"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
September 5, 2013
More Rules I Shouldn't Have to Make
by Hannah Bird

It has been a year since I shared some of our family rules. That means that I have a whole new year’s worth of hard and fast rules that I should not have had to make.

  • When it is your turn to pick a song in Primary you may not request a moment of silence.

  • The dog is not a dust pan.

  • You do not have an evil twin. Stop claiming otherwise.

  • Do not form a toll gate at the end of the driveway.

  • If you do form a toll gate at the end of the driveway, you may not be armed with any of the following — the cattle prod, a bb gun, or the splitting maul. It’s the plastic bat or nothing.

  • You may not charge Mother’s invited guest extortionary toll taxes.

  • You may not greet guests with a pot on your head screaming, “Come with me if you want to live.”

  • If an adult is sharing a fishing story, you may not reply by pointing out that his fish was small and he used the wrong bait.  Also, after you have done so, please understand that he does not want you to show him the right way to cast. Even if you learned it from your uncle.

  • You may not ask guests to purchase landmines that mother said no to. Even if you are tired of people coming into your room.

  • Stop referring to the fence as the safety perimeter and making dark comments about wolves. Your city cousins are freaking out.

  • You may not bet on the chickens.

  • You certainly may not find a mouse in the field and give it to the chickens so that your friends can see how much a chicken looks like a T-Rex when it kills a mouse.

  • You may not chase people with the remaining mouse bits.

  • It is not ok to describe any of your beloved aunts and uncles as “like Mom but really cool.”

  • If you get into an argument with Mom about who has the best mom, she will win. But you are still not getting any ice cream.

  • If Mother said the one word she promised Grandma she would stop saying because a lovely young couple from Methuselah's graduating class was trying to drive an RV the size of Delaware up a steep and windy pass at the speed of erosion while towing an entire car lot, you must at least say hello to Grandma before you rat Mom out.

  • You are not a Ninja. You are not permitted to offer to solve other people’s problems using your “ninja skills.”

  • If someone asks you to do something that Mother does not permit, politely decline. Under no circumstance should you tell that person that Mom will kill their entire family and burn down their house.

  • Go to bed means to your bed. It does not mean drag a sheet onto the floor and sit on it while you play legos for hours. Also avoid the phrase, “Well technically…” It in no way applies.

  • When Mother gets a new Latin book, you may not take it and read it all in one night. Also, you may not argue with Mom in Latin. She has no idea what you’re saying. Actually, scratch that. You can do all these things. It’s obviously working.

  • You may not hand your math paper in after writing, “The right answer” in every space. Again, the word “technically” is not your friend.

  • When riding horses with cousins for the first time, you may not intimate that not everyone made it back last time.

  • Calf races are not a thing. Leave the calves alone.

  • You may not drive. Even if you team up so one does the steering and one works the pedals.

  • When Mommy is trying to have a legitimate discussion with a teen sibling, you may not stand behind her singing, “This is the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny…”

  • If you are overcome with giggles and have to be excused from the dinner table to calm down, proceed quickly and quietly to the stairs. You may not scream, “Avenge me!”

  • If Daddy takes you to the ranch, you must get in the car when it is time to go home. You may not hide in an attempt to live off the land all winter.

  • You did not have a sixth sibling that Mommy misplaced. This is how rumors get started.

  • It is good manners to compliment my Aunt Karen’s cooking. You may not, however, compliment her cooking months later at our house while looking at what Mommy made for dinner.

  • I’m glad that you enjoyed Tangled. You still may not lean out the second story window and scream for rescue.

  • You may settle minor arguments with the time honored tradition of “Paper, Rock, Scissors.” You may not settle them with karate fights.

  • We all enjoy having guests stay over. To ensure they come back, you may not follow them to their cars saying, “Take me with you.”

  • Rolling around in dirt is not “basic camo.” No, you may not call your traitorous uncle for a second opinion.

  • The fact that Mommy laughed doesn’t mean you aren’t in trouble.

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About Hannah Bird

I am me. I live at my house with my husband and kids. Mostly because I have found that people get really touchy if you try to live at their house. Even after you explain that their towels are fluffier and none of the cheddar in their fridge is green.

I teach Relief Society and most of the sisters in the ward are still nice enough to come.

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