We need to talk. See, it recently dawned on me that at all times our house is like a Wal-Mart on Black Friday. It’s pure chaos. So, what follows is a list of what functional families call “rules.” You probably don’t know what a “rule” is, but hey, until a few days ago I had no idea what “twerking” was. So we’re all gonna learn something new this week.
Rules will take all those fun things you love doing (like standing on the dishwasher, running to the neighbors, running with scissors…), and prevent you from doing them any longer. At least that’s the idea. They’re standing orders. They’re the worst. So please, sit down and take a few deep breaths as you soak these in. Ready? Here we go…
1. No death-jumps onto the dog
Don’t get me wrong, “Lilo” really appreciates you using her rapidly-aging back as an art canvas, step stool and lunch tray. However, your aggressive, Hulk Hogan-esque flying thrust kick from the couch is shockingly not all that comfortable for her. So for now, let’s just stick to headlocks and bear hugs. Or perhaps even just regular old hugs…
2. No sneaking outside when you randomly feel like it
Look, I get it. Escaping this house makes you feel like Tim Robbins in the climax of an uplifting prison drama. But rules are rules. You are banned from walking out of this complex we call “home” without adult supervision and underwear. Or at least underwear…
3. Absolutely no street
The street is like the “shadowy place” in the Lion King – you must never go there! This means you can’t sprint out onto the street with arms flailing about like a reckless maniac. It also means you can’t kneel down at the curb, put one finger on the asphalt, and then look up at me to see if that counts. Trust me, that counts.
4. No helping yourself to the hose
I’m no expert on firefighting, but I did watch the end of Ladder 49 and would prefer you choose a different profession. So, this whole “turn-up-the-hose-and-go-crazy-in-the-yard” routine can end. And thank you, but there’s nothing in the foyer that needs to be watered. No seriously, turn it off.
5. No helping yourself out of your bed
And just so we’re clear: “your bed” does not mean your sibling’s bed, my bed, the dog’s bed or the bathtub. Now lie down, fork over the puzzle and go to sleep! Wait, where did you get crackers?!?!
6. No helping yourself out of timeout
Freeze sucker! Anything you say or do for the next two minutes can and will be used against you. You do not have the right to be represented by your sister. You actually have no rights whatsoever. Is this funny to you? Why are you laughing?
7. No Chuck E Cheese coins in the air conditioning vents
For those who aren’t familiar with the inner-workings of our family, this rule may seem as bizarre and out of place as Shaquille O’Neal in the driver’s seat of the latest Buick sedan. But unlike said car company, I have no choice in the matter. So it stays.
8. No assaulting your baby brother
Or at very least no assaulting him while he’s sleeping. Examples of assault include… oh, you know… hitting one’s stomach, vacuuming one’s ears, or furiously stuffing one’s face with pop tarts. Stuff like that…
9. No highly-destructive fridge raiding
So let me get this straight: your story is that while I was in the other room someone broke into the house, dumped a dozen eggs onto the kitchen floor, and then immediately ran out the front door without taking anything? You’re sure about that?
10. No un-chaperoned face-painting parties
Don’t worry; you will have plenty of opportunities to do things like this in college…
11. No picking each other’s nose
You can pick your own nose as long as we’re not (1) out to dinner or (2) taking family pictures. However, picking someone else’s nose is weird, gross, and somehow begs for a trip to the emergency room. Yea, good luck explaining that one to the doctor…
12. No dumping your drinks
Why yes, I went through all that effort to get you a cup of juice just so you could promptly dump it all over the carpet. Say, you know what would make this floor smell really awesome? Bingo! Your milk!
13. No grabbing dog poo with your bare hands
Seriously? You don’t smell that?
14. No unauthorized electronics
Unless told otherwise, all adult electronics are not to be touched. This specifically includes laptops, hair dryers and shredders. And don’t bother touching them with one finger and then looking up at me to see if that counts. Because trust me, that counts.
15. No unauthorized peeing
Forgive me for not explaining this earlier: the fridge is not a potty (PS: you are so weird). Other things that aren’t toilets: the floor, the couch, the dinner table, mom and dad’s bed, the car, and the dog. And if you’re gonna go in our bed, then at least do it on mom’s side…
16. No drinking mom’s Diet Coke
Remember the sound that a protective momma bear makes when someone threatens her cubs? Well, your mom can make that sound too…
17. No endless crying sessions for no reason
It’s 10:00pm. So as shockingly tyrannical as this is going to sound, the answer is “no.” I’m not changing you into your bathing suit.
Phew, all done. And I know what you’re probably thinking: I’m the worst. I’m evil. I sit on a throne of lies. It’s all true. And unfortunately there will be no “good cop, bad cop” routine here because you’re mom’s crooked too.
However, rules are meant to be broken, and sadly there’s no chance you two conspirators will be following them anyway. So, your mom and I may be willing to look the other way during one of your infamous hose fights if you’d kindly never go into the street, because that really scares us. Deal?
PS: Oh, and don’t bother standing at the edge of the curb hovering your right foot over the street to see if that counts. Just trust me, that counts…