This is my kid's hair.  Dillon is 12 and he not only left the house with this on his head -- he went to school.  He got home and I asked if anyone had commented on his hair.  He said people made fun of him all day.  I asked why he didn't brush it after he got out of the shower in the morning.  He said it was because he couldn't see it was messy in the back.

It's these things that make you wonder how these small people could have survived so long.  Dillon has made it to 12 with absolutely no concept of basic things . . . like brushing your hair is mandatory -- not optional.

I've learned a lot about raising kids -- but I wish I had known these things in advance:

1. Almost any type of hygiene product is optional -- except for the strongest-smelling Axe spray -- and that must be liberally applied.

2. Cereal and milk never run out at the same time.

3. If you don't have to buy deodorant every other month -- he's not using it.

4. Every pen or pencil in your house needs to be stashed in a lock box.  If you don't you'll have to find it in the kid's bedroom.

5. Same applies to scissors, forks, spoons, bowls, phones, loose change.

6. If you don't explain to your kids that the folded laundry has to be taken to his room, put in a drawer in his dresser and then the dresser drawer has to be shut -- the clothes will end up in a pile in the middle of the floor.

7. While you can't get them to wash their armpits every day -- they will want YOU to wash their jeans after every wear.

8. Charging the kid a quarter every time he starts a sentence with "Wait" . . or uses the word "like" as an adjective will make you rich.

9. If he puts a password protect on his technology -- and doesn't want to give you the code -- assume he's doing something wrong.

10. Even if he learned to chew with his mouth closed when he was 4 . .  he will completely forget how to do this by age 12.

11. Same with elbows on the table.

12. They don't hug you as much.  They don't want to be around you as much.  They don't think you are cool anymore.  So, when they DO offer affection -- take it!