One. When someone comes to replace a third of the kitchen floor that your incompetent tile guy put down a few years ago, don’t expect that those 12” porcelain tiles will just pop off the floor with a little bit of leverage from a screwdriver or something. Oh no. Expect that it will take several sharp instruments to peck out the grout, a miniature version of a jack hammer to bust up the porcelain into shards, and many many trips to empty the heavy glass-like chunks and shards into the trash bin. Also? Expect dust. Lots and lots of it. On the plus side, it turns out that competent tile guys clean up after themselves. So even though it takes 7 hours to remove and replace 28 square feet of tile, the floor you scrubbed before the tile guy arrived will be totally clean when he’s done. The counters? They’re not his job to wipe down.
Two. As funny as it is when four-year-olds burst into spontaneous air guitar rockin’ out, it’s even funnier when the music is a slightly up-tempo country song, piped into the bathroom of a family-style restaurant, and the four-year-old is facing the commode with his pants around his knees when the song starts, and it’s your job to keep the stall door closed. You'll be glad to know, as I was, that there is in fact enough room for some serious half-nekkid shake-n-move and complex guitar technique in these quarters.
Three. When you are baking an extra-large cake, so you decide to make a 1.5 recipe of your favorite batter, and the original recipe calls for 1 ¾ cups flour, it’s really worth your while to dig around a little bit more for the 1 cup measure rather than using the orange 2/3 cup one to measure out 1.5 times 1 ¾ cups of flour. That is, if you care at all about accuracy or the chemistry of baking or the taste of the birthday cake you’re making. Unless, of course, you really need a little mental gymnastics in the form of fractions practice.
Four. If you offer a project involving glue, scissors, and construction paper to a preschooler, and you suggest making monster faces, and you pass out the blank typing paper as a base on which to glue facial parts, but you give only vague directions like “and we can cut out eyes and mouths and things from the colored paper to glue on,” you may be delighted to find that the boundaries of 8 ½ x 11 are ignored entirely. And this is why children should not always be given too many instructions.
(In case you're wondering about scale the red paper is a whole sheet of 8 1/2 x 11, and I did nothing to this project except photograph it.)