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Rules Your Kids Remember (When They Are Older)

June 10, 2022

Like many families when we get together we eat. And we tell stories on each other. The more embarrassing the better.

My dear mother is here for a visit. Many of my adult children gathered at our house, to eat and to tell stories. My mother informed my kids that they had a rule there was no singing at the table.

Did he let you guys sing at the table when you were growing up?

Nope. No singing at the table.

I don’t remember making that rule!

Oh, you did, Dad. No singing at the table.

When your dad was a kid he didn’t like our no singing rule. He told me that when he grew up he was going to allow singing at the table.

I have no memory of this.

It’s funny the things we remember. Or that our kids remember.

We adopted three of our kids from Colombia. We had to spend a month in the country to finalize the adoption. We spent the time in a lovely bed and breakfast style house that served all our meals. My girls were 7, 9 and 11. (Although my lovely wife remembers them being 6, 8 and 10. Funny how she misremembers things, right?) Anyway, I speak terrible Spanish and my girls, of course, spoke no English.

One night at dinner I was joking and attempted to say, “No playing at the table.” The Spanish is approximately “No jugar a la mesa.” Instead I said, “No fumar a la mesa.”

“Jugar” means playing.

“Fumar” means smoking.

My girls thought it hilarious that I told them there was no smoking at the table.

It’s still a good rule.

There is one rule that I did make and my kids still remember. We told my dear mother the story.

What’s the rule about cooking?

Don’t leave the kitchen while you are cooking.

Yup. We had the rule in place for years and then, one Saturday I was working on cars and I heard someone’s alarm clock going off. I thought it was odd since the garage was a long ways from anyone’s bedroom. I didn’t give it much thought because I was in the middle of replacing a power steering pump.

Finally, after about 20 minutes it became too much and I finally decided to go track down the annoying alarm. As I opened the door to the kitchen it became obvious that it was not a bedroom alarm clock malfunctioning. It was the smoke detector and it was working perfectly. One of my children had started to cook ramen and not only left the kitchen, he left the house. He went off to WalMart.

It took days to get the smell of smoke out of the house and the pot was a total loss. Some rules are more important to remember than others.

I very well could have make a no singing rule. I just don’t remember.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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