Because A Fork In The Eye Could Be A Bad Thing  

Posted by Heidi in

When my kids were young, we felt the need for only a few simple rules. “No killing each other” (they hadn’t much opportunity to kill others) and “always wash your hands after you eat” (clearly I was more concerned about the cleanliness of my walls than the cleanliness of their palates) were the only rules we felt were terribly important.

“What is their bedtime?” the babysitter would inquire on those rare occasions when we could trick, er, convince one to stay with the Big Guy and sibs. Her look of utter confusion was always just so darn stinkin’ priceless when our response was to burst into gales of laughter. Sometimes we would take pity on the poor girl and explain but then we would have to explain why they didn’t have to brush their teeth before bed, why they could watch whatever they wanted on TV and why they were welcome to anything in the fridge and cupboards. As long as they washed their hands after they ate. (Oh, and that pesky rule about murder.) That was it.

The reason for this was one thing and one thing only: the Big Guy. We felt that having him go into a tirade and skewer the babysitter’s eyeballs with a fork would be a Bad Thing. I can’t help but think the babysitter would agree had we asked. For obvious reasons, we never did. (We didn’t get out much.)


The years have passed, the Big Guy is mostly a cuddly (large, hairy) teddy bear and the need for rules, very specific ones, have increased. And they had best cover everything, contain no loopholes and be looked over by the family attorney if we know what’s good for us. This is because, though the Big Guy is without guile, the other two are not. To my surprise, I have had to come up with rules along the lines of,

No cookies before breakfast

No ice cream five minutes after bedtime

Oh, and by the way, you have a bedtime

You absolutely may not, under any circumstances, wipe your boogers on the wall (or the window or the upholstery in the car)

Picking up trash off of the playground is okay. Taking it out of the garbage receptacles in order to win “who has the biggest pile of trash” game is not acceptable. (The principal is so with me on this one.)

And for the love of Mike, no using the dog as a dartboard!

Oh, and last but not least, Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind is required reading.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 2, 2009 at Monday, February 02, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

45 wise, witty and wonderful comments

No ice cream 5 minutes after bedtime! What kind of cruel parents are you?!?! ;)

February 2, 2009 at 8:06 AM

What about two minutes after bedtime?

And can I have cookies before lunch?

February 2, 2009 at 8:09 AM

Those dang rules. I hate that kids don't just already know everything and do what I want!! "Mom, how come YOU can have cookies for breakfast but not ME?!!"

February 2, 2009 at 8:11 AM

Last night after I read this to the Spouse, the Little Guy asked for ice cream. You guessed it-five minutes to the second after bedtime (should have been). I gave it to him and both the Spouse and the Middle Child (to whom I also--mistakenly--read the post) ribbed me mercilessly. That Middle Child has sharp elbows!

February 2, 2009 at 8:13 AM

You're much kinder than I am.

Our rules are no ice cream EVER. Of course, they are all lactose intolerant...

February 2, 2009 at 8:27 AM

I'm sure the babysitters are mighty grateful that you valued their eyeballs!

February 2, 2009 at 8:36 AM

My kids would be in heaven at your house. I was just talking to hubby last night about how I really must lighten up. Cookies before bed sounds like a good start.

February 2, 2009 at 8:44 AM

my first rule was not to kill each other! they made it to adulthood alive..

i love the no ice cream 5 minutes after bedtime..
i should put that one in to effect for grumpy.

February 2, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Well, gosh, you tyrants!! :)

I'm sure the dog very much appreciates that it's a no-no to throw darts at him (her?).

February 2, 2009 at 9:12 AM

"rules" are more like "suggestions" around here as well... much to my utter dismay!

Cookies for breakfast though... that ALWAYS sounds good to me, I say if we HAVE cookies, PLEASE eat them... whatever time of day!

February 2, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Dog as a dartboard...that was great! Poor puppy!

February 2, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Actually that's my number one parenting rule as well. Don't let them die or kill anyone.

Were you the one who used the black light and good bacteria that ate the bad bacteria? I've been looking for that post.

BTW, somehow this post reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes' babysitter. She was talented.

February 2, 2009 at 9:25 AM

One of my kids, probably the boys loved to wipe boogers on the walls! So embarrassing. We had a rule for them, no peeing in bottles....

