There is way too much chaos in my house. So I'm going to reign it in. I do mean that literally, because, from now on,
1. Mama (hereafter known as We) is queen. No more of this cutesy I-poop-more-than-you-so-I-rule stuff. We won't talk about how many diaper changes We changed today in case Our readers are eating.
2. Only Our moods allow Us to indulge in Our bad tempers. This means that if you are small, you may not throw tantrums just because you are in a bad mood. That is Mama's job. Adjust accordingly.
3. If it comes from the parents' mouths, listen to it. If it comes from your mouth, keep it in (but don't swallow it if it didn't come from Our hand or the kitchen floor).
4. No candy before 4 pm. If you see the Queen trying to stuff candy in her mouth while your back is turned, know that We are only trying to protect you from the evil stuff and, if in doubt, refer to Rule 1.
5. Always clean your messes. If We don't clean up after ourselves, it's because you small children are corrupting Us with your bad examples.
6. Do not get angry when We spill, break, destroy, burn, or maim your toys. After all, when We ruin something of yours, it's purely accidental, but when you wreck Our stuff, We know it's because you have a secret personal mission to search out and destroy anything of value.
7. Go to bed on time. This you must do regardless of what events, TV shows, parental conversations, books, toys, or other distractions designed to keep small children awake are within your line of sight. We would never stay up late to do something more interesting than sleep.
8. Give the Queen her space. This means that when We are going to the bathroom alone or climbing Mount Everest (which are really the same thing), you make yourself scarce.
9. Stop growing! First, every inch you add to your height costs Us at least several thousand dollars. Second, it's much harder to get mad at your naughtiness when you're little.
10. When We've had a day so long and frustrating that stringing Ourselves upside down by the toes from your swingset seems more fun than dealing with you, do something really cute and funny that makes Us want to throw the whole list away.