We don’t have many rules in our house and the ones we have are filled loopholes. Still I managed to break my prime directive today. I will save that for last.

We wait until everyone is at the table to start eating.

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 9.19.44 AMScreen Shot 2018-10-16 at 9.22.35 AMPretty much.

We are allowed to eat vegetables with our fingers while waiting. Leo had a sad day when he realized peppers were a fruit. Yet we allowed it. This is a loophole to a loophole. Picture Escher and Archimboldo together in a vegetable mobius. Vegetables and peppers with our fingers are fine. It is possible that the bulk of vegetable intake in our family happens while Steve very slowly completes arranging his plate. It takes patience and a love for broccoli to get our meal started. Both of which are in short supply in our house.

We turn off our screens at 9:00pm.

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 9.47.24 AMExcept if Flash is new. Or if you are older than 13. Or if you are reading Percy Jackson for the 1,000th time on your chrome book. Or if you are a cat. Other than that it is a veritable black out on Ash St.  Except the house lights, which somehow find a way back on even after we have gone upstairs for the night. Perhaps it has to do with bringing the chrome book downstairs to charge to get ready for the school day. Upstairs hallway light, check, downstairs hallway light, check, bathroom light (just in case), dining room light, and kitchen lights plural which confusingly have to be switched from two opposing walls yet somehow were worth the effort to turn on. Maximum light equals minimum monsters. The upside to the nighttime sun is that when the dog wakes us to pee at 2am none of our six feet trip going down the stairs.

We have rub buggies instead of punch buggies.

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 9.45.57 AM“Rub buggy yes rub back” Now get your mind out the gutter. In our family spying a VW results in a back rub. Except for when your brother incorrectly identifies a rub buggy. Where it results in a back karate chop that you call shiatsu. You are full of shiatsu.

We trade off cooking healthy dinners.

If you accept the definition of trade off as 15:2:1:1. Steve:Oliver:Anna:Leo. That sounds like an alternative version of alternation. Right? Another variation? Healthy. Oliver makes turkey tacos with sliced pepper and guacamole and hot sauce with shredded romaine. Assuming you count peppers as a vegetable (ahem) we have a protein, healthy fat and vegetable option. Leo can grill. Also in question: cooking. Its possible that on days that I am not eating the Keto diet the cooking that I do looks a lot like purple hearts blue stars…eat the rainbow. Am I right?

We share.

Often we overshare. There was the time I told Leo about Hitler before he was two and he decided he wasn’t going to be Jewish. There was the time I explained an erection and my boys told perfect strangers that their penises were “practicing.” There was the time I wrote a blog post about…On reflection maybe it isn’t “we” that overshares. Steve shares his work calls. I get to feel his pain during conferences that are 50% made up words. Most of them are acronyms…some though just suck. “Solutioning” We already have a word for that. It is called solving. I would like Steve to be more selfish about his work calls. Then I could be less annoyed about language. Says the woman of the partial sentences. Leo is very good at sharing our colds. He says he would rather be sick than stop kissing us on the lips. So soon he will be sick over kissing us on the lips. Sometimes sharing can be sweet. See below. (This was only partially staged. They did it on their own but I made them pause to take the picture. So I could share this moment.)

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.01.30 AM

We are polite to strangers.

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.19.22 AMExcept that Leo’s nickname for Oliver is stranger (just check his iPhone contacts) So there are times when his attitude to this particular stranger is less than polite. Much much less.  My boys know how to say please and thank you and they often are complimented for this most basic skill. It makes me worried about the rest of the world that they can make servers and check out clerks swoon with three syllables. However some strangers are challenging. It is possible that one particular Target worker likes to talk about dreaming about her husbands boobs. While handling my new (heinously uncomfortable whilst somehow not supportive) bra. It is very difficult to stay straight faced in this situation. If this isn’t a loophole I don’t know what is.

No one bails you out if you forget what you need for school.

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 10.26.41 AMExcept this morning when your mother brought your chrome book to school for you. Not sure that this should be a loophole. Seems like this is the very point of the rule. This is a rule for a reason…the less I do the more my kids do. Here is how I am going to forgive myself. This is a first for both of us. I have never bailed him out. He has never been bailed out. When I arrived in the lobby he gave me a kiss on the lips. In front of 200 sixth graders.

It was worth it.

Does your family walk the straight and narrow or color outside the lines?

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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