The rules can be broken down into some simple categories –
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Be Safe – Don’t hurt yourself or others.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Be Helpful – Clean up after yourself.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Be Considerate- Be nice to each other.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Be Respectful – Be nice to your things and your parents
If you can do these basic common sense things then we will have a great Summer and will do tons of fun things. Mommy will be happy and when Mommy is happy, she is motivated to drive you places; like the pool, movies, zoo, parks, out for ice cream and she will even plan and pack for fun day trips, camping trips and vacations. If Mommy is not happy, you can sit in your room without Game Cube, t.v., computer or friends, Mommy can even turn down the air conditioning just to the bedrooms so it’s still humane, but just not quite so comfortable. Mommy really wants to be happy, she loves her boys and wants to have a great Summer. But if boys trash the house and Mommy has to spend most of her timing cleaning up, she can’t take you to do fun things. As everyone knows, Mommy’s house isn’t especially clean, she just doesn’t want it to be disgustingly filthy with mud, worms, and mice brought in from outside. We are only a week or so into Summer vacation and Mommy has already been thoroughly grossed out. So apparently we have to very clearly spell out what the expectations are for behavior this Summer.
Running and Screaming
Ã¢Â?Â¢ We do not run and/or scream in the house.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Unless an evil person breaks into the house and is chasing you.. There is never, never any reason why you should be running and/or screaming in the house.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ You may run and scream outside, we will come up with some kind of code word so you can let me know if someone you don’t know is actually chasing you so I will pay attention.
Throwing and Kicking Things
Ã¢Â?Â¢ We do not throw things or kick things in the house.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ We do not wrestle and push each other. We especially do not wrestle and push each other in front of the large picture window in the living room. If your arm or neck goes through the window you could slice an artery and bleed to death very quickly. If you would like we can look on the internet and find some stories of people who died after they went through a window.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ We walk down the steps, we don’t jump down them. One would hope that after slipping on steps almost every two weeks this lesson would have already been learned, but apparently it has not. We also never wrestle, push each on steps or do things near steps, like putting on shorts, etc. that would cause us to fall down steps. I am sure we can find stories of people who were killed after they fell down steps, at very least you could end up with a broken bone, and will wear an itchy cast and not be able to swim all Summer.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If someone ends up in an itchy cast all Summer from doing something stupid.. They do not get a ton of sympathy. They will sit by the pool with their hot, itchy cast and will watch their brothers swim.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Chairs are for sitting, beds are for sleeping. When you sit on a chair or couch, you should be sitting on your bottom facing forward. There really isn’t any reason for you to ever be standing on a chair, couch or bed, and especially never any reason for jumping on furniture. To get into a chair or couch, you should approach it from the front. Don’t climb over the back or top, don’t sit on the arms or on the back or top. Furniture can be broken, it is not like you are climbing on boulders. You have desks in your rooms, a play room and a few tables where you can do crafts, so there is never any reason why you should have pencils, pens, markers or crayons on the couch. They can poke a hole in the leather couch. Likewise, there is never any reason why you should be using the furniture like a towel or a tissue. I have had to clean booger stripes off the couch, it is absolutely disgusting.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ In general, do not climb on anything or bump up against it very roughly. This includes the t.v. and large furniture. These things can fall on top of you and hurt you if you work at it very hard. If you would like we can go on the internet and look up stories of children who were killed when dressers or other large items fell on top of them. I am not making this up, it really happens.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you cannot reach something in the fridge or in a cabinet, ask for help. We do not climb in the fridge. We do not climb in the cabinets.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ The items, such as special treats, that are over the fridge cabinet or in the highest pantry cabinet are up high for a reason. You are not supposed to be able to get to these items so that you do not eat too much sugar. Only Mommy can give you these treats. Do not move chairs or other furniture to try to climb up to these items without permission.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Doors are made to be opened and then closed. CLOSED, not slammed. We do not slam doors. We do not leave doors open for long periods of time. Especially not the basement doors because then mice get in. Mommy does not like mice in the basement even more than she does not like finding worms in the laundry.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you go outside, you open the door and then close it behind you immediately. If you want to open the refrigerator door to get something you open it, get the item and then close it. Think about what you want BEFORE you open the door to the fridge. Do not stand in front of the fridge and stare into it for a long time before you decide. If you are opening the pantry cabinet, open it, then let go of the door handles, choose your item and then close the doors. Do not hold onto the handles and hang on them so that you rip the doors off the hinges.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Do not lock doors. Especially do not lock outside doors on purpose to lock your brothers out. Do not close doors quickly and on purpose when brothers are near, they can get their fingers crunched in the door. This also seems to happen every couple of weeks but we still don’t seem to have learned that lesson.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Do not leave the yard without permission. Permission does not mean that someone yells something to Mommy that she doesn’t hear and then does what they want. Permission means that Mommy hears you, acknowledges you, and then says yes you may… do whatever it is that you’ve asked about.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Sometimes when people get old they turn a little bit crazy. Some of them are nice crazy and some of them turn kind of evil. The neighbor lady next door has turned a little bit evil. She is not dangerous if you stay away from her but do not throw anything into her yard and do not go into her yard. Try to play so that things go to the other side of the yard. Mommy and Daddy will be planting some things that grow very fast so soon you will not have to worry about this.
