I've learned that shots hurt you more than they hurt them.
I've learned that every sentence spoken by a 4-year-old begins with either "why" or "how."
I've learned that dollar stores are the best place to shop for children's sunglasses and other easily breakable items.
I've learned that thermometers aren't just for mouths.
I've learned that you must be careful what you say in front of children because it can be repeated anytime, anywhere and in front of anyone.
I've learned that the best pain relief for any bump, bruise or scrape is a kiss from Mommy.
I've learned that the ability to drive with one hand while dishing out snacks, juice and pacifiers with the other is a valuable skill.
I've learned that it's just as important to like your children as it is to love them.
I've learned that Children's Tylenol is for children, not for the adult for whom they have caused a headache.
I've learned that a 2-year-old's favorite word is "mine."
I've learned that a few marks on the wall really isn't a big deal.
I've learned that when your child tells you he needs to use the bathroom, you should drop what you are doing because he probably should have told you five minutes ago.
I've learned that sleep is a luxury, not a necessity.
I've learned that Mommy likes flowers from her children even more than she likes them from Daddy.
I've learned that timeouts aren't just for sports.
And the most important lesson I've learned, far greater than any of the others, is this: I've learned that men become fathers by chance, but we become dads by choice, when we find time to enjoy our children, walk with them in the park, push them on a swing or split an ice cream sundae.
There's no better time than today to make that choice.
Joel Huffer is a copy editor at The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2336, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.