Other people have those nice signs that state house rules like "Kindness comes first" or "Love each other" or even sensible things like "No hitting", but I do not live in that house.
- No singing sea shanties at the table. Of course, this has been expanded to include all singing (yes, even if it's from a musical or it's a song you learned in school), humming, drumming, tamborine/kazoo/ukulele/bodhrán playing, and musical interludes of any sort, but it all started with sea shanties.
- If you're going to chase each other around the house, at least go line of dance. Since we often end the evenings leading up to ballroom dance competitions with rounds of Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, and/or Quickstep on the main floor, your shenanigans better go counter-clockwise and involve good floorcraft.
- Only one baby can cry at a time. Really, I don't know how I pull this one off, but if I throw out this totally logical rule, the least hurt/sad/traitorous/ridiculous child will stop crying (yes, they always know which one they are).
- Greet guests and then offer them something from the menu. This one is fairly new, but we've been working on good hospitality (as opposed to the general scream-greeting, yelling over each other to share the latest news, jungle-gym-ing, blocking the way to the actual house method). You know, say "Hello" or "Happy New Year" or another timely greeting and then bringing the guest in the house and offering them something to drink or eat. So, OBVS, this lead to making a legitimate menu board, regular inventory of snacks and treats, and serious cafe standards. [Note: Zoo is the barista, Georgia is the server, and Violet is the manager/hostess.]
- You didn't like chocolate until you tried it, so try the [food thing]. I mean, I thought I didn't like avocados, pomegranates, sushi, Brussels sprouts, Indian or Thai food (!!!!), eggplant, ETC., ETC., ETC. It would stand to reason that my life could have been way better if I had discovered all that stuff years earlier. Hence, everyone has to try the gross-smelling, weird-looking, totally new food before they say they don't like it.
- Drink a glass of water before you [do the strenuous exercise]. V was convinced she didn't downhill ski well the second day she had ever skied in her life because she didn't finish her glass of water. WELL, THAT WILL SHOW YOU.
- No yelling. I mean, this is a pretty ordinary rule, but have you ever heard me? MULTIPLY THAT BY 5, Y'ALL. If I have passed anything on to my offspring (besides being completely adorable), it is NOT HAVING AN INSIDE VOICE.
What are your house rules?