Family rules

There must be quite a bit of variation of these among the Teeming Millions. We had:
Don’t sing at the table.
Don’t play ball in the house.
Whoever gets up first starts the coffeemaker and gets the newspaper.
(Partial list.)

If you see a mess, whether or not you made it, you clean it.

No smoking in the bedrooms.

Mom gets the driveway. Everyone else has to park curbside.

The last soda is Mom’s.

If you let 'em in, you have to talk to 'em. (Door-to-door salesmen, proselytizers, etc.)

Don’t touch the VCR between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mom’s soaps are being recorded.

If you use the VCR after the soaps are over, don’t move Mom’s soap tape any farther away than the top of the VCR.

Don’t bring friends over if you want to have any fun. Don’t sell Mom’s country CD’s for gas money. Don’t expect her to come home from a four hour trip to the grocery store with anything worth eating.


Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

These are the only three rules I managed to stick with through raising four children:

  1. Don’t litter

  2. Never cross a picket line

  3. If you didn’t go to school (or work), you don’t get to go out and play.

They turned out okay. Well, except for the time the two youngest (aged 6 and 9) broke into the school and were flushed out by the K-9 unit.

And the time the same two put super glue on the school’s doors to protest a teacher strike.

And then there was the shoplifting, and the LSD experiment, and climbing on the roof of the skating rink, and hitch-hiking, and daughter letting boyfriends come in through her second story bedroom window, and skipping school to go to Mariners games, and saying they’re going to Grandma’s but going to a Kiss concert instead (with fake tickets and getting caught), and using all their savings to buy a 68 GTO with the gas tank in the trunk and letting somebody else drive it and hit a semi truck with no insurance.

Well, they’re okay NOW!

AuntiePam - AAAUUUUGGGHHHHH!!! Another reason to NEVER HAVE KIDS!


“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.” - Rhett Butler

Everyone HAS to go to church on Sunday, no matter what.

Don’t do impressions of any animal.

Don’t watch TV in the living room, that’s for parents only. Don’t use the VCR as well.

You’re only allowed pizza once a week.

Curfew is at sundown, no excuses.

There was

Don’t paint the baby

Don’t feed cat food to your brother

No being a Communist

No one wants to see your underwear

My mom had some good one’s:

No biting the electrical cords.

Knock before you enter a room.

You don’t want to look like your grandpa, so brush your teeth.

-and- Only let mommy put things in the oven.


Confusious Say:
-Man who stand on toilet,
Is high on pot-

When you get a gift with an attached card, you read the card before you tear open the gift.

No matter how bright the moon is, no reading in the car after dusk.

I can’t think of a concise way to state this, but we had a definite pecking order concerning who was allowed to change channels on the living room TV and under what circumstances.

Write your grandmother, the incredible seamstress, a thank you letter for whatever she makes you, even if it is butt-ugly (which it invariably was. Grandma could make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but it’d be plaid with brown edging or something).

Do it right the first time or you’ll have to do it again.

No boys in the house while mom is at work (yeah, right “you guys run out the front when mom comes in the back door”)

Keep the floor of your bedroom visible (that was really the only “cleaning” of it she required)

Curfew at 11:00. Call if you want to be out later.

I bet these are relatively unique (these are from my wife to me):

  • No breaking anything (boards, concrete, baseball bats, etc) in the house. She claims it makes a mess.

  • No practicing blowing out the candle technique on my (her) candles. She claims she is afraid I’ll break one (she really likes her candles).

  • No punching bags allowed in the house. This has recently been expanded to no hanging anything from the ceiling for the express purpose or practicing technique (this came about because of the tennis ball incident … I’ll save you the details). She claims it makes too much noise AND shakes the house.

  • No practicing with my swords, tonfa, sai, nunchaku, etc near the baby (duh), the dog or the cats (here kitty kitty kitty). She claims that one day I’ll skewer one.

Actually, to be honest to my dearest soulmate, these are not demands she has ever made of me. They are simply common sense things that I have never tried to do because it would be rude (well, except the tennis ball thing … if you really want to know about it start a thread and I’ll explain).

Growing up it was:

No balloons or suckers. ( Explanation given was, " You will die if you have those.")The last sucker I had cracked a tooth, lost a filling and ended up getting a root canal. Mom was right, suckers are evil. Balloons, I later learned from a EMS guy friend, can adhear to the throat and cannot be blown downward into the stomach or pushed upwards ( CPR on chest) . He had two kids die on him because of balloons. My children will never have either.

