Friday, September 11, 2009

Rules I Followed As A Kid And Still Do.

When you are growing up, there are, reasonably, certain limitations put on your behaviour. Small children generally behave like minature drunken sailors on a 24 hour shore leave, and have to be corralled in such a manner that they present no danger to themselves or anyone else. (Hence the invention of the playpen. Or "baby jail", as it was referred to in our house.)
As children get older they can be trusted to understand that there are rules that need to be followed, so that everyone is safe and order reigns and mommy's head doesn't burst into flames without warning.
And somehow, those rules continue to be obeyed, LONG after the need for such restrictions is no longer applicable. I have come to realize that it is just as well that I did not live in a Communist country as a youngster, or in the confines of a religious cult, because I would be a hopeless slave to whatever doctrine I had been programmed to.

Some of the rules I follow as an adult are:

*Don't EVER adjust the thermostat. There was no point in even ASKING to touch the thermostat or change the temperature in the house when I was growing up , because it would never, ever be given. Because the most heinous crime imaginable was touching the thermostat. Civlizations would crumble and meteors would crash into the earth and nature would mount an assault on humanity if children touched the thermostat. When the Mister and I got married, I spent an entire December weekend freezing in my own house, because it never occurred to me that I could adjust the temperature. Because that would mean touching the thermostat.

*Hands in pockets. When I was a kid, my mother always commanded "hands in pockets" whenever we were in any sort of store with delicate, breakable, forbidden-to-be-touched objects in it. And to this day I cannot be in a china department with my hands unincarcerated, even though I am perfectly capable of keeping them under control.

*Hold a knife by it's blade. When you are walking with a knife, you MUST hold the blade of the knife in your hand, otherwise it will run amok and stab someone. Or you. I can't remember which. But a knife blade unsheathed by the insurmountable armour of your palm is dangerous beyond belief, and I'm horrified whenever I see anyone else dabble in such folly.

*Don't open things with your teeth. Opening packages with your teeth was, to my mother, the most gruesome, horrifying act one human being could commit. I'm not really sure why, perhaps she was afraid that my teeth would shatter to smithereens if they came in close contact with a stubborn popsicle wrapper, I don't know. But to this day, I NEVER use my teeth to open anything, ever, and find myself screeching the same directive to my children whenever I see them do it.

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