All this talk of toddlers has reminded me of a conversation I had with my husband a few weeks ago. My 2 older kids (4 and 2 years old) decided that they should climb into a dresser drawer. They are lucky to be alive after toppling the dresser over on both of them. They escaped with scratches and one with a slightly black eye. When questioned on the activity I was told "we wanted to sit in the drawer" I had been out of the room for less than 30 seconds, literally, when this happened. I declared a new rule "No climbing ANY furniture" which replaces the "No climbing on the couch" rule because obviously the reasoning isn't there that climbing the dresser could be as dangerous as climbing on the couch or similarly banned. We have learned our lesson and are now extremely literal when telling the kids things. Anyway, it got us talking about rules that only a parent would think up and that only other parents could understand. We have a few-1. Ears and noses are for air only, nothing solid should go into your nose or ears, this includes marbles and pancakes.2. When I say 'go to the bathroom' I mean "Pee IN the toilet" not just go potty anywhere in the bathroom.3. You may touch only your own penis. Other people penises are not for touching and certainly not for trying to swing like tarzan. (makes me glad I'm the one in the house without one!)4. Yes, putting your pillow over the babys head will eventually make him stop crying. It will also make him stop breathing so instead, try putting the pillow over your ears if it's bothering you.5. It is forbidden to make siren noises when mommy is driving. It is not funny to see her looking all around for the emergency vehicle. Squeeking and ticking and grinding noises are similarly frowned upon. 6. We are proud that you are potty trained but people in the restaurant probably do not want to see your big boy underpants.7. Boogers are not for sharing.8. All monsters must check in before scaring children in the house. Also, monsters must be out of the house by 9pm. Monsters are afraid of stuffed animals and are poisoned by air freshener.9. It is ok to throw french fries to the sparrows on the playground but it is impolite to throw french fries at the child at the next table, even if he does not have any of his own and appears hungry.10. If your brother waves his hand in the air and announces "Magic! You're disappeared!" (or in outer space/a baby/a monkey/a giant/etc) this does not mean it's true. You do not need to cry and beg to be restored. If you cannot remember this rule, simply placing your hands over your eyes and saying your name 3 times will negate any sibling magic. When you remove your hands, you will be restored to your normal self.11. Speak. Grandma cannot see you through the telephone.12. While mommy does use pennies to get food to eat, eating pennies does not save her any time and is generally a poor investment with really poopy returns.Do you have any of these gems in your parenting arsenal?Goodjoan
All I got to say is it will not get easier. But it will get funnier.
Goodjoan,LOL!My son is only 17 months old. The only rule we have right now is, "Don't bite mommy's nose when she kisses you goodnight!" (What I really want to know is why he thought to bite my nose in the first place.)Thanks for letting me in on what comes next!Susan
I remember hearing a story of the boy who put beans in his ears (after being told not to put them in his nose).And there was Epanimondas (who didn't have the sense he was born with).As I think back, I wonder what crazy stunt we had pulled that provoked these stories with lessons in them. You can see that my folks were strong believers that their bright, lively children could figure out lots of ways around the rules, so they went for the big picture rather than the letter of the law.
Goodjoan,As the mom of 4 & 2 year old girls, with a boy coming in January, I got such a great laugh out of this! When I say 'go to the bathroom' I mean "Pee IN the toilet" not just go potty anywhere in the bathroom.At least yours go into the bathroom... mine sometimes squat on the carpet, and my 4-year-old is notorious for going in her sister's closet, even #2!All monsters must check in before scaring children in the house. Also, monsters must be out of the house by 9pm. Monsters are afraid of stuffed animals and are poisoned by air freshener.Mine haven't come up with monsters yet, but when they do, I'll have air freshener in my arsenal! Great!Speak. Grandma cannot see you through the telephone.Especially when Grandma is a long-distance call!Oh, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this one! Thank you for sharing!