February 2, 2009 at 9:28 AM

My kids think ice cream should be available any time of the day-- completely on demand. I beg to differ with that craziness. So they always ask their dad.

February 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Okay, I'm coming late to the "what a cruel tyrant you are" party, but NO COOKIES BEFORE BREAKFAST??!!

What about a good breakfast consisting solely of very fine cookies?

What kind of despotic autocracy are you running over there?

February 2, 2009 at 9:52 AM

When we were kids, my brother could have used the dart rules, only toward our CATS.

February 2, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Our rule was no hitting siblings with the unused seat belt or mom would hit you with it. True story. We are not much of cookie or ice cream eaters....shocking I know!

Can they throw rocks at the ducks? Just clarifying.

February 2, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Good rules.

We never had a specific bedtime, and my mom was so NOT okay with dirty fingers on her walls and sofas. :)

February 2, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Those are great rules (I am thinking a little sympathy here needs to go to the Dog) OH, and maybe you need to lock up those forks. (put them in your gun cabinet since your not allowed to kill people, it probably doesn't get opened much)

February 2, 2009 at 10:13 AM

And you know, when you are on survival mode rules sometimes seem so frivolous! One of our rules is the youngest gets whatever he wants. Hey, they each have had their turn with that being a good thing, eventhough they don't always remember!

February 2, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Rule # 1 is don't wake a sleeping baby.
Rule #100 is don't run into people with the car (a rule for parents)

We don't have all the other ones filled in, but it is close!

February 2, 2009 at 10:17 AM

You guys are all so darn funny--Lara--you made me laugh out loud! Jami--sorry, I was not the genius bloggist behind the black light and bacteria, Wendy--gun cabinet? Yikes! The Big Guy would have had that opened in a trice. There was a time when we had to actually lock up the steak knives for a while. Forks, however, are just too useful to lock up. Reed--I know! I'm awful! It's just that too much sugar too early in the morning makes me woozy and I assume it would be the same for them. So, nothing like that until 10 AM which is just about the time of day I'm having a major sugar craving. See? Makes perfect sense. Annette--if we had a cat, my husband would be first in line with the darts. April--no ducks, thank goodness! They are so darn stinkin' noisy! We used to have some that would fly by our house when we lived in CO--but only when I was sleeping, never when I was awake. If only I had some darts then! Kazzy--I am so going to use that on the MC. She is feeling pretty annoyed by the pampering of the youngest. I think I will probably have to be more careful with him. sigh . . .but he loves me! And he shows it! He cuddles and hugs and kisses and lets me suck on his toes (okay, seriously, I'm kidding about that b/c he's 7 and runs around on the playground and P.U.!) and if I were to deny ice cream it might put an end to the love. boo hoo!

February 2, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Now I want ice cream and cookies. Scratch that, I want ice cream WITH cookies! And chocolate fudge syrup. And whipped cream. With a banana.

Good thing I don't have any of those things in the house!

Our rules consist of mostly "No throwing things at your brother/sister. No hitting. No biting. No mean teasing. No punching." I'm seeing a trend here.

February 2, 2009 at 10:51 AM

the boogers on the wall and couches- I couldn't help but smile... a mom who knows my life. a kindred mom..

and just even having to say it..makes my stomach turn--

February 2, 2009 at 11:03 AM

My kids regularly say, "Do we have ice cream? Then put it on the list. They are always asking for treats to be "put on the list." I've got to be a little meaner! I will be instituting some of these rules ASAP.

February 2, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Now, here is the question- love the rules, how do you enforce them? That is my life's problem. Time out is an absolute joke, obviously I yell too much because my kids now mimic me, and I don't have the hand for spanking (maybe I should invest in a paddle, what do you think?).

February 2, 2009 at 1:08 PM

You are my kind of mom! Really and truly. No wonder I love ya!

February 2, 2009 at 3:38 PM

YOU are so darn funny. You call your readers funny, but you my friend? Hilarity. Oh, big guy. Garbage is cool. And so are boogers. Right? RIGHT????

