backs of cereal boxes, whatever. Read a lot, and have questions and opinions about what you read.
  14. You are stronger than you know. Remember that when you feel weak.
  15. Joss Whedon: Watch his stuff.
  16. You will argue with your mom and sometimes. Know that this is healthy and ok. Also, know that we are right.
  17. Before getting a tattoo, think about it for at least 30 days.
  18. Ross and Rachel WERE on a break.
  19. It’s ok to like bad movies, as long as you recognize that they are bad.
  20. People like to say “life isn’t fair.” This is not true. Life is life. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. The balance comes from accepting this and making the best of it.
  21. Own at least on tailored suit.
  22. When you’re in love, you’ll know it. In the meantime, you’ll think you’re in love a bunch, and think that you know it. It’s complicated.
  23. Go with your gut, unless you’ve been drinking or something. Then do the opposite of your gut.
  24. Exercise. (Also, refer to #70)
  25. If you don’t know a word, ask its meaning or look it up.
  26. If you think something is fun, neat, cool, funny, or interesting, it is. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
  27. Moby Dick is overrated, but you should try to read it anyway.
  28. Always be a generous host and a modest guest.
  29. Never tell lies if you have a bad memory.
  30. Sometimes it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. Except from your parents. Always get permission from them first.
  31. Throw dried spices out after a year.
  32. Learn how to type.
  33. If you feel you need religion, try out a few. Pick the one that fits best with your sensibilities.
  34. Don’t eat fast food often, but when you do, don’t try to be healthy. Go for it. Run later.
  35. Food, alcohol, cigars, and other vices: pay more for quality, but consume less.
  36. Own (and use) at least one nice pen.
  37. Ask questions often. Demand answers.
  38. Avoid the temptation to pick scabs and scratch bug bites.
  39. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi
  40. Learn about Gandhi.
  41. Basketball was invented in Kansas, at The University of Kansas. It was invented there by a Canadian, but you don’t need to remember that.
  42. You will experience bullies. They are best dealt with through humor, diplomacy, and above all, ignoring them. If those fail, ask for help.
  43. Sometimes you will think one parent is better than the other. Sometimes you will be right. For the most part, though, your parents are the Yin and Yang of your development, and both play equal parts.
  44. Learn what “Yin-Yang” means, and work to understand it.
  45. Learn to suspend your belief when watching movies; you’ll enjoy them more.
  46. Babies come from the stork. When you are old enough to realize this is bullshit, ask your parents. We’ll have a conversation.
  47. It’s cool if you’re gay, straight, transgender, or other.
  48. Try to keep your car speed under 11 over the limit.
  49. You will know people who have more money and better things than you. They are no better or worse than you, but you should always go to a party if they invite you.
  50. End visits with loved ones like you’ll never see them again.
  51. Your old man cannot beat your friends’ old men in a fight. He can, however, beat Superman.
  52. Memorize the Constitution.
  53. Recycle.
  54. Strive to be good at an art.
  55. Learn an instrument, but pick one you want to learn.
  56. Know how to change a tire.
  57. It is always ok to ask for help.
  58. See polar bears while you can.
  59. Never assume you have the job until you have a firm offer.
  60. Batman stops bad guys by being smart first; he uses violence as a last resort. Apply this technique to the bad guys in your life.
  61. Make friends that you would want to have your grandparents meet.
  62. When walking with a sharp knife, carry it in your non-dominant hand, pointed down, at your hip, with the edge facing away from your body.
  63. Before your appearance, your attitude, your words, or your deeds, punctuality is your first impression.
  64. Under-promise and over-deliver.
  65. It’s ok to make up words and use bad grammar, as long as you know that you are.
  66. Love your government, but never trust it. Same goes for cats.
  67. Spies Like Us is a great piece of cinema, no matter what you might hear.
  68. The entire Bible can be summed up thusly: Treat people the way you want them to treat you, even if they don’t.
  69. Forgive yourself. Forgive others quicker.
  70. Profred, proofred, proofread.
  71. Read in public. Bonus points for reading classic books and comics.
  72. Never use two words when one will do.
  73. Always have fresh parsley and lemons in your kitchen.
  74. Teachers watch you, protect you, and educate you for crummy pay and little thanks. They do this because they love you, even though they have no real reason to. Remember that when you get a bad grade.
  75. It’s ok to like Die Hard 2, but you probably won’t. If you don’t, you still have to own it if you intend to own 1 and 3.
  76. It’s NOT ok to like X-Men 3, Spider-Man 3, or Overboard.
  77. Learn basic first aid.
  78. Your mom and I loved you years before you were born. Just think about that when you’re in your room thinking we hate you.
  79. Your old man will buy you almost anything you want at theme parks. You have no idea how much this will cost me financially or in my relationship with your mom.
  80. “Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln
  81. I don’t care what the other kids’ parents allow. We’re not the other kids’ parents.
  82. It’s totally OK to end sentences with prepositions. If your English teachers have a problem with this, tell them to call me. I’m sure that I can win them over. (That sentence ended in a preposition.)
  83. Never put butter on a burn.
  84. The Beatles were the most important thing to happen to modern music.
  85. Condoms.
  86. I will tell you to not do things that I did at your age and I will tell you to do things I didn’t do at your age. Deal with it. It’s a point of parental privilege.
  87. You’re fine as you are. That said, never stop striving to be better.
  88. “Having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” – Spock
  89. Learn the meaning of irony and use it correctly.
  90. Stop eating before you’re full.
  91. If you gamble, set a limit beforehand. If you hit that limit, quit.
  92. Never stay in a relationship with someone who scares you.
  93. Learn to laugh at yourself.
  94. Read about history in books other than your textbooks.
  95. You can always talk to your parents about anything. ANYTHING.
  96. We are unlikely to colonize other planets anytime soon. This means that Earth is your only home. Please treat it with more respect than previous generations.
  97. You are lovely. Period.
  98. Learn how to manage your finances.
  99. Be charitable, but don’t be a sucker.
  100. No possession is worth losing your life over.
  101. Han shot first.

6 thoughts on “Dispensing Knowledge Up In Here

  1. This is such an awesome list!! Everything is so true! It’s difficult as a dad to sometimes forget the hopes and wishes you have for your kids once they’re around so good work on having this!

  2. This is a brilliant post and one that really got me thinking about what I’d like Ted to know. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more.

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