In our family, we call them "new rules." These are rules that are so obvious that anybody older than five should be able to figure them out, yet somehow my kids (who are 11, 13, 16, and 18) have not. I'm having trouble remembering them now -- I knew I should have written them down! But here are some:1. Do not put food where the rottweiler can reach it. This also means don't wave your sandwich near her nose. She knows she may not eat our food, but she is a dog and will eat first and be sorry later.2. Do not wear dirty clothing to school. Especially do not wear dirty clothing to church. Yes, you do need to wash your hands before school and church, especially before Communion.3. Do not run in the house. Ever. This means you.4. If you run in the yard, the dogs will chase you. Consider whether you want them to do that before you run, not after they knock you down because they want so much to play with you.Oh, heck, I'm forgetting all the really good ones. Those of you who have very young kids -- write down these rules now, before you forget, too!Melissa
Anyway, it got us talking about rules that only a parent would think up and that only other parents could understand. We have a fewI don't even have kids. But this was fantastic! I'm going to hold onto it until I get some of my own -- rules as well as children. Good luck with yours!...steering you into theicebrrrg
As the mother of a 22 year old, a 17 year year old, a 12 year old, mother-in-law of a 21 year old and grandmother of a 2 year old.. let me add a few to the list of rules: 1. Mom/Mother is not another label for Maid/Slave. 2. Chores are not an out-dated facist trick to stifle personal creativity and yes, they HAVE to be done. 3. No, my letting you drive my car is not cost effective and not worth the savings on bus tickets. 4. The baby does not have a gene for potty-training herself. 5. My lending you money on the "I'll pay you back when I get a job" plan.. is not a good investment. 6. Yes, you DO have to go to school, I really doubt that you know more than your teacher. You can stop going to school after college. 7. Blue hair may be a fashion statement, but you still need to clean the blue junk out of the sink in the bathroom. 8. You ARE going to wait until you are 18 to sign away your skin for a tattoo. 9. You want WHAT pierced??? See the wait until you are 18 rule. And no, I don't want to see it until it heals.Pamby
Oh this is great!Here are a few more from our house, I have two girls, 7 and 4.1. Leave the cats, especially the kitten alone. They are not the same as your dolls and they will scratch.2. Do not tease the dog with her bones. When she starts growling a very deep growl, back away slowly and leave her alone.3. Little sisters are not punching bags. No matter how irritating she might be, that does not give you the right to beat on her.4. 7 am on a Saturday morning is not considered a decent hour to be awake, let alone screaming your head off about the lack of things to do. The day is young, chill out and relax.5. Walls and Tables are for hanging things on and eating off, not your personal art palet. You have art pads and tons of paper, USE THEM!6. You will not starve to death if you don't eat 24 hours a day. I promise.7. The beds are not for jumping on. Especially when said parents are still in theirs.8. We are your parents, not trees or jungle gyms. We are not here to be you personal training equipment for you to tackle, jump on, hang off of and in general treat like a set of monkey bars.9. We waited until later in life to have you, therefore we are older than most parents, we break and bruise easily, please refer to rule #8.10. WE love you. Remember that always. No matter what, we do LOVE you. Just because you don't get everything you want when you want it, does not mean we don't love you, it just means we don't feel you need it and you can live with out it.Deannda::I got a million of them::
As a Pediatrician, I know very well how literal you have to be with kids. Unfortunately, you also have to be very literal with some parents, too. For example:1. Do not ask a 4 year old if he wants a shot. His answer is "NO!".2. Discipline should start early. I don't care if you don't want to stifle his creativity, don't wait till he's a teenager to start, or the police will be stifling his creativity - or maybe even his life.3. Even the best children will misbehave. Not every kid needs Ritalin.4. Not every kid on Ritalin needs Ritalin.5. A newborn who cries in the middle of the night may just be hungry, wet, or both. He does not need to go to the Emergency Room until he has been fed and changed.6. Adequate supervision of a 2 year old does not mean locking yourself in the bedroom with you boyfriend du jour.7. Having another baby is not a good investment - even if you are on welfare.8. A child, unlike a doll, is a full time responsibility - not one only when you want to play with him.It is a real shame that parents don't know these rules.FF
<>Foolishly Free,I confess your blanket generalizations raised my hackles. While you make some valid points and I am sure you see your share of poor parenting, don't label us all as such. You must either not have children or not be at home much with them to make such a statement as the last. I find myself surrounded for the most part by really good parents, some of whom even homeschool their kids to give them what they perceive to be the best start possible.Parenting is damn hard. I was a research scientist before quitting to raise my two boys, now 2 and 4 years old. Frankly being an at home mom is by far the hardest job I have ever had. Also the most rewarding and best paid, although not in $$ for those whom I have now confused. We all bring our baggage from our own upbringing, and do our best not to repeat the mistakes we perceive our parents to have made. Some people have more baggage that others and need more help unloading it. Don't just criticize, extend a hand.I am convinced my parents did the best they could with the experiences they lived through. I can see myself learning from their mistakes, as well as making new ones of my own, and hopefully passing on a better parenting tradition for my children to improve upon. Respectfully submitted,Julie
I agree with everything you've said about Stupid Rules. I'll just add these two gems: poo poo is not the same as Playdough. Don't reach in your diaper and play with it.Our 2 year old is being raised bilingual.... either say the "moon" or say la luna, but not la Moona! He just hasn't got this one figured out yet.Children are the greatest gift of all in an adult's life. Love all children.
