Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer House Rules


We've always been The House where the neighborhood kids gather. I love that. LOVE IT. Secretly wanted it since I started planning my family. I like kids, I really do. I also like knowing where my kids are, and what they're doing. Over the years, the concerns about their activities have changed of course, but being able to supervise them myself is still what I prefer.

We picked this house for many reasons, and one of them was that the neighborhood was in transition. The houses were built in 1974, and the kids who moved in here were for the most part now grown and gone, and the parents left behind were leaving for patio homes and places without kids running around. A whole new generation of families were moving in, and when we got here there were seven boys, all about the age of my boys, living on our short street. It's a semi-circle, and the only reason for someone to drive it would be to get home. There are other streets for cutting through the neighborhood. Perfect!

I do know that one of the reasons we're The House is that I feed them, so I thought I'd share my summer food rules, 2012 version, in case you are in need of some ideas for handling the hordes of teenagers camping out at YOUR house. Or so that you can laugh and say, “She's nuts. But kinda funny.”

  1. Use the paper plates and plastic cups I've provided, and hence, the trashcan.

  2. You must leave no trace of your presence behind. I should be able to look at my kitchen at the end of the day and wonder, “Did anyone eat anything?”

  3. Certain foods are off limits, but they've been marked. Eat them and you lose food privileges for a week. I don't want to start making dinner and realize they ate all the veggies for my stir-fry. With teenagers, I realize veggie stealing is only a remote possibility, but I also like to mess with them. “But Mrs. Downey, I don't even know what that is!” (lemon grass). No, I don't make them call me Mrs. Downey, but some of their PARENTS make them do that. I prefer they just call me Tina. It's my name.

  4. One pop per day. They are marked. You will NOT get away with it. And don't commit the unforgivable sin of taking my last diet Mountain Dew. You will be my manual labor slave until you drop dead. Or The Engineer gets home. He frowns upon this rule, not for the limiting of pop, which he believes shouldn't be in the house anyway, but in the slave labor. He pays them for chores.

  5. You must contribute one chore a day. If you can't figure out what that might be, there are large paving stones that need to migrate from the utility trailer to the pallets where we are gathering them for the eventual rebuilding of the back patio.

  6. I shop on Mondays. Whatever is in the house on Monday will not be replenished until the following Monday. Share and ration.

This was taken during Christmas vacation. They're all taller now, but that's about the only change. Mine are first and second from the left.




Are you The House?  What rules do you have?  Enjoy your weekend.  I'm headed for my continual thistle battle.  I'll show you the scars that are surely going to result later...

12 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Funny rules! I can imagine they would eat everything in sight if you didn't control it. Except the vegetables.
Our rules? No kids! Although my wife is notorious for eating the last of something and leaving me with nothing.

Jo said...

No kids in our home either. As for food, we both cook and know what's available so no 'finishing up' anything and leaving none for anyone else.

Zebsmom said...

I too wanted to be "the House" long before I gave birth. I really don't know what I was thinking, as if that would ever happend in a two mommie family like ours. I have yet to get any of my son's classmates to even come to our house, let alone be the "house". I love what you are doing, I think it's great!!

Brian Miller said...

ha those are not bad rules....share, do your share...free food...and fun...i am down with it...we dont have many kids in our neighborhood any more but we get a few in the summer...and you do have to ration the food...lol

Annalisa Crawford said...

Hmm, I might have to implement the manual labour threat - it sounds promising :-)

Jenny said...

I used to be 'The House'. I can't tell you how much I miss it.

Juli said...

I am also that house, but on the 8-11 age range. And the kids that come visit my boys are all girls.

Yup. I have THAT house. :)

loverofwords said...

I miss being The House too, and little kids. Love that your two have red hair, do they? And, because a while ago you said you love awards, I am giving you a "One Lovely Blog Award." (Be careful what you wish for). www,castlepinesnorth.blogspot.

deathwriter said...

I am the reluctant house, especially in the summer when everyone is bored and doesn't want to venture out in the 100 degree heat. I don't blame them, but it would be nice if someone else on the block would be the house.

Lynn Proctor said...

oh yeah, i remember being "that house" enjoy!

mare ball said...

We always had the house where the kids came too. It's so important to have a place where all the kids feels safe. The kids in your picture look like they're having a ball. We had similar rules.

JoJo said...

Thank you so much for following my bloggie! I appreciate the support! Following yours now as well. :D

No rules in my house because I don't have any kids, unless you count 2 dogs and one boyfriend. Since I don't have to work, I don't mind doing the housework, dishes and laundry.