February 2, 2009 at 6:22 PM

You obviously have your hands full with 'The Big Guy', but we have few rules with baby sitters too (although we rarely have one anymore since our oldest is 14). We just want them to all get along and not scare the baby sitter away. And we're night owls! So they we aren't firm on bedtimes either - except for school nights. But they find the most creative ways to milk a few more minutes out of bed EVERY night :)

February 2, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Rebecca, I have to remember not to talk about food on my blog--just for you! Sorry! Swirl--on the couch? REALLY? If my kids do that, I don't know about it. I have a booger colored couch (no, it's cream). Erin, we have to give the Big Guy his meds in Dreyer's brand chocolate ice cream (he will accept no imiation) b/c he can't swallow pills so we ALWAYS have ice cream in our house. I eat some every single day. Youngblood--all I can say is that some kids are better at it than others. Oh, and drugs help. Alyson, love you too! Heather--how about I send you a photo of the wall above Big Guy's bed and then you tell ME if boogers are cool (aaiiieee!!!) Rachel, isn't it the truth? Give them an inch, they take a mile! Oh, and drugs help.

February 2, 2009 at 6:43 PM

O.k. so we can't WIPE boogers, but can we FLICK them?

Hopefully your kids don't rebel too much with the crack down.
We have a children's book that says it's o.k. to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub, so why not eat cookies and ice cream at bed time? :)

love you

February 2, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Because it keeps their peepers from falling shut at a reasonable hour. Sugar is a stimulant. And I'm against stimulants at bedtime.

February 2, 2009 at 7:40 PM

So says the woman who just fed her family dark chocolate brownies encrusted with chocolate chips half an hour before bedtime.

February 2, 2009 at 7:40 PM

You talk about boogers on the wall on your blog? You are funny and refreshing :-) I have an easy going household with very few strict/weird rules: no food in bedrooms, no toilet words and sounds outside the toilet, we don't say the f-words (the real f-word or the other one that rhymes with cart), look for missing things with your eyes and not your mouth, and Daddy gets the best family room chair during family video night. So far no mutiny yet :-)

February 2, 2009 at 10:54 PM

Okay, so I have been out of town and not reading much the past few days so I missed the fun when this first came out but . . . still wanting to add my comment to the others . . . I think cookies for breakfast is totally okay as long as they have oatmeal in them. Second--your life is in total reverse to mine. We started with a million rules and now that we are down to the last two children we have basically one rule--just let me know when you are home.

February 3, 2009 at 6:14 AM

My brother was obsessed with wiping his boogers on me when we were kids. I hated it!
So i am so with you on the booger rule!

February 3, 2009 at 10:04 AM

I am so glad that I happened upon this post. These really are parenting rules to live by. I have to admit that I had forgotten to implement the "no killing" rule. Thanks! I'll get on that with my 1 and 3 year old. Juvenile violence is on the rise and you can never be too cautious as a Bay Area parent.


February 3, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Hi Miss Heidi, LOOK HOW LATE I AM! My goodness. SIGH!

About the post, HA HAHAHAHAHA You kill me. Love the rules, except the one about eating a cookie before breakfast, since I just sent my twins out the door to school with a cookie in their mouths. OOPS!

May I say that your side bar is looking loverly. Simply loverly. I am really impressed. And 80 followers! YOU GO GIRL!

February 3, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Delightful! I love it when you post about The Big Guy.

You know I should probably keep those rules myself. No cookies before breakfast! No ice cream 5 minutes after bedtime. Oh, yes, and you do have a bedtime.

I need this. I really do.

February 3, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Oh, but wiping boogers and the walls and such...not a temptation for me.

Just sayin'

February 3, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Oh, yeah, and I'm not big on removing trash from the receptacle either.

February 3, 2009 at 4:51 PM

How about cookies for breakfast? That's ok right?

February 3, 2009 at 11:48 PM

I just found your blog and have been enjoying the read! We have a new rule in our house; "please don't eat the boogers!"

February 4, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Are there other things they can use for a dartboard? I just heard that kids need options so they feel like they are making choices. J/K (we don't even allow darts at all)

February 5, 2009 at 2:23 AM

I have to make rules for my husband. Like "Don't feed the girls root beer and oreos for breakfast."

February 5, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Post a Comment