1. How hard it was giving birth.
Be sure to make a big deal about how long you were in labor, and how incredibly painful it was.
2. All of the diapers you changed.
Ugh. You changed so many diapers, including a blowout or two on the side of the road without any wipes.
3. How you had to trade in your badass sports car for a family car.
Every time you pass a sports car in the future, you should remind your kids of your sacrifice.
4. How much sleep they cost you.
Whenever your kid says they’re tired, you can respond, “I guarantee you you’re nowhere near as tired as I was when you were a baby!”
5. The times they broke something of yours.
Computers, iPads, cell phones, guitars, vases, TVs, sculptures… If they broke it, they’re going to need to be reminded of it.
6. When you took them to Disneyland.
Be sure to mention the hours spent in line waiting to meet Mickey and the $11 balloons you bought them.
7. How you sat through a performance of Sesame Street Live.
People who went to war often spend the rest of their lives talking out the trauma. I’m not saying this is exactly like that, but…
8. Every single one of the presents you gave them.
When your kids are older, they’ll undoubtedly know Santa didn’t really bring them all those presents, but you should spell it out for them anyway. This goes double for that doll from Frozen. That thing was impossible to find.
9. All the driving you did.
You drove them to school, practices, games, recitals, parties — literally thousands of hours in the car. If they think you’re going to let that go unmentioned, they’re sorely mistaken.
10. Every single trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s.
You ate rubbery pizza in a noisy room with a giant rodent lurking about. You can bet your kids are going to hear about it!
11. How your relationship changed because of them.
In 30 years, after you’ve had a little too much to drink at Thanksgiving, you can be forgiven if you say, “We used to make love in the living room when we were first married, but that stopped after you kids came.”
12. The times they peed their pants in public.
Were you not their savior by cleaning them up, getting them fresh clothes, and saving them from further embarrassment? You deserve props for that ad infinitum.
13. The embarrassing things they said in public.
They embarrass you once, you embarrass them for the rest of your life. Sounds fair.
14. Events you passed up because of them.
You can say: “I would’ve gone to see the Outkast reunion at Coachella if it weren’t for your Little League game.” I mean, you probably wouldn’t have gone even if there weren’t a game, but you might have and that’s what counts!
15. The baths they took with their siblings.
You can bet you’ll remind your kids of this when they’re not getting along.
16. Their embarrassing crushes.
Your kids made you listen to the Biebs constantly, and what did you get in return? Nothing. Nothing, that is, until they’re old enough for a little good-natured ribbing.
17. The adorable things they used to say about you.
When your kids act like you’re a pain in the ass, you can remind them they used to say, “You’re the bestest mommy/daddy in the whole wide world!”
18. The bedtime stories you read them.
The same stories night after night. You may not deserve a medal, but the right to tell all of their friends when they’re home from college? You betcha.
19. Any bad influence you steered them away from.
Out of nowhere, you’ll say stuff like, “Remember Tommy Stevens? I told you he was up to no good, and thank goodness you listened! He’s now serving 20 to life!”
20. All of their teenage drama.
Like you’re not going to remind your kid about the time they screamed, “I hate you!” and slammed the door so hard the hinges came off. As if.
21. How much they made you worry.
Your kid put you through hell when they didn’t call or text for hours. Now it’s your turn by bringing this up over and over.
22. Every ridiculous tantrum they threw in public.
Little-known fact: The reason people stop having tantrums is because their parents keep bringing up the ones they had as kids.
23. All the tea parties.
In a couple decades you should ask your kid out of the blue if they want to have an imaginary tea party for 45 minutes. When they say, “Why?” you can respond, “Funny. I never asked you that back in the day.”
24. The sulking they did on trips that, in hindsight, were undeniably awesome.
They pretty much ruined your trip to London by spending it in a huff the whole time, so it’s fair to make fun of them whenever “London” is mentioned for the remainder of your life.
Will you really need to remind your kids of all this stuff? Nah. But there is one thing you’ll want to make sure they know:
25. How much you love them.
They’ll already know, but you can never say it enough.