Once upon a time, I had a list of House Rules. The first one was “Don’t take fruit you don’t know how to eat to school.”, after 10 year old Sean came home splattered in pomegranate juice.
Today, as I stated that the new house rule was “No hiding stuff unless you can remember the hiding spot”, I’ve realized my house rules have evolved.
In the beginning, I had basic stuff like “Don’t wake the baby” and “Never ever wake the sleeping baby!”. You know, normal rules.
Things quickly escalated. I went from “Don’t wake the baby” to “Don’t lick the cat.” and “Don’t play with your boats in the toilet!”. I also banished crayons from crossing our threshold after some little Picasso colored every freaking wall in the house with his artwork. Before the invention of Magic Erasers. This is the same kid who caused me to memorize Poison Control’s number the week he ate both diaper cream and Chapstick, and sprayed Fabreeze in his mouth (which lead to a delightful conversation with the Poison Control guy who asked if I was sure he drank Fabreeze, and I said “Well, he’s got really fresh breath.” The guy had to apologize for laughing.)
And if you think I needed to be more careful with household items, please note that I had given birth to a little Spiderman. My “safe” place wasn’t that safe.
About this time, we instituted the “When in doubt, put the item on top of the fridge” rule for adults, and then the “You may NEVER EVER touch anything on top of the fridge.” rule for the little people. This lasted until the day I found Maura, with the stepstool pushed up against the fridge, playing the maracas with the vitamin bottles.
Ah, good times.
Eventually, my children stopped trying to injure themselves on a daily basis, but this did not mean I got to rest. No, stuff like “You may not hack into Mom’s computer again, no matter how proud Dad is that you did that”, “Please remember to flush the toilet EVERY time”,and “Hide all the scissors at all times” kept me on my toes (and with the latter, thankful that Maura had such thick hair which hid the chunk she cut out one day.)
Now though, now the rules have morphed again. Instead of “Don’t wake the baby”, it’s now “Don’t wake the napping parent unless specifically asked”, and “Leave enough milk for Mom’s coffee.” There’s also the “Please stop hiding Maura’s crackPad unless you can remember where you hid it”, and the “If you ever get Maura hooked on any of the talking puppies “Buddies” movies, I’ll make you watch them with her.” rule that teens are afraid to break.
Of course, I still have to tell a certain boy to wear a jacket and just told a certain girl not to put the pencil up her nose, so really, some things never change.