Living by the Rules

I have many rules and many sets rules.  I have the rules that I had as a child growing up, I have the self imposed rules I had when I was single, I have those rules that I have imposed on my children and the rules that my husband imposes on the children.   We have the rules we all have to live by, otherwise known as laws.  Sometimes we follow them and sometimes we break them.  Sometimes we skirt around them and sometimes we ignore them.

When we were growing up we had the normal, general rules such as being respectful to our elders, being nice to others and obeying our teachers.  We learned to cook and clean and take care of ourselves and each other.  One of the weirdest “rules” we had was that when there was a thunderstorm we had to go to bed.  I remember being told that we had to be quiet during thunderstorms so we wouldn’t get struck by lightening.  We were told if we went to bed and burrowed under the covers we’d be even safer.  I remember many a summer day and night laying in my bed, covers pulled up to my chin, or even over my head completely if it was a bad storm,  scared to death and sweating like a pig so the lightening  wouldn’t “get me”.  It wasn’t until years later I found out that the whole reason for this “hiding” from the lightening was that storms scared our mother and us being the rambunctious rowdy kids that we were only made her nervousness worse so she wanted peace and quiet during storms to calm her nerves so the only way for her to get it was to scare us into being quiet.  Pretty ingenious when you think of it!

When our girls were little, not really little but like 8 and up, my hubby had some rules for them concerning electronics.  He would make them sign an agreement and he’d make them read the users manual from cover to cover before they could touch it.  Whether it was a boom box, VCR, camera, or whatever, they were not allowed to use it or even touch it until they had completely read the manual and signed their agreement. Sometimes he would even make them write a report on it to make sure they understood entire process.  The kids always treated our electronic equipment with much respect with the exception of the time that #3 accidently cut the cord of one of their boom boxes in two with a pair of scissors while #2 was “watching” her.  It was still plugged into the outlet when she cut the cord in two!  Thank God those scissors had rubber grips or they both might not be here today! There was actually a hole in the blade of the scissors from the electrical current.  And there was smoke/ash residue on the outlet cover!

The only other rule that I can think of that may have been a little unusual is that the kids had to try whatever we put on the table to eat.  They didn’t necessarily have to eat all of whatever we made but they did have to at least taste it.  They also weren’t really allowed to eat “boxed” or “canned” prepared foods like boxed mac n cheese or canned soups.  Hubby always did most cooking from scratch and really did not even allow those boxed/canned things in the house.  I think our kids were teenagers before they realized that there was such a thing as canned soup!  One of Hubby’s favorite things to cook and eat is soups so he always made them from scratch.  It was so funny having other peoples kids eat at our house because they were so used to eating boxed prepared foods they didn’t know how to act when they had made from scratch food.

I remember once that one of my best friends had asked us to watch her kids one day because she had something she had to do.  She brought boxed Kraft mac n cheese for them to eat for lunch. We had told her we would feed them but she assured me that they were very picky eaters so they would eat fine if we just made the mac n cheese for them.  Well, of course, hubby could NOT just let them eat plain boxed mac n cheese so he “jazzed” them up.  He just put salt and pepper and some “real cheese” in it and they wouldn’t eat it!  He was truly upset.  He really didn’t understand that most people did not eat like we did.  That most of them ate a lot blander foods just like they came out of the box with no extra seasoning or anything.

The upside is that our kids are pretty fearless in their eating habits and are willing to try a lot of different things and have a much better appreciation for food than most young people we know.  I think we did pretty good.  They are all decent, well rounded adults who treat others with respect and are hard workers.  And they still love us and know they can always come home!

This post has been my entry for this month’s Living Out Loud project. If you’d like to tell us some of your rules, head on over to Genie Alesia’s blog and LIVE OUT LOUD!


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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25 Responses to Living by the Rules

  1. suzicate says:

    Can I come eat at your house…those kids were crazy, your hubby makes the BEST homemade mac and cheese in the world!

  2. that girl says:

    i am new here and really enjoyed this post!