Outside Things/Inside Things
Ã¢Â?Â¢ You have plenty of outside toys, which anyone can tell by looking at our mess of a backyard. You don’t need to take anything from inside – outside. Mommy has looked out the window and has seen spoons from the kitchen in dirt piles. You have shovels outside for digging. Nothing, especially from the kitchen needs to be taken and used outside. Likewise, we do not need to bring rocks, sand or bugs from outside, inside.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Do not use any of the inside sinks to wash off outside dirt or things, for example, do not get your shoes muddy and then decide to wash them in the kitchen sink.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you need a towel for something outside or to dry off ask Mommy and she will get you an old beach towel. Do not take nice hand towels from the bathroom or kitchen towels outside to use to clean up outside messes. If you do take a kitchen towel outside and use it to wipe up mud, do not put it back in the kitchen without telling Mommy.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ You must wear sun screen to the pool or if you are outside for any amount of time. We can go on the internet and I can show you pictures of what happens to people who don’t wear sun screen.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ We do not turn on the hose outside without permission of an adult. This rule has been started because of the incredible amounts of mud and muddy laundry that it has created. We can use the kiddy pool if you ask Mommy and she supervises the filling of the pool. The pool is to be used for splashing and cooling off and we will attempt to keep it clean, do not turn the kiddy pool into a mud bath on purpose.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ You get one set of clothes a day. If you choose to play outside in the kiddie pool or in water you will put on a bathing suit. If you do not choose to put on a bathing suit and your clothes get wet and/or muddy, you will wear your wet and/or muddy clothes.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ This rule was created after boys were changing clothes many times a day and leaving muddy clothes outside that then got full of worms.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ When I said I did not want you to wear wet and muddy clothes into the house, some of you took this as permission to strip naked outside and leave muddy clothes and underwear in the yard. This was not what I meant.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Some type of clothing must be worn at all times unless you are taking a bath or a shower. Just a pair of underwear is not enough to be worn outside. There are little girls in the neighborhood and probably perverts as well.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ The only place that it is acceptable to change clothes is in your bedroom or the bathroom with the door closed. You are beyond the age when running around naked is cute, it is disrespectful to others and could be dangerous.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Dirty clothes go down the laundry chute. Nothing but dirty clothes should be thrown down the laundry chute. Clean clothes go into the right drawer or are hung up in the closet. Do not throw clean clothes down the laundry chute because it easier than putting them away.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If Mommy can collect your clothes, put the stain remover on the stains, wash them, dry them, sort them and fold them, I don’t think it is too much to ask for you to spend the 10 seconds that it takes to open a drawer, put them in and then close the drawer.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Drawers, like doors should be closed right after you put something in or take something out. Keeping every drawer in your dresser pulled out all the time, could make the dresser fall over. Also you do not need to yank your drawers out like a maniac so they land on your feet.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you want a snack, you need to ask Mommy first, this is because you can’t have too many snacks during the day and you can’t have snacks too close to a meal. If it is a healthy snack and it is not close to meal time, I will almost always let you have it, but you still need to ask first.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Snacks should be eaten in the kitchen or in the Summer time, outside. Mommy may make some exceptions, like popcorn for family movie night in the basement, but only if you show her that you can follow the rule about keeping the door from the basement to outside closed so we are not feeding mice.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you have a snack and there is trash left over from it.. You need to put the trash in the garbage. The rules are the same for outside, you can’t leave sticky popsicle sticks melted to the deck. If you can’t clean up after a snack then you won’t be able to have snacks.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Also if you happen to eat something in the car, you need to bring the leftovers or the trash into the house and throw it in the garbage. The little cubby places in the mini-van are for toys or other small items. You are not supposed to be leftover chicken nuggets, and leftover lemonade and milkshake cups in there for weeks in the hot Summer until they turn into a sour, foul disgusting mess that Mommy has to clean up.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Just because it is Summer vacation does not mean that your teeth don’t still rot. You must still brush your teeth twice a day. You must still shower or take baths. Swimming in a pool with chlorine is not a bath.
