After moving to the new neighborhood, there’s been a time period of getting to know the neighbors and the nuances of life here. Everyone is friendly and it’s a quiet area. There are several boys around Aden’s age so he’s having fun making new friends and playing outside. However, I find in most cases, I’m the mean mom. You see, we have a few rules in our household. Maybe this makes me a little cray-cray but whatever. Some of it is dictated by Aden’s allergies (I don’t have him carry his epi-pen yet as I’m pretty sure he would think it was a toy to play with) and other are dictated by the fact that we’ve experienced crazy and are hoping to prevent any repeat incidents.
Here are the rules:
- When school has started, you do not play outside until you have your homework done. If you “forgot” your homework at school, you’re out of luck. I bet you’ll remember it next time! And for all of the people freaking out that they “need their exercise”, they play outside all afternoon in their after school program. So they’re all sweaty and stinky by the time I pick them up and have had their share of fresh air.
- If you’re fortunate enough to play outside after homework, do not keep coming in and out of the house. Unless you’re about to pee your pants, stay outside until you plan on staying inside. If I hear you come in more than once, that’s a wrap. We don’t need a bunch of flies in the house and you certainly do not need to feed the whole neighborhood all of the lunch snacks I have in the pantry. It’s almost dinner time anyway.
- Speaking of dinner time, when I call you inside for dinner, you better hear me and you better listen the first time. I do not want to be that crazy mom who is running around the neighborhood in my not so nice lounge clothes looking for you. If that happens, consider it being docked in pay and you’re inside the next night. And don’t even ask to go outside after dinner!
- Don’t ask me 50 times if you can play in Johnny’s house. You have about 1 hour to enjoy and that means enjoy it outside. I don’t know Johnny’s parents like that so, no, you cannot play over there. Heck, I don’t even know what house they live in. Stop asking or you’re coming inside.
- If you have your homework done, you’ve stayed outside and you came in at dinner and didn’t ever ask to play at Johnny’s house, you may get a chance to go back outside after dinner….if the streetlights are not on. If they are, that’s a night and it’s time to take a shower (because you stink like the outside) and get ready for bed. If you argue, you lose tomorrow night.
So, these are the rules we use. Maybe I’m mean, but it’s what fits our family and our kids. So recently, one of the boys came over and asked Aden to play outside. He, knowing the rules, told them he had to finish homework and eat before he could come out. They were a little puzzled by this. Aden, being the child who challenges everything, pressed me about why his friends can do certain things and he cannot. “Because I’m not your friend. I am your mom. My job is to make sure you can follow rules, stay safe, and be respectful. It’s not changing so stop asking.” He rolled his eyes and groaned. My reply: “That’s fine. You can stay in tonight.” Hopefully someday he will learn. And hopefully it’s before he’s an adult when we can actually be more like friends….