Rules I never thought to tell them

I think we all have this list tucked away somewhere, and everyone’s list looks different.  Here’s the Headmistress’s list.  I would love to know what’s on yours.

First, a few basics:

    1. If you learned it from Calvin and Hobbes, it’s probably not allowed.
    2. Emulate The Three Stooges and Little Rascals with great caution.
    3. Don’t be stupid on purpose.

    And some specifics:

    1. Do not play in the dryer. Do not turn on the dryer while somebody else plays inside.
    2. Don’t hold a 5 lb. bag of elbow macaroni upside down and shake it to test the zipper seal.
    3. If you must play Catholics-and-Protestants-at-the-Inquisition, please do it quietly.  For the neighbors’ sake.
    4. Don’t drink up the leftover communion wine at church.
    5. Rough-housing does not mean it’s ok to push your friend down the basement stairs and lock the door.  Even if you’re already remorseful, you will be punished.
    6. Don’t color on puppies. Especially not Golden Retriever pups.  Especially not with a black permanent marker.
    7. Don’t pour water inside plaster walls on the second floor.  I don’t care if you think there’s a rat in there.
    8. Don’t hold down little boys and punch them, even if somebody just finished explaining that little boys like to play rough.
    9. If you find old gum stuck to the bottom of a chair, it will not be funny when you stick in your dad’s hair.
    10. I know it’s cool that the tree branch makes snapping noises when you stand on it, but that doesn’t mean you should jump up and down.
    11. Don’t try to cut holes in the floor with a butcher knife.  I don’t care how realistic your dream was.  You will not find a secret tunnel leading to your grandma’s house in Tennessee.
    12. Don’t cut holes in your sister’s underwear and put them on the dog. Even if I laughed when you did it, don’t do it again.
    13. Do not rifle through your uncle’s pockets while he is sleeping.
    14. Do not dig 4 ft. deep pits in a city yard and threaten to bury your little sister.
    15. Do not hide on the roof. I don’t care if you’re playing hide-and-seek and can’t find a better place.
    16. Sliding down the stairs in a sleeping bag might be fun, but I don’t approve.
    17. Don’t have mud fights with the neighbor boy.  I don’t care who started it unless it was you.  Then you’re in even more trouble.
    18. If you eat bugs in any form – including fried walking stick bugs with cheese – don’t tell me about it.  Again.  Yes, it’s very cool that the rocks were hot enough to cook them outside, but I still don’t want to know.
    19. Just believe the TV for once when they tell you not to lick a frozen telephone pole.  Extend this to include the side of the ice cream maker, the ice tray, and the inside of the freezer door.
    20. Don’t play in the laundry chute, even if you saw your uncle doing it first.  Nor should the cat be encouraged to do so.
    21. Ask before you decide to walk to the library.  Especially if you’re 4yo.


    1. Don’t play ninjas with curtain rods. They are trained professionals. You now have a scar under your eye. You should not have listened to your younger brother.

    2. A few from our house (three little foster sons and three cats):
      Even if you wake up in the morning with a really full bladder, don’t pee into the toybox.
      Don’t try to hide the fact that your brother peed into the toybox, covering it with a big ball.
      If you covered the peed-into toybox with a big ball, don’t be surprised if it starts to smell badly.
      Toothpaste is not a snack, neither is Tack-It.
      If you hit your brother first, don’t complain if he hits back.
      If you see that a cat pees into your bed, say it. Don’t try sleeping in it first.

    3. Do not give the cat a haircut. Actually did that one myself, so I KNEW ahead of time to tell the kids not to.

    4. simple mama says:

      ~No, we can’t throw fire crackers into the school bus as it drives by.
      ~No, you can’t put an M-80 into the fireplace to see what happens.
      ~No you can’t encourage the twins (21 months) to “FIGHT!FIGHT! FIGHT!”
      ~Don’t tie your brother to the bed and leave, especially when mom is sleeping.
      ~No, you can’t fly when you take off your glasses. You’re NOT Superman, now put them back on before they…”CRUNCH,POP, SNAP”…Never mind
      ~NO putting frogs in your pockets. Or fish or crickets or spiders or snake guts, tails, and heads.
      ~No, you may not kill all the glow bugs to make glow in the dark ink. Or to make yourself glow.

