Making the Rules Up as I Go

I hate it when I have a draft in my post list with a title and a blank body.  That means I was really going somewhere.  Then I get distracted by life, only to return a couple of days later, and have absolutely no clue what I was going to write about.

It's going to be alright.  Because I'm making the rules up as I go.

There are some things in this life that are pretty cut and dried, like those ten rules written on a stone tablet a few thousand years ago.  Then there are some things that are open for interpretation, like whether or not you should let your baby cry sometimes, allow your children to fail, or feed your family frozen pizza.  I'll let you guess which ones of those I do.  I don't tell everything to strangers on the internet. 

Since I'm making it up as I go, it's okay that...

...at 3pm or whenever we finish school that day, I'm just settling my three year old into my bed for her afternoon nap, and that I have to lay down with her because after three years of fighting her at naptime, I have finally grown weary of fighting.  And I scratch her back, and snuggle with her in my big warm bed, and we share that special time together.  Pick your battles, they say.  Maybe they were right.

...my eleven month old terrorizes the house while school is going on.  I mean, terrorizes it.  She's happy as a lark and learning how to keep herself content.  I think that's pretty unprecedented in a not-quite-one-year-old.

(Yes, you read that right.  Those would be 101 cookie cutters spread across the kitchen floor.)

(That would be where she pulled the DVDs and books off the shelves in my bedroom.)

...we let our nine year old drop our baby down a slide on the playground [into the safe, strong arms of her daddy].  That is pure joy on that child's face.

...our girls prefer to wear skirts and/or dresses with optional glitter shoes when throwing a football or kicking a soccer ball. 

 (What's actually happening in this picture is that Abby was sacrificing her own body to stop oblivious Sarah from dribbling the ball straight into the pond.)

...our three year old likes the walker better than the actual baby.

...we don't immediately fix the tire on Ben's bike when it goes flat.  Let him use his old one for a couple of weeks so he can appreciate the one that fits him.  (That's not actually what's happening here, but we were on a bike-fixing strike for a while because he was popping tires every week.  In this picture, he just felt like terrorizing Abby.)

...part of our school day consists of hula-hooping time trials in the garage.  A little familial competition never hurt anyone. 

 Until it moved to hula-hooping around the neck.  That's not comfortable.

...our model of Olympus Mons on Mars has green lava.  No one actually knows what color the lava would be in an eruption on Mars...so we weren't necessarily taking too many liberties on this one.

....we use our Geoboards to make funny faces.  'Nuff said.

...we let Sarah try out her own ways of going down the slide.  (Really, Sarah?)

...we let our eleven month old explore.  At her own risk.  (By the way, anyone seen the picture of the camel eating the kid's head?
I cannot tell you how many people have told me that picture reminded them of me.  I have no idea why.  Maybe I should put the disclaimer "No Leahs were injured during the taking of these photographs.")

Just in the pantry...eating onion.

"Ugh.  How am I supposed to get out from under here?"

Maybe it's making up my own rules as I go or simply deciding not to have so many in some cases.  I think though, I might finally be learning to "let it go"...just a little.

My challenge to everyone reading this - whether you're in the throes of Type-A-ness, a recovering Type-A (like me), or you are the queen/king of letting it go - is this:

Find a way to bend your own rules this week.  Do something different.  Out of character.  Look at things from a different angle

Then, after you do it, Smile. 

(Just stay legal, please.  It's not that type of advice, I'm giving. *wink*)


Sharon said...

This was great, Jennie. You know how much I love the tales (and pictures) of your *crew* - but I really appreciated your advice in this post, too. I've been pretty uptight lately in my new mountain home. Frustrations have got me channeling my inner Mrs. Crabby.

So, I'm taking your advice - this week I'm going to let go of the rules (including the perfections that weigh me down), and try to have some fun...(just a little)

I'll keep it legal...probably.


Debbie said...

So glad you decided to learn that before the age of 50. Honestly, I am JUST teaching myself to do that after all these years. Perhaps a little home schooling season would have fixed what ailed me sooner.

My favorite shot is Ben on the bicycle, but I also love the skirt wearing football player. My girls have yet to get out of their skirt phase. The Mercer people probably think we belong to some sort of skirt imperative church.

And just so you know, Leah is scaring me because she's growing up so fast!!

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