1) Having college roommates who didn’t pick up after themselves. Clothing left all over the floors. Dirty dishes left in the sink. Toilet occasionally flushed. Looking back, it’s all strangely prophetic. The neat thing is that my kids are way cooler than that roommate back then.
2) Being a summer camp counselor. Leading a group of kids around. Making sure everyone was accounted for at all times, dressed appropriately for the weather, fed on time and got to bed at a reasonable hour. I also had practice trying to stay on schedule. My personal time would be the few waking moments left before I fell asleep on my mattress at bedtime.
3) The week of finals at college each year. Staying up really late and making like what seemed to be important decisions between midnight and 6 a.m. Oh, eating at weird hours, too.
4) Studying a foreign language. By learning how other languages are structured, you have a better chance of getting the context of what was said….except with the added dimensions of with mouthfuls of food or between massive sobs after skinned knees.
5) Raising puppies. Clothing and furniture gets destroyed, toys get left out and restroom boundaries are somewhat tenuous for a while. They also sit their confused while you try to explain things to them. I guess the good news is that they don’t roll their eyes. Anyway, while I have developed a lot of patience with my children, the only dogs I ever really liked are served at baseball games with chopped onions and ketchup.