As with most families, rules are a part of our world.
We talk about why we have them.
We talk about how to enforce them.
We talk about how to recover when they have been broken.
When you have a kid like mine, rules can be used against you when it best serves him.
I don’t mean this in a twirling-the-ends-of-a-long-mustache-type way. I mean…in a convenient way.
A way that suits him.
My TBP remembers the rule about where family shoes are kept when I leave them on the stairs. He doesn’t remember this rule when he leaves them by his computer desk.
My TBP remembers the rule about not swearing when I forget that he is listening and I am ranting on the phone. He doesn’t remember this rule when he looses a very competitive game of Minecraft that he has been part of for an hour.
My TBP remembers the rules about dinner table manners when someone else makes an unexpected noise, but forgets that when his own body takes over.
My precious boy remembers the rules about cleaning up after ourselves, taking our own laundry downstairs, and making our beds when he remembers that each of those items represent a quarter: while one quarter is not a lot, quarters can add up quite quickly when your birthday seems far away.
As I sit here and read this, none of this seems too out of character for an eight (oh my god! He is almost nine!) years old boy. What is more unusual are the rules that he places on himself, for his world, and he expects others to understand.
I only wear socks that have red lines. Those are the ones that I like. You should know that.
You know that I don’t wear shorts outside. Helllloooo! Mosquitoes?!
You should never touch a spider; don’t kill it, coax it outside.
If someone back stabs me, I ban them.
I am a boy that doesn’t like dirty things so…I’m sorry, I won’t be touching the garbage cans.
I never use this hand for that so I can hold your hand with this one.
For now, these are some of the rules that help my TBP navigate his world. I know that new rules will be added and some of these will disappear.
What are the rules that keep order in your life?