    5. To the mothers out there with permanent marker on things; rubbing alcohol will remove it, depending on the surface obviously, but give it a try, who knows what might be renewed.

      The rule I didn’t know I was going to have to teach: Please don’t make birthday cakes (aka eggs and butter) and feed it to your baby dolls with out mommy’s help. (to my 2 1/2 year old after 16 eggs ended up cracked on my couch/floor and a few in the pan with the butter). Cleaning raw eggs off the couch floor is worse than vomit! Mother’s beware! 😀

    6. Oh and one more thing….. never spend time with the Coghlans when they are running on adrenaline…You will have acing stomach muscles for a week.

    7. WHO would have thought that the Coghlans would do such things?!?!?!?!?!?!?
      Not me to be sure!
      You guys are crack ups. There is never a dull moment when the Coghlans are around.

      Larissa Seargeant

    8. When my siblings and I were younger, Mom could’ve made these her list:

      1. Do not pour pixie stix on you or your brother and try to jump off the top bunk. It’s not real pixie dust and you won’t be able to fly.

      2. Don’t put the kittens in your overalls and shake them out by waving your legs around.

      3. Don’t kick your brother just because you felt like it.

      4. Don’t tell your sister’s friend that her legs are hairy. She does not appreciate it.

      5. Don’t throw shoes at your oldest sister’s door just because she’s ignoring you. It will not make her more inclined to play.

      6. Don’t color your brother purple and yourself orange. I didn’t give birth to a smurf and an oompa loompa.

      7. Don’t chase your brother while you’re on your horse and he’s on a tricycle.

      And two that her mother could’ve used on her and her older brother:

      1. Do not try to hang your sister from the clothes line by tying a jump rope around her neck and kicking out the wagon from beneath her. I don’t care if you saw it on a western movie, you’ll strangle her.

      2. Do not try to play detective with a candle under my bed, particularly while I’m still in it. You may have seen it on Abbot and Costello, but that’s the reason you should know it’s bad.


    9. Oh. My. Goodness. I am literally in TEARS. These were such a hoot!

      With your permission, I would LOVE to do a blog post on some of these…I think people would get a hit out of them.

      When I was growing up, here are some of the things my parents told me (and my 5 other siblings):
      Don’t swing the cat by the tail…the cat does not like that!

      Digging holes in the front yard to make a golf course is not a good idea.

      When your brother attacks your snow fort, it is NOT OK to hit him over the head with a shovel.

      Frogs cannot be transported to church in the family car.

      Don’t hide in a church member’s car while playing hide and seek.

      Dirty laundry does not belong on the ceiling fan.

      If you are grounded to your room, do not use the trash can as a toilet and toss the contents out the window when finished doing your business…

      Oh, the fun times while growing up!!!
      Thanks for the smiles!!!

    10. My siblings and I like to laugh and say we’re perfect little angels, but even so, I think Mom could have come up with a few rules for us when we were younger (and our younger siblings right now!). …Like:

      Don’t try to make a bandanna into a heating pad by sticking it into a light fixture. It will catch on fire.

      Don’t tie your sister to a tree by the throat with a jump rope and leave her there. Even if it’s her idea.

      Peanut Butter is not face paint.

      Don’t bother going through all the trouble of inventing a book holder for your bicycle so you can read and ride at the same time. And if you do, please don’t try it out when your brother is just around the corner of the house.

      Throwing bricks is not a good idea. ‘Specially at one another – even if it’s just “for fun.” That is not entertainment.

      Don’t play “soldier” with real B.B. guns.

      Sorry, but ovens are not the same thing as fireplaces. They do cook better when the door is SHUT and food is placed on the RACK, not the open door.

      The sprayer on the sink is not a built-in water gun.

      Indoor spear-throwing is not allowed. Light bulb replacement can get expensive.