  3. Ron says:

    “Pretty ingenious when you think of it!”

    YES! Absolutely ingenious!

    Brava, MOM!!!!

    I bet you and hubby were/are the best parents to your childern while growing up. You’re hubby sounds a lot like how my father was when it came to food. However, my mother was a mixture of both. She would always cook dinner from scratch, EXCEPT on Thursday nights when my father was out playing cards with his friends. It was on that night she’d order pizza and orange soda – HA!

    Have a FAB Friday, my dear friend!


  4. Carol says:

    We had mostly from scratch food, but there were times we went for boxed, canned or frozen. When my kids were really little and I wasn’t working outside of home, we always had from scratch. When I was working full time, I was a bit less ambitious.

    But there were always rules that had to be followed. I think kids appreciate having set rules.

  5. Jenny says:

    I cooked from scratch for hubby most of our marriage but now with our busy lives and having to raise Madisyn, I just tell him I scratched the whole time I was in the By the way, why didn’t Dwight teach hubby how to cook when they lived together?? I would love for him to love to cook…I’m jealous!!

    • pegbur7 says:

      It’s never too late Jenny! He didn’t really go for cooking much until after he moved out. When he lived in Miami he went to culinary school there and I think that solidified this love of cooking. When the girls were littler he used to give cooking lessons to all our male neighbors every Monday night! Each couple would bring part of the ingredients for the meal and the ladies would socialize in the living room while all the men cooked in the kitchen! The women loved it needless to say!

  6. terrepruitt says:

    I think your lightening story is so funny.

    I am impressed that you and your hubby had rules for your daughters. I love, love, love the manual idea. That is awesome. Way to go! Helped the girls learn how to use AND take care of electronics. I think that requiring a child to taste what is cooked for a meal is a very good idea. It does get them in the habit of trying new foods.

    I was just talking to a friend about packaged foods and canned soup. I use them but not often, but I need to learn to make whatever boxed food I use from scratch. That way you can control what goes in it and avoid a lot of the stuff, I don’t like to eat. I tried to make flour tortillas once and it didn’t come out good at all. Back to the drawing board.

  7. I really wish my kid would be more fearless with her food. My formerly adventurous eater is now super picky and won’t even try a pickle! What kind of Jewish kid is she???

  8. NikNik says:

    The Hubs told me he thought all soup came from a can until he met me. He also thought that corn and green beans were the only vegetables! We are VERY fortunate to have had yall as our parents! XOXOXO

  9. As a working parent, I gave my kids the mac and cheese from the box. In the first place, there was the time element, but even more importantly, I didn’t know how to cook.

    Nowadays, everything that goes on our table is organic, made from scratch, and never out of a can or box. Time, a little more money, and a few years of learning to cook is all it took!

  10. Brenda says:

    It’s funny to look back at some of the rules our parents had for us… & then look at the rules we set for our own kids!!

  11. Megan says:

    Wow. Can I come eat at your house or maybe have your husband teach my husband to cook?

  12. Ruth says:

    Fun read!

    You reminded me that my parents tried the same “try one of everything on the table” rule with me. Boy did it backfire on them. I was one stubborn kid and would sit & sit at the table all night if I had to. I preferred all of their contrived consequences so as to avoid eating slimy green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, lima beans, etc. I STILL (at 40 – and much to my own dismay) haven’t tried MOST vegetables. So “I won”, right? Yes, I’m aware that I’m cheating myself of powerful cancer fighting vitamins. It’s a mental thing.

    But the fact that, despite having read the manuals, your kids cut that electrical cord! There’s some moxie!

    • pegbur7 says:

      Our kids are all grown now but they do all love vegetables…even greens and green beans!

      The youngest who was only about 6 or 7 and hadn’t read the manuals was the one who cut the cord when one of her older sisters who HAD read the manuals was supposed to be watching her. She claimed she was trying to cut a box and the cord just happened to get in the way! I just thank God she ddn’t get electrocuted or turn the house down!

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