<<8. A child, unlike a doll, is a full time responsibility - not one only when you want to play with him.It is a real shame that parents don't know these rules.FF>> The one I use is: "A baby is not a puppy, and you can't give it away" Pamby
Julie said: Foolishly Free,I confess your blanket generalizations raised my hackles. While you make some valid points and I am sure you see your share of poor parenting, don't label us all as such. You must either not have children or not be at home much with them to make such a statement as the last. *** Uh, Julie? It was a bb post. Don't take it so personally. Posts aren't meant to be taken that way. Most things in life aren't meant to be taken that way. Also, complaining about someone using generalization by using insult is uncalled for. FF probably knows more about what he is talking about than you give him/her credit for.. even if you were a research scientist. I can back up FF 100% in what he said, mainly because I have seen the type of parenting he alludes to. Not every child is fortunate to have a parent like you. Sincerely, Pamby
I confess your blanket generalizations raised my hackles....I'm sorry that you misinterpreted what I meant. They were not meant as blanket generalizations, but rather as some common threads that I have seen with many parents - not most, but many. In the same way that some of the "stupid" rules for children are not needed for all children, the rules for parents similarly are not needed for all parents. I just find it funny that these same things are done repeatedly by many different parents. And people whom I have mentioned them to also seem to find it humorous. It seems the need for "stupid," or as I prefer to think of them, obvious, rules does not end upon giving birth. My intent was to enlighten in a humorous way - not to offend or cast blanket generalizations.Again - sorry for any offense. None was intended.FF
I'm not even a parent yet, but found this posting hysterical!!! Will keep all in mind for future use!FocusGirl
Goodjoan- I loved it. We have two boys, one and a half and three and a half yrs old. One of our favorite responses to our oldest is, "No you can't throw your younger brother in the trash and we can't make him leave." Thanks for the insights-- dan shiels
From recent times:1) Climbing up on the fence is not a good idea when you just got your arm in a cast yesterday.2) Do not hop around when your pants are around your ankles. Really, it is easier to get somewhere if you take them off completely.
This is courtesy of my nephew, who did these things...1) Toilets are NOT drinking fountains.2)Toilet paper is not a snack.It was just easier to keep the bathroom door closed all of the time after those two events...Kristi
While "stupid" rules may sound funny and may be necessary to help clarify what is to be done (or not done), you may find it more helpful to turn the rule around to give more "coverage".For example, instead of making rules for what my son should not put in the potty ("No putting cookies in the potty"; "No putting trucks in the potty", "No putting toys in the potty"), we made a rule that says what he CAN put in the potty (Only 3 things go in the potty: pee pee, poopies, and tissue).In general, we have found we get the best compliance from our 2.5 year old by asking him what the rule is("What goes in the potty?"), getting him to say the rule ("pee pee, poopies, tissue"), and then asking him if it's OK to break the rule ("is it OK to put Simba (toy lion) in the potty?"). He will answer "No".We then ask him the consequences of breaking the rule ("what happens if you put Simba in the potty?"). He answers with the sanction we have established ("Simba goes into timeout."). Of course, the sanction will vary from issue to issue, but the important thing is to make sure he knows what it is. We then tell him that we are enforcing the sanction ("That's right, we'll wash Simba, and then he goes into timeout.")Because we use progressive discipline, we ask him if he is going to break the rule again ("Are you going to put anything but pee pee, poopies, or tissue in the potty again?") He will answer "No". We ask him what the next consequences are ("What happens if you do?"). He will give the correct answer, usually adding that he doesn't want the next step of discipline. We reassure him that if he obeys, he will not get the next sanction.The bottom line: for rules (even "stupid" rules) to be effective, parents need to communicate in advance the consequences of breaking the rule. Choose consequences carefully, make sure they are appropriate and progressive, and enforce them consistently. You'll do your child and yourself a big favor, and the whole household will be happier!