      Air soft pellets may LOOK like your sister’s vitamin supplements, but please do not put them in your hands, mix them up, and ask your sister to pick which one is real. She may make a mistake.

      Do not eat a chocolate chip and tell your little sister you got it from the rabbit cage. (…no explanation needed, right?)

      Dixie cups are not made to be flushed down toilets.

      I could write more, but it’s late, and I’m heading for bed. Life with this family can be tiring! :):) But I love it! :):):)

    11. Remembered another one…do not try to swing from the light fixture in your room with a wire coat hanger. You will fall the light fixture will come out of the ceiling and the coat hanger will become stuck on the light fixture.

    12. lol, oh my goodness!!

    13. Do not hit your brother in the head with a pipe. You could extend that out to do not hit your brother in the head period, but that’s hard to do with boys.

    14. Yesterday, I actually said to our 2yo dd, “Do not color your bottom yellow.” Potty training + no diapers/panties + highlighter = crazy rules.

    15. kimberly in idaho says:

      I am in tears laughing! I got a couple good ones:
      1. If you happen to see something that looks like poop smeared on a toy at McDonalds, DO NOT bend down to smell it, repeatedly…just to make sure. And further more do not continue to play on that toy and tell me about it hours later!
      2. Vaseline is not a meal. Please do not eat a whole jar of it or just a spoonful of it.
      3. Please do not eat out of the garbage. I don’t care if it still looks good, NO!
      4. The cat does not need haircuts. The cat will attack if you hold it down to cut it’s hair.
      5. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich does not belong in the VCR.
      6. Don’t lick the bottom of your shoes. Please spit out your shoe.
      And this one happened while at a friend’s:
      Do not pretend a full, dirty toilet is soup and stir it with one of my spoons!

    16. One my poor mother had to make for me: Do NOT put make-up on your little brothers when they are napping on road trips.

      Nobody noticed I had done this to my brother until we were already inside the restaurant.

    17. i am now SO glad our dryer is mounted 6 ft high on the wall, and we have a top loading washing machine.

      my kids seem pretty tame now. i can only think of a couple of rules.

      do not smack your best friend in the face just because she was looking at you.

      if i said dont play in the dirt the cat uses as a toilet yesterday, you are still not allowed to play there today. or tomorrow. or a week from now. or next year.

    18. Andy Joy my 3 yo girl did pee in the urinal because no one would go into the stall with her as they were peeing too so she used the urinal (got most of the urine in the urinal too)

      The dryer rule, and the stairs rule we have also. OF course the boys went down the stairs in boxes or on flat cardboard.

      No taking off your clothes because you are mad (in public) I have a son who will strip to his underware when he gets very upset.

      No drawing black mustaches on your sisters brand new princess doll figures in permeant sharpie marker (this was done just last night to a b-day present for the 3 yo by a son who should have known better)

      Do not threaten to draw a mustache on your oldest brother in sharpie marker

      Do not eat pop corn off the floor in Target

      These are just what I can think of off the top of my head…. I have 6 boys and 2 girls

      • Nail polish remover or sometimes plain rubbing alcohol will remove Sharpie (I figure you probably know this already, but just in case)

    19. No playing in the front loading washing machine.
      If your brother is in there, do not close the door, locking him in!!!

    20. I heard this from a woman I worked with:

      Do not urinate on your brother.

      We actually comiserated about that being a rule you didn’t know you’d have to teach!

    21. I’m smiling so hard my cheeks hurt, great list! 🙂

    22. Oh thats nothing, I had to tell the 4 yo. not to touch the Pastor’s SUV’s tail pipe while the exhaust was coming out! Yes, he’d done that before! I recieved many strange looks…”Never heard that one before…”

    23. If my mom were writing this for my sister and me as kids, she should have said:

      Do not use the TOP bunk of your bed as the deck when playing “shipwreck.”

      Cat food is not for people (she was 9!)

      Grandma and grandpa may not be your target for practical jokes. (I blame my dad)

      While smoking IS bad for you, it is not a good idea to annouce this to random 20-year-old men when you’re 12 years old alone outside a dark movie theater in a big city.

