Sunday, November 28, 2010

House rules

The company has left.  Daughter, son-in-law, and new grandchild moved in.  After the baby being in the hospital for her first 7 weeks of life her parents decided they wanted to be around someone experienced in babies.  They packed up their apartment and moved home.  They are adding to the medical preparedness of the household as he was in the Navy and she in the Army, both with medical backgrounds.  They are both out of the military and he just finished college and she is in the middle of college.  He has a job starting in April with the fire department so from now until then they will be here at the house.  They aren't the type to sit around so that is good. 

This is a good test of adding additional people who are self sufficient but need to follow house rules.  By being in the military they understand chain of command.  This will make things easier but presently there aren't any written rules.  I know that it's the best way to go to make sure that none of the major items are overlooked or not observed.  The list needs to include items required by everyone in the household and another list of age appropriate requirements. 

For example, I expect the grandchildren to do their homework without me having to harp on them about this.  We do have rules for the grandchildren.  There are separate rules for the school year and for summer. 
Both kids up by 6:00.  Girl: make bed, sweep kitchen and hall, brush hair.  Eat breakfast.  Get dressed. Out the door at 7:20.  After school: homework, pick fruit, set table, help with dinner if it's not ready, dinner. Shower. Bed.  On weekends same chores in morning, clean room: dust, change linens, sweep floor, wash floor, take out trash.  Even Saturday, clean bathroom.  Plus two additional assigned chores.  These are all to be done prior to playing, watching tv, calling friends, etc.

Boy is pretty similar.  In the morning he showers, put bedding into laundry, unloads dishwasher.  In the evening he feeds the dog, picks vegetables, and serves the plates.  Saturday chores are same as girl with the exception of odd Saturdays he cleans the bathroom. 

There's no running in the house, no leaving toys on the floor, and other basic rules, although only the chore chart is actually written.

What about the adults?  There are glasses left all over the house.  What about our unwritten rule of no eating anywhere except the kitchen, dining  room or outside?  What about shoes left everywhere?  How about shoes in the mudroom in the cubbies and boots in the garage?  The baby is great but the house doesn't need to have the baby things on every surface.  You can't see the bathroom counter because makeup and hair stuff is everywhere.  No PG 13 or R rated movies on with children under 13 around, in fact, no tv on during the day. 

I said that I appreciated them doing the dishes but to please hang the wet towels on the hooks rather than leaving them on the wood counter tops.  Same goes with the laundry.  You can use the dining room table to fold laundry but you can't just pile the laundry on the dining room table and leave it there.  That doesn't mean pile the laundry on a sofa instead.  You don't leave the doors open when it's 35 degrees out because you will be back in in just a minute.  If people don't know the rules they will continuously break them albeit unintentionally. 

Written rules seem stupid if you just have your immediate family in the house.  Everyone knows the rules as they grow up with them.  If you have new people coming into the house continuously you will either be giving orders all the time (do it this way, do it that way) or you will keep your mouth shut and let if fester until you explode.  Neither of those ways are good.  How are they supposed to know?  After I write this I will put a set of written rules together.  

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