Since I’m really only invited places with my child, these things of which I speak pertain mostly to him. I’m sure there are things that you should know about me, embarrassing breaches of etiquette and good taste that I almost certainly — albeit unknowingly — make. However. I am not blogging about those things today. No! Today, I am blogging about the things you should know about my child.

And so, I begin with the one that happens most frequently: At some point during our visit together, my child will crawl over your child on his way to get one of your child’s shiny toys. He will not say, “Excuse me,” or even, “Sorry for sticking my knee in your belly, but I really would like to play with that tambourine over there. I live an otherwise tambourine-free life and I have a strong desire to break out of my doldrums!” No. He will say none of this. He will crawl with purpose (even though he could easily walk). He may even crawl back over your child once he has grabbed up his toy of choice.

Which leads me to the next thing you should know. If my child spends any amount of time lounging in a comfy chair with your child, absent-mindedly playing with your child’s foot, that does not preclude him from later whacking your child on the head with a coaster (or a plastic hammer, or Lego block). It will not be done out of malice. But it will happen. Please be warned.

In addition, my child has been known to spill his crackers and chips. And shove many yummy corn muffins in his mouth with such force that the crumbs spray not only around his mouth and down his shirt, but all over your floor as well.

And my child can be a little indecisive. One minute he’s begging for water, the next minute you’d swear that sippy cup contained evil poison.

Now, if you know all these things, and you invite me over anyway, and once these things happen you counter my every apology with a believable, “Don’t worry about it,” I will be grateful. My child will be grateful. He will have a happy time playing with his friends, running around, getting in to everything. I will have a happy time chatting with my friends. Laughing, eating too much, and generally feeling re-invigorated.