By Andrew Knott of Explorations of Ambiguity
1. Dry cereal eaten straight from the box is not lunch. You have to eat in a bowl with milk for it to qualify as lunch.
2. When performing stunts on the couch, barstools cannot be used as jumping platforms, only kitchen chairs. Kitchen chairs cannot be stacked on top of each other on the couch. A maximum of five pillows can be placed on the kitchen chair (only one!) after it is placed on the couch to increase the height of the jumping platform.
3. The only terms you can use to refer to your hindquarters are hindquarters and rear body area.
4. No eating cookies before 11 a.m. And then, you can only eat one half of one Oreo. If you eat the half, you may eat the second half after noon, but only if you eat your Cinnamon Toast Crunch for lunch first. In a bowl with milk!
5. You must take a bath or shower at least every third day, and on any day that you use your hands and/or face to dig in the backyard. You may choose shower or bath, but once you verbally commit to one or the other, you may not switch. Quick reminder: Hindquarters shaking is permitted in the shower, but not in the bath. Keep that in mind when you make your choice.
6. At bedtime, you can watch half of a two-part Miles from Tomorrowland episode on the iPad. That’s it! Then we can read one book. That book will be Hide and Squeak or I Am a Bunny. No exceptions! Then I will lie on the floor beside your bed until you fall asleep as long as you fall asleep within forty-five minutes. I’m a busy person; I don’t have all night!
7. Watching SpongeBob SquarePants or Tiny House, Big Living on TV is strictly prohibited. Kid shows you may watch include, but are not limited to, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Million Dollar Listing: New York. Television watching time is more or less unlimited, except for when I want to watch sports or HGTV.
8. When at the playground, you are only allowed to walk, run, or hop up the slides if there are no other children within a three-yard radius and the passive aggressive mom who follows her kid around everywhere repeating the phrase, “We don’t do that,” is not present. I am scared of that mom.
9. No shoes on the couch!
*A version of this post was first published on McSweeney’s
About the Author
Andrew is a writer from Orlando, Florida. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Higgs Weldon, RAZED, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Defenestration Magazine, Scary Mommy, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Paste Magazine. He also writes on his website, Explorations of Ambiguity, and you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. His first book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available now.