      Urinals were designed for boys for a good reason. Girls don’t need to try them!

    24. I am extremely amused that this list is necessary in a house that is 82% girls!

    25. Leanne, the majority of our ‘Rules Mama Never Told Me About’ were created before our only boy (who is the youngest of our seven) was born.

      The girls liked to go down the stairs at our old house head first on their tummies.

    26. Oy.

      I’m exhausted.

      I giggled. In a sick way, I giggled and thanked God that none of that had ever happened at my house. We’re full of girls here…..

      I know it’s wrong to cross my fingers or knock on wood…..


    27. Snicker. I have a communion story, too, AND a coloring on the pets story- only that’s from my own childhood.

      Mice don’t handle permanent marker as well as dogs. Story at 11.

    28. OH my goodness. That cracked me up. Was that all by one child or many?

    29. Oh, thanks! I needed a laugh today!

    30. Oh! Those are too great! There are so many things kids do that you just think to yourself… “It never occured to me that I would have to say not to do that.”

    31. If you must ride a mattress down the stairs, you MAY NOT put the littlest person in the front to bang up against the wall!

      Great list of rules!

    32. No wonder you were having trouble thinking of something funny the other day! 🙂

    33. Our rules:
      The youngest baby in the house is not a baby doll, so don’t run with him. (In fact we have a no holding order on the baby now)

      Do not put anything in the baby’s mouth that is not for babies, especially chocolate, even if he likes it. He may get a tummy ache.

      Dirty nappy’s are not weapons of mass destruction, take them directly to the nappy sack.

      Do not chase your sister with dirty nappies and threaten to dump them on her head. (That is disgusting, who said boys were the only gross ones)

      Wash your hands after holding dirty nappies. (I thought they would know this already)

      You must finish your chores, and if by some miracle your sister does it for you, you must help her with her own chores.

      I don’t care if you didn’t ask her to help. She did help you, and you should be thankful or you would have been spanked.

      No she is not allowed to volunteer for your spanking for being ungrateful and a smart mouth.

      No throwing the baseball in the house.

      No throwing dolls into the ceiling fan.

      No trying to swing from the ceiling fan.

      You are not superman, you will not fly if you get a bit of help from the ceiling fan.

      Do not tie “capes” around your neck.

      Do not grab your brother’s cape while he runs around playing superman.

      Please don’t blame the baby (4 months old) for eating all the cheerios or ruining your homework. He didn’t eat it (I was there the whole time) and he can’t move to ruin your home work. (We call school work “home work”)

      The light bulb did not make the room dirty, it just made it easier to see the dirt. (my all time favourite when I asked my daughter why she messed up her room)

      Don’t blame each other when you both got into the candy.

      No cookies for those who have temper tantrums.

      No you can not “eat your food later” but have a cookie now.

      No soda. no chips. No ps2. No fist fights inside the house. No ps2 because it always leads to fist fights.

      I can ban anything I want, because it is my house.

      If you don’t like the rules get a job and move out. (Good luck by the way)

      If you two keep fighting I will make you do your chores together until you learn to get along. Or If you two keep fighting I will take the book from both of you. Or if you two keep fighting I will make you stand on the porch until you get along. (The porch trick works at dinner time as they can see and smell the food, but can’t have it until they resolve their differences, it also takes any explosive emotions out doors away form innocent by standers)

      • I have actually threatened to send my two oldest out onto our property to survive off the land in a tent. All they get are a cup and spoon each (no knives for obvious reasons). They can move home when they learn to depend on each other for survival. They are 11 and 8. Too young???

    34. The one about cats and laundry chutes brings back memories. My sister and I watched the cat “accidentally” fall down the chute, with only slight encouragement from us.

    35. I’m beginning to rethink this whole “girls are easier” notion I have. #16 – yea, my kids did that too. Thanks for the laugh!

    36. LOL you had me laughing. : )

    37. OH MY WORD! great rules… er… 😛

      was 9. the reason Mr. C is bald? lol

      their poor uncle!


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