Going to the Bathroom
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Close the door when you use the bathroom, no one wants to see or know what you are doing.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Going to the bathroom is each persons’ private business, do not comment on people’s bathroom visits, do not stand outside the door and listen to what they are doing and do not stand outside the door and ask questions or make comments about what they are doing. Don’t ask people about the bathroom experience when they are done.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Nothing should be put in the toilet that did not come out of you or that is not toilet paper.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you are under age 18, there is a 6 square limit on the number of squares of toilet paper you can use. If you somehow believe you need more than 6 squares, then use 6 squares flush the toilet and then get another 6 squares. You should not need to do this more than twice.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Flush the toilet after you use it. Especially in the Summer time when it is hot, it’s just gross not to flush it.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If for some reason you follow the 6 square rule and the toilet clogs or backs up, tell Mommy immediately. Do not try to handle the problem on your own or with brothers and do not just leave the problem for Mommy to find much later.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ When you are going to the bathroom, please pay attention and aim, do not look around, chat or get distracted. This seems to happen mostly when two or more boys try to use the bathroom at the same time. We have more bathrooms in the house than we have boys, there is no reason why you can’t wait for a moment to have a turn or use another bathroom.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ You may use playdoh, markers and paint in designated areas only. Mommy will put signs up in the designated areas.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ You may not use permanent markers. Permanent markers means that whatever you do never, ever goes away. Permanent marker can soak through paper and get directly on wood. Mommy can show you examples of what that looks like if you don’t believe it, we don’t even have to look on the Internet.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you use really bad words you will be punished, even if you aren’t saying the bad word to another person but are just saying it to a Game Cube game, it still counts as a bad word. I know that Daddy uses bad words sometimes when he is trying to fix things around the house, but it does not make it right and Daddy also gets punished.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Try not to use words that aren’t really bad but are still annoying potty words, Mommy gets very tired of hearing about farting and other things and will probably just have you stay home and not do fun things if you seem unable to stop using too many potty words.
Fits and Bad Attitudes
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you want to throw a fit or have a snotty attitude, you will do it in your room only, I don’t want to hear it. Boys who are throwing fits or having a bad attitude are not acceptable to go out in public. If you are in a bad mood for no reason it must mean that you are tired and need to take a nap. You will stay in your room and rest until you are ready to talk about what is bothering you or until you are over it and are ready to be in a better mood.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you have a bad attitude in public, Mommy and Daddy will assume you are tired and need to go home for a nap. Even if you are swimming at the pool and just got there, you will go home for a nap.
Talking Back or Talking Fresh to your Parents
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Talking back or talking fresh to your parents is a sign of a bad attitude. You will stay in your room until the bad behavior stops. Mommy’s have feelings too. You cannot tell Mommy that she is a “force for evil” or other names. You can also not threaten Mommy and tell her that you are going to call the police on her. The police are not going to put Mommy in jail for not letting you get your way. If you would like, Mommy will take you to the police station and you can tell them yourself that Mommy “took your eyeball out and ran you over with the car”. If you lie to the police, they put you in jail for lying.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ You do not tell Mommy that “she is not the boss of you”, she absolutely is. You do not tell Mommy that “it’s a free country”. The rest of the United States is a free country, but our house is not, it is a self contained city state like the Vatican. It is not a free country and Mommy is the dictator. When you are 18, you can apply for a visa to move to another country if you would like.
