Monday, January 28, 2008

"That" House

This past Saturday, I was doing everything in my power to keep some kind of bug at bay, and Joe-Henry was BEGGGGGGIIIING me to play Hullabaloo with him, and I was BEGGGGIIIING him to leave me alone and let me sit on the couch, the doorbell rang. It was the little boy who lives across the street. His sister had been by earlier to return something her mom had borrowed the night before, and I mentioned that Joe-Henry was available to play. So first one child arrives, then his sister, then his brother and the other neighbor, along with his oldest brother. They all made themselves at home, I brought up some games and cleared the coffee table out of the living room, spread out paper on the dining room table for art projects, and managed to actually get a little rest and get some housework done. With seven kids in my house. It was easier than one in some ways, but also I knew that eventually they would go home, and I would be allowed to savor that.

But since then, our house has somehow become "that house", the one where everyone wants to play and today being a snow day, and Joe-Henry having a cough, and me trying to get my damn school core testing done, I had to set a few more rules. And since Joe-Henry didn't want to tell on his friends if they were misbehaving, I decided to make it easy on everyone and set some house rules. Let me know what you think:


1. BE KIND. No trash talk, no back talk, and no inappropriate language.

2. If you played with it, please put it away before you leave.

3. If you’d like something to eat or drink, please ask first. If you eat something with a wrapper or a peel, please throw it
away. If you drink something in a disposable container, put it in recycling when finished.

4. No hitting, no pushing and no playing with pretend guns or weapons inside the house, no aiming pretend guns or
weapons at other people. Ever.

5. Ball throwing, screaming, rough-housing must be done outside.

6. If you need to tell an adult about someone else’s behavior more than once, it’s time to go home.

If you can think of any others, let me know. I'm posting them in Joe-Henry's bedroom. He was pretty excited about it until I explained to him that "modelling" behavior meant actually behaving that way himself, rather than just reading the rules to his friends out loud with a whistle around his neck. Anyway, I figure it might save me some arguments.

I love that we are "that house". I am thrilled that Joe-Henry has friends that want to play with him and that they feel comfortable here, and I'm glad to be providing a safe, fun environment for them. Really, I am.

Oh, and if anyone has any great cocktail recipes, send those my way, too.


Anonymous said...

Of course you're "that" house. Everyone knows that "that" house is chosen based on the coolest mom. No one wants to hang at the house with the bitchy mom. Or over-involved, clingy mom. Or nagging, cranky mom.

"That" house has the cool mom. And it's your house.

Can't tell you how glad I am to see the flurry of posts from you. Just last night (hand to Buddha) Franklin and I were saying how worried we were about you, and which one of us should send you the e-mail asking if everything is okay in McQ household.

suttonhoo said...

cocktail? did someone say cocktail?

and I swear to god it was just a coincidence that the vodka redhead happened to be on the home page. ;)

(p.s. I hear the harvey wallbanger is coming back)

and I second the cool mom bit -- so true.

anniemcq said...

Oh, Tracey. I had to laugh, because some days, more often than I care to say, I AM the bitchy, over-involved, clingy, nagging and cranky mom. Sometimes all at once. Zoiks.

I love you girls to bits and pieces. Thank you for worrying about me - it's been a long hard week, with some struggling going on, and I do finally feel as though I'm coming out the other side.

D. I can't wait to try the vodka redhead! Although, my hair is no longer so red - I am letting my "wisdom" show, and growing out my hair, and it is very, very GRAY! More Cocktails, please!

English Garden said...

we always had a ton of kids in our house growing up and it was fun. Your rules look good, hope it works!!

I, Rodius said...

Sounds like a good set of rules. I might have to adapt it for babysitting the niece and nephew. Good luck to me with the "no trash talk" one, though.

And a houseful of boys? Good luck to you on the "no guns" one. We can turn ANYTHING into a gun! Pow pow!

Donna said...

I sooo wish we could be THAT house! But we are not close to anybody except the cows across the street (and they make such a mess in the house!). I may offer transportation in the summer so we can be THAT house every now and then. (And Tracey is right, it's all about the MOM!)

JH sounds like he is on the move and taking care of business. There is nothing a mom loves more, right? I can feel the love from here (where, by the way it is BELOW freezing and we have a winter storm warning for tomorrow AND I am missing work for the third day with an 8-year-old with strep). I never thought I would be BEGGING to go back to work! The Mighty Hunter has his worst week of the winter and can offer no respite. YUCK!!!!

Kari said...

I grew up in "that house"! Although I suspect it was "that house" mostly because it was the only one full of snack foods at all times. You're lucky, though -- enjoy it! At least you'll know where everybody is.

Lolabola said...

yay! you're that house. also I love that photo. looks almost like a pinhole with those colours.

my favourite is the rusty nail if you're looking for cocktails.