1. You have to change diapers. Many more than you anticipated you would. For many reasons your mind could not previously fathom.
2. Kids will want to show you their rashes in all the weird places kids can get rashes. It’s like a point of pride for them.
3. When a kid says “My parents always let me do this!” they. are. lying.
4. Don’t bother making plans after you get off work — either the parents come back a little later than they anticipated, or you’re so spent from playing board games (really) that it’s just time to crash.
5. Nobody wants to jinx themselves into actually using it, but having poison control saved in your phone is going to help you sleep at night. Welcome to your new biggest fear: allergies.
6. Yep — you still remember every last line from those Disney movies.
7. And you’re going to embarrass yourself by singing along and/or grow indignant when kids don’t think that Hercules is the best movie ever.
8. Not to mention all the times you actually get sucked into Olivia or any other show kids these days are watching. (Especially when they make jokes that only adults are going to really appreciate.)
9. You’re going to want to regress and eat like a kid for the rest of your life, because they really do have the best foods.
10. The fit they are throwing because they just lost a board game? Yeah. You did that too when you were their age.
11. Every so often, you will feel compelled to call your parents and apologize profusely for everything they put up with.
12. There is no “cute older brother” or “cute neighbor next door.” The Babysitters Club and The Nanny Diaries were both terrible, horrible, filthy stinkin’ liars.
13. But you’re still going to delude yourself into keeping lookout for the Chris Evans-alike down the hall.
14. You could easily make more money doing this — and this, of course, it means playing with Barbies and storytime before bed — than you would by actually using your college degree.
15. Kids spill. A lot.
16. And when they’re really tired, they become even more wound up. Which makes bedtime almost impossible.
17. Following Lego instructions is actually a lot harder than you remember.
18. So is making mac’n’cheese.
19. There is a 90% chance that if their parents pass them off to you completely scratch-free, the child is going to do something that leaves a massive bruise while under your care. It’s just a scientifically proven probability.
20. No, this in no way actually prepares you for what you’re going to go through with your own kids one day.
21. Sometimes you have to think up rewards for the sole purpose of taking them away if the kids act up.
22. But you’re also going to see things at the store they might like as a little present, or think up fun activities for you and the kids to do together — and become really excited for the next time you see the kids for this reason.
23. And, sure, you probably got into this for the cash at first, but those mini-people will worm their way into your heart, and for a select awesome few, you’d totally do this gig for free.