We started when they were itty bitty. There were rules about when they went to the doctor, when they are supposed to sleep, when to wake them to feed them, how much to feed, what to feed them. We quickly tossed a bunch of those “rules” (hello, my doc told us to wake Woo to feed him every three hours! He was already gaining a pound a week, he was good). Out went the old, and we started a few of our own. Most of them were arbitrary and told in jest to infants that could not understand them.
As both lils got older, they did start to ask about things that are governed by rules; when you can drink, when can drive, when you are allowed to vote. We gave them the correct ages for all of these, and started making up a few of our own. Rules about how old you must be to ride your bike down the slide (eight), which is the highest stair that you can jump off of (the third), and when you can become a vegetarian (twelve). Lots of these values change to suit the situation that they arise from, and the lils like to review them regularly.
Moving to India has meant that there were a large number of new rules thrust upon the lils. They have adopted many of them, but still fight and question a few. We knew it was only a matter of time before the started coming up with their own rules. Surprisingly, it was Goose that came out with a rule for us all.
Each bedroom in our house has its own attached bath, and the lils love to use any toilet other their own when they need to go. This often means that they use each other’s. A few weeks ago Goose reached her breaking point and adamantly decreed that anyone who used her bathroom had to sit down. She was apparently tired of her brother messing up her toilet, and had figured out that this was the only solution. It’s worked too. Woo follows the rule, she is happy and we have peace again when it comes to the toilet. Well, we did have peace. Tonight Woo instituted his own rule… Everyone who uses his toilet has to stand when they pee.