Kristi,You wrote <<This is courtesy of my nephew, who did these things...1) Toilets are NOT drinking fountains.2)Toilet paper is not a snack.It was just easier to keep the bathroom door closed all of the time after those two events...>>Sounds like some of my cats. Neither of my children has ever drunk from the toilet (at least while I was around!).I wish I had had some of Goodjoan's rules around when my children were small. One Mother's Day when my youngest was two, I cut the buttons off her dress prior to church so I could replace them with some bigger buttons. Of course, I had to set each one down while I cut the others off. When I started looking for the buttons to put them away, they were nowhere to be found. Just then my daughter starting fussing and pulling at her ear. Sure enough, there was one of the buttons. I checked the other ear to make sure there were no buttons - there weren't. I tried gingerly to get the button out of her ear, but I couldn't so there was nothing for it - we went to the emergency room. The doctor there said, "No sweat. We'll have it out in no time." He got the button out, then checked the other ear just to be thorough. There was another button! Between the time I had checked it at home and when we got to the hospital, she had put another button in, and this time it was deep. Eventually, the doctor had to sedate her since the button was pushing against her eardrum and she screamed every time he tried to do anything. The button was finally removed but not before ole Mom's nerves were completely frazzled (to say nothing of the daughter's nerves)!Not the way I had planned to spend Mother's Day!Pam : )
Pam,Thanks for the laugh. I only have nieces and a nephew (although I'm hoping that will change soon). I love reading all of these stories & yours was a goodie. It's amazing what little kids can shove into assorted body orifaces, isn't it?KristiWorld's Coolest Aunt
Re: buttons in earsI can relate. My oldest got a dry bean from a Sunday school art project into his nose. I didn't know it was there until a few days later. You know what happens to beans when exposed to moister. The dr had to pull it out with some device thingy, and my son wasn't too happy.Rebecca
About the objects in orifices:When my younger son was a toddler, he was happily munching on a grilled hamburger, when he cried out in pain that he had meat stuck in his nose. Who expects to hear that? I looked him over thoroughly, but couldn't see a thing. I thought some seasoning might have gotten in his nose and that's what was causing his discomfort. After all, he couldn't answer my question when I asked how he'd gotten meat in his nose, so I thought maybe he was mistaken. That night at dinner, he suddenly sneezed, and out popped the piece of grilled burger he'd stuck in his nose at lunch time! That was followed by my guilt for not believing him when he'd told me there was meat in his nose!Patti
The bottom line: for rules (even "stupid" rules) to be effective, parents need to communicate in advance the consequences of breaking the rule. Choose consequences carefully, make sure they are appropriate and progressive, and enforce them consistentlyAMEN! Follow through and being consistence is extremely important with children. The first time you waver because they are giving you that sad pathetic face or yell that you don't love them anymore, they got you. Children are not dumb and will try everything to get out of being punished.Be firm yet loving, always tell them that you do still love them, and will always love them and that is why you are setting rules for them. To protect them.Deannda::I mostly use the 1-2-3 counting method, very rarely get past 1::
My mother gets extremely upset whenever this story is told. My brother, now 10, was 4 years old when he stuck a flat-sided green marble in his nose. We never had marbles in the house so when he complained of a marble in his nose my parents did a thorough search of both nostrils. Nothing could be seen and my brother was calm about it all. Dad thought maybe he had an annoying booger in there. So it was dismissed by everyone except Mom. Time went on and all my siblings loved to pinch my brother's nose in front of friends cause he'd start yelling, "ouch, my marble". We thought it was hilarious he called his nose his marble. Over a year later, a green marble shot out my brothers nose one evening. Mom went nuts and has still never recovered. He had swiped a marble from my grandparents Pente game and didn't know where to hide it. I can't recall any desire to store items in any opening in my body. But, I keep a close eye on my 15 month old and I know, now, that when a kid says something that may not make sense...don't just blow it off.
***7. Having another baby is not a good investment - even if you are on welfare.***This can't be true! A whole generation of mothers have grown up on this advice.
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