Last week my daughter was off school and, as is customary in our house on a non-school night, she was allowed to stay up later than usual. To fill this extra time we endured enjoyed a game of Puppy-opoly, that went on for several days and watched bonus episodes of the Backyardigans (in all their colorful, musical glory). At the end of the week, as I poured myself a much needed glass of wine, I considered this late bedtime rule and thought, how and why did I come up with that?
Come to think of it how do we come up with any of our kid’s rules, the parenting law that we live by? Quite frankly I sometimes think that overcome with the new power we are given as parents to make decisions about someone else’s life, we go a little crazy and just make random stuff up, because some of it just makes no sense! For example:
Rule 1: If you eat a healthy dinner, you can ruin it with a sweet treat afterwards, the result of which is a hyper kid who will drive me nuts until bedtime!
Rule 2: You must be responsible and tidy your toys before bedtime. This is in direct conflict with my goal to get you into bed as quickly as possible, whilst you try to find excuses to stay up. End result? I will end up helping you and it will take twice as long as if I had just done it myself.
Rule 3: Sunday dinner should be family dinner night at the dining room table. This one involves me on my feet for several hours making some labor intensive traditional English Sunday meal for my husband, youngest and I, and an entirely different meal for my fussy 7 year old. I will then spend the next 15 minutes rapidly shoveling in forkfuls of my dinner whilst trying to keep both kids in their seats to eat theirs. Eventually I will give up, excusing the kids to go play, my husband to go watch football and will sit by myself at the table with a glass of wine. (I have to confess, this is the one family rule I’m most lax about, I think you can see why!)
You know what I say, forget the rules. Let chaos reign! Let the lunatics children run the asylum house! Hey kids, you can decide what to have for dinner, in fact why not just make everyone ice-cream sundays, with sprinkles and chocolate sauce and I’ll have mine in a 2 hour long bath while you……. who cares, I’ll be in a locked bathroom!
P.s. would love to hear any crazy (hindsight is a great thing) rules you have in your house.