Monday, August 19, 2013

House Rules

Bub was driving me batshit the other day. Disrespecting his sister, saying no, getting time-outs, and generally just being an obnoxious little bunghole. It’s not necessarily his fault; we are in a state of transition, i.e. living in my brother and his wife’s apartment with access to only about 5% of his toys. But something had to be done. So in lieu of ripping his arms off, I spontaneously came up with THE RULES. I think it’s some pretty good improv work—feel free to borrow them, if it suits your lifestyle:

Rule #1—LISTEN. Specifically to Mommy and Daddy, but just in general. Listen. The implication being that if you’re fucking up, it’s probably because in some way, shape or form, you need to refer back to this rule.

Rule #2—BE NICE. Specifically, to your sister. But also to Mommy, Daddy, kids at storytime, tiny spiders dangling over your race track and beautiful foliage outside. Except dandelions; those are weeds. This is the second big, blanket rule. Odds are if someone is crying, it’s likely because someone else has broken Rule #2.

Rule #3—SHARE. That’s it, just share.

It’s not exactly the ten commandments, or the Bill of Rights. But it’s a start. Like Miranda, Bub has been read his rights. He understands them. We went through a hands-on, interactive training seminar, followed by a short multiple choice quiz afterwards. In fact, he now knows them better than I do.

“Bub, we do not bonk your sister with the tape measure. What’s Rule #1?”
“Damnit, I meant what’s Rule #2?”
“Umm, be nice.”
“Yes, that’s the one. And what happens when we break the rules?”
“We get a timeout.”
“That’s right.”
“Umm, what’s ‘damnit,’ Daddy?”

Damn you, Rule #1. You work a little TOO well.

I’m sure at some point we’ll have to amend these a bit, add some, like We Don’t Give Urban Goats Laffy Taffy. And so on. But so far, so good, though I sense a sequel already in the making. Spoiler alert! It’s We Don’t Interrupt Daddy Ever (But Especially When He’s Operating Power Tools). It’s currently working its way through legislation, but it’s expected to pass.

1 comment:

  1. J and I have one house rule: Don't Be an Asshole.

    Then, we can easily ask: "are you being an asshole?" And if the answer is yes, we can respond with, "Well, stop it."

    Please note--this may only work with speech delayed 3-year-olds who are not yet able to get you in trouble with authoritative types that frown on the kind of vocabulary found in our home.