Rules Shmules!

I love the story of Officer Buckle--the mustache donning, "round around the middle," police officer and his trusty canine companion, Gloria.  Peggy Rathmann's book is a favorite around our pad!

Since Officer Buckle and Gloria understand the importance of rules and safety, they volunteer their time traveling to schools and educating young children.  They speak in large auditoriums, they share safety tips in 313 schools.  After every speech they go out for ice cream.

Their rules are hoot!  Some of them include:

--Never play in the microwave oven.
--Wash your hands after you use the toilet.
--Never eat mayonnaise that's been sitting in the sun!

Recently--and in a true "Officer Buckle Moment"--my children engaged us in an impromptu "rule making" session at the dinner table.  It was Taco Tuesday on a Wednesday.  (Because that's how we seem to do things at our house!)  We were enjoying the crunch of the shells and the zip of the salsa when Lilly began telling us about her school teacher's classroom rules.

"I know!  We should have family rules!," Lilly suggested.

"Hey," I said, "that's a great idea, Lil!  Let's make some up."

"Lilly is a fat donut!," Cam yelled, exuberantly and unexpectedly.

Lilly crossed her arms, scowled across the table and said, "RULE NUMBER ONE:  Do NOT call people fat donuts!"

And so it began.  We talked and talked--some rules bringing on fits of giggles, others being vetoed like rejected bills in government.  The meal was finished, the table was cleared, and the whir of the dishwasher provided methodic background noise.  By the end of the night, we had compiled a small list of McDaniel Family Rules:

1.) Do not call people, "fat donuts."

2.) No electronics at the dinner table.

3.) Do not show people your middle finger.  (Don't even ask...  I have the public school system to thank for this one, and the fact that I have little control over who Lilly's teacher sits her by.  Apparently her "desk buddy" has a daddy who has a chronic middle-finger problem.  Oye.)

4.) Do not use your pencil as a weapon.

It was the illimitable Katherine Hepburn who said, "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun."  I beg to differ.  Kids are the fun!  I mean, come on!  Don't use your pencil as a weapon?!  Dudes, I can't make this stuff up if I tried.

I could go for a fat donut about now...



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