No whining. ( self explanatory)

Eat all your food on the plate. ( Never did.)

No gum chewing ( a sign of a slacker)

No swimming within an hour of eating.
( Whittled down to ten minutes by the time I was 13)

Don’t play with your brother’s contacts.

Mom gets the couch. ( To this day, I cannot lay on the couch. I’m a lay on the floor person.)

No eating in bedroom.

No boys in the bedroom. ( This was always a hoot after meeting my husband. He would go into my mother’s bedroom ( always a disaster) and sit on her bed (she in her flannel gown from hell and night cap to protect her curlers) with a grin going,
" You are even more attractive in the dark…")
Rules of MY house ( so far): The short form.

No inviting Kirby vaccuum cleaner salesmen over for a pitch ( for a free room cleaning) and then leave.

No Jehovah’s.

No smoking.

No shoes/boots with oil on the bottom.

One movie is for you, one is for me. Mine first, always.

Permission must be reviewed for all would-be purchases from Home Depot ( or any building supply store.)

If you want a Christmas tree up, you drag it up from the basement with all it’s decorations.

Tools left where the last project ended (never in the work shop or garage area, mind you) become property of the Tool Troll and must be ransomed back.

Dirty dishes left for the dish fairy will be put under the offenders bed covers.

Whomever is the Bather and Putter Downer of the Child for the Night, the other picks up said childs toys.

If you smell a poopy diaper, you change the poopy diaper.

Pop cans ( returnables) are the property of mommy.

All change scattered on the counters, dresser tops and bathroom counters becomes property of Mommy. ( What is it with you guys and scattering your change? Is it an updated version of marking your territory or what?)

And last, and most importantly, if Mommy has a headache, NO ONE MAKE A NOISE.

Current house rules:
No going into the other person’s bedroom without permission, unless it’s to answer their phone.

When taking a cold pop out of the fridge, you must put a (warm) replacement from the box into the fridge.

If you leave your clothes on the living room floor, you can’t complain when they disappear.

The good food (e.g. Vienetta, Cocoa Pebbles, strawberries) must be shared.

For God’s sake, don’t let us run out of corn.

After Kat does the dishes 6 times in a row, she can wait just as long as you can for the dishes to “do themselves”, because she has plastic flatware and paper plates stashed and you don’t.

Share your books and magazines when you’re done reading them, the words don’t come off.

Growing up, some of our rules were:
~If there aren’t enough chairs for everyone, your elders get the chairs. (I was the youngest of five kids. To this day, when I go to a large family gathering at my husband’s house I will automatically sit on the floor, even when there are open seats available. No amount of cajolery will get me to sit on a chair, even though I hate to sit on the floor. They think I’m strange.)

~Don’t eat sugar straight out of the sugarbowl, or you will get worms.

~Only eldest, perfect sister Kim may put her corn into the butter dish or her banana into the sugar dish; everyone else must use proper etiquette.

~You are allowed to steal food off other people’s plates, but don’t complain when you get stabbed in the back of the hand with a fork.

~It is acceptable to lick or spit on your food to prevent other people from stealing it.

~Don’t change the channel when Bob is watching TV, because he will beat the crap out of you and give you an Indian burn.

~Don’t let Bob eat Taco flavor Doritos, or he will be in the bathroom for 4 hours.

~Don’t leave your Silly Putty on the driveway.

Love reading all these rules!

My “rules” are from childhood, present day, and anything in between.

~Don’t let the cats upstairs.
~If Billy hasn’t parked his car up in the driveway yet, “Park down below”. (I have heard that phrase so much in my life…)
~Before you are allowed to watch any TV, you must beg and plead with the parents to see it. You must ask way in advance, plan out all the edifying reasons why you should see it. Then, perhaps, if the planets are in alignment in just the right way, they will allow you to see the TV program. (I still have “issues” with the TV because of this.)
~Don’t throw away Daddy’s L.A. Times, no matter how old the issues are, or no matter how high the stack of papers are. He is going to read them all some day, really.
~The evening news WILL be watched, no matter what else is on at the same time. (This rule applied when I was growing up, and I still enforce it myself to this day!)

I was lucky.My parents didn’t have many rules.My mom was so liberal. She let me wear make-up at age 10,and listen to rock music.However,they were catholic,and there was no meat on Fridays(fish sticks!Always!)