Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Playing by the rules

When I pick Christian up from preschool, he is excited to tell me about his day. He tells me that he read books, played cars, had snacks, played outside and drew pictures. The other day, he added another activity. He proudly announced "Mommy, I hit Nick. Nick cried.". So, how to react? Do I bring down the hammer or do I not make a big deal out of it and hope he doesn't end up living in a shack like the Unabomber? I chose the middle of the road. I explain calmly that we don't hit. Hitting isn't nice. He looks up at me with his enormous blue eyes, holds his hands up and asks "Huh? No hit?". He is genuinely surprised we have thrown this curveball at him and invented this wacky new rule. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. He was so innocent and cute.

Now, when I pick him up, he proudly tells me "Me no hit Nick. Nick no cry". I'm very proud of you, Christian.

In my 7 years as a parent, I've had to invent more than my fair share of wacky rules. Here are some of the better ones:

No one can be naked at the dinner table.
No stealing anyone's food without asking first.
No jumping or sitting on your sister.
Sitting on the coffee table is allowed but standing or jumping isn't (I've learned how to pick my battles)
No kissing or hugging your food.
No kissing your male friends in the basement
No running when wearing mommy's shoes

I can't wait to see what rules I invent when they are teenagers.

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