But for all the stuff I thought I knew, there are 10 times as many aspects of parenthood that have thrown me curveballs throughout the past 6 years. (Holy crap. I have been a parent for 6 YEARS?!)
One thing that I did not know, but I know now: little girls collect little things. All things small and/or pink and/or glittery are coveted by little girls. Tiny seashells, miniature stamps, erasers, little shoes for little dolls, hair bows of various sizes, plastic rings, little tiny stones that fall out of plastic rings but must be saved because they're sooooo pretty, tiny purses and hats for the mommy who lives in the dollhouse (I wish I had that many purses and hats), and stickers... oh so many stickers.
I used to painstakingly file all the tiny things away in specific buckets:
dollhouse items in the red bucket
kitchen food and utensils in the blue bucket
arts and craft supplies in the yellow bucket
jewelry in the pink bucket
But I ran out of buckets. And sanity. Cleaning her room today, I found, on her floor: a nailpolish, 2 necklaces, 5 crayons, a plastic tomato, 4 legos, and a rock. I put them all in one bucket (the green one), turned her light out, and left the room.
Moms: help a girlfriend out. If your friend is having a girl, please, warn her of the tiny things. Tell her the truth. Tell her that at some point, (in my case it was around year 3), she will give up and start throwing all of it into any bucket or bag in the room. (She need not worry -- her daughter will have 17 bags and backpacks and purses for carrying the tiny things). Sorting and organization will eventually serve no purpose. Play food will live alongside Elsa dolls and bracelets will be thrown together with seashells.
Tell them, because that is the gloriously pink and glittered life of living with a 3-year old girl.