Putting Stuff Away/Clean Up
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Toys are for playing with, toys are not to be spread out all over the floor. If you play with a toy, and then you’re done with it, put it back where it came from. If you keep toys on the floor, they get stepped on and get broken. Toys that break because they were left on the floor, do not get replaced. Also, when you leave toys out on the floor, you are telling Mommy that you don’t really care about that toy. There are children who don’t have any toys who would love to get yours and would probably take far better care of them. If Mommy has to pick up your toys, she might not just put them back, she might put them in a box and drive them to Children’s Hospital. Also, if people, mostly Mommy, step on toys on the floor, they hurt her feet, and toys on the floor make it harder for Mommy to see the mice that come into the basement when the door gets left open by boys.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Game Cube, Game Boy games and CD’s have the same rules, if you are not playing with the game or listening to the CD it goes back into its case. Game Boy games especially are expensive, if they get scratched from being out of the case you can’t play them anymore. If I find a bunch of games out of their cases and on the floor or in other places where they could be damaged, I will collect all the games and the Game Cube/Boy and they will take a time out for a few days.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ We do not have a maid in this house. If you make a mess and expect Mommy to clean it up, it is a sign of disrespect to Mommy. If you disrespect Mommy, she will not be motivated to drive you to fun places to do fun things. Also, if Mommy has to spend all her time cleaning up, she won’t have time to do things. Maybe instead of staying up late to wash, dry, fold and put away the enormous amounts of laundry that are produced by playing in mud in the backyard.. Mommy will choose to do the laundry in the middle of the hottest day of the Summer when we could all be swimming at the pool.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Cleaning up is the job of everyone who lives in this house. If you are a male over 40 you should especially make an extra effort to be a shining example to your offspring about how to pick things up. Otherwise, no woman will ever want to marry them, they will never move out of the house and you’d better believe I won’t be around to do the picking up.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ There is often a pile of items near the top or the bottom of the stairs. The reason that pile is there, is that it is waiting for someone to either take it upstairs or downstairs. Apparently this was not clear so I tried putting the items into containers that were labeled “Crap to Take Upstairs” and “Crap to Take Downstairs”.. This was apparently also too vague as it seems that Mommy is the only person who ever bothers to transport the stuff. Everyone else in the family walks by the items, perhaps hundreds of times a day and never even is a bit curious about why they are there. One day perhaps we should practice taking the items up or down like a fire drill then maybe in the future everyone will learn what the goal is.
Putting Stuff Away/Clean Up
Ã¢Â?Â¢ There is a place for everything in the house, shoes, jackets, etc. Absolutely nothing but furniture and rugs belong on the floor yet there always seems to be a ton of crap on the floor. Please put things where they belong, if you don’t know where something belongs ask Mommy and she will tell you where to put it. If Daddy still doesn’t know where things in the house belong, he can ask Mommy and she will absolutely tell him where he can put it….
Ã¢Â?Â¢ You have your chore chart of things that must be done weekly to earn your allowance, and extra chores you can do to earn extra money. If you want to buy something, Mommy and Daddy will always be happy to work with you to come up with a plan to earn money. If you work extra hard we sometimes offer the matching funds program where we will match your savings. But if you want something, and you haven’t been working towards it at all and it’s not your birthday or Christmas, it really probably isn’t going to happen. If you would like to come up with a money earning plan over the Summer we will be happy to help you.
Mommy and Daddy’s Closet
Ã¢Â?Â¢ There is never any reason for you to go into, or take things out of Mommy’s closet. If you would like to dress in woman’s clothing after you turn 18, it will be your twisted choice. Until then, do not touch my clothes. If you wear Mommy’s shoes around the house, you could fall off them and break your ankle and then you won’t be able to swim all Summer.
Other People’s Rooms and Stuff
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Please do not go into each other’s rooms and mess with things, especially if you are doing it on purpose to try to harass each other. If you want to use or play with something that is in a brother’s room or you know belongs to them or is special, just ask them nicely if you can use or borrow it. Do not go into people’s rooms take their favorite stuffed animals and throw them over the fence into the open space. That is just intentionally cruel and you will be punished extra for doing something so mean.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ For things like T.V. Channels, Game Cube/Boy and computer I hope that you can learn to negotiate and take turns. If you need help with setting a time or taking turns and come to Mommy she will help with this. Mommy will mediate disputes, that means that if one or two or three boys come to her and ask her for help with resolving a problem, she will help come up with a solution, but only if you are using words. If one or more boys, hits, pulls hair, scratches, kicks, uses bad words, etc to try to solve the problem and then you come to me after, I will not care who started it. What ever the item is that is causing the problem will be closed for the day. Even if you are having a turn and another boy comes up and tries to fight with you, come and get Mommy, you will most likely get your turn back while the other boy sits in time out.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Unless you are just overwhelmed with love for one of your brothers and want to give them a hug, there really isn’t any reason for you to be touching them. In general, when one of you is touching the other one, it is to annoy, harass, poke, hurt or fight, so perhaps as a general rule it would be probably be safe to say that you should just not even touch each other at all.
Treatment of Your Siblings
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Be kind to each other. There is no reason for you to tease each other and try to harass and hurt each other, there are plenty of other people in the world you will be happy to do this for you. If you are ugly to each other, I will force you to spend even more and more time with each other so that you will either learn to appreciate each other.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ For things not covered by these rules, ask Mommy or try to make a good decision. Before doing something ask yourself whether what you are about to do is likely to hurt you or a brother. Ask yourself if what you are about to do will make Mommy happy. If it is not safe and you know that Mommy will not like it, then DON’T DO IT.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ If you are aren’t sure about something, ask Mommy. That is why Mommy doesn’t work so that she answer important questions like why we don’t try to ride scooters down the steps.