Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Top Ten Rules of the Craig House

Okay, I’m not a big follower of the rules. Well, except when they’re my rules! Now, ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’m a tad of a rule bender, and rule tweaker. I was mostly born that way. I mean, when my mom told me that I had to clean my plate, I did. The fact that I cleaned it by scraping the peas and hominy-God I hated that stuff—to a nice, little hideaway behind the refrigerator, is just a little manipulation of the rule. When my editor tells me my books have to be 90,000 words or less, I simply delete spaces between the words. Hey, if he wants to fix it, that’s his business. When I handed him the manuscript it was only seven thousand over the word limit.

Nevertheless, we do have some Craig rules. Some of them came into being because of some extraordinary experiences. Others are just . . . well, normal household rules.

1) No snakes in the refrigerator.

The son was five and he found mama very negative about his recent barrage of pets. The three frogs he’d captured and stored in his toy box. The neighbor’s kitten he’d kidnapped and hidden in his sock drawer. But the one that incited the actual rule was when I opened the butter dish and found what suspiciously looked like a baby copperhead tucked behind the blue cheese. (Oh, no animals have been harmed by my son. There was the dead squirrel, but he picked that up off the side of our yard—road kill—right before he carried it to show our new neighbors.)

2) No Play Dough in the sugar canister.

Yes, I explained that this was the last pack of Play Dough I would buy if he lost the tops again and wasn’t able to seal the cans and stop the fun little entertainment from drying out. Well, guess what the sugar canister came with—a nice little seal top.

3) No whole eggs, shells still on, cooked in the microwave.

“Can I boil an egg in the microwave?” I was asked by my then seventeen year old son. YES, Seventeen!
“No. If you put a whole egg in the microwave, it will explode like a bomb in seconds.”
(Warning: Anything that blows up and fast sounds like a good thing to a seventeen year old.) “Holy crappers, Mom! You were right. That egg is plastered all over the microwave.”

4) No farting at the kitchen table.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it?

5) No condoms in the dryer for mom to find later.

“It was AIDs’ awareness day and they were passing them out at college and I forgot to take them out of my pocket.” Right, I bought that.

6) No running from mommy when I’m trying to snatch the dingle berry that is dangling from the fluffy hairs that surrounds your cute little bottom.

(This is not my son I’m referring to, just in case you thought it was. Or hubby. “Come on kitty, if you want to sleep with mama, the dingle berry has to go.”

7) No throwing up hairballs on the kitchen table when company is walking in the front door.

I think this is pretty self-explanatory as well.

8) No wearing boxers around the house that doesn’t have button front. Yes, mama thought you were cute when you were two and used to streak through house, but things change!”

9) If it smells funny, or taste funny, don’t, DO NOT, ask me to taste it or smell it.

“Sweetheart, this milk tastes bad, really sour, can you taste it?” Sweetheart, doesn’t like sour milk, I don’t even like milk period, why would I want to taste it if it’s bad?

10. No letting Junior’s pet rats loose in the bathroom when Grandma Ginger is visiting.

I think this is another one of those that should be self-explanatory. However, it might have been hubby who instigated this. What can I say, she’s his mother-in-law.

So...do you guys have rules at your house? What rules do you bend, break, use to your favor? What were the rules at your parents' house? Come on . . . share a little.


Michelle said...

Oh Christie,

They are too funny, we don't have any rules like that in my house. Though we probably should, the boyfriend asks me all the time if something is bad--ie the cheese that he had already eaten,lol. I said "you'd know if it was bad" and just left it at that.

Sorry I missed responding to last weeks blog, it was too funny as well.

Mary Quast said...

I laughed so hard reading your post! I have three boys, two guinea pigs, a frog, a turtle, a dog, and a husband... we've named the house Camp Run-A-Muk. I so know the dingle berries but is usually the yougest son. LOL

We have many of the same rules. I do however have a sign posted on my home office door. "If it's not on fire or not bleeding, don't bother me". Unfortunately, this doesn't stop the phone calls from another extension in the house.

Another is: If Daddy is standing next to you, looking in the freezer... don't come running to me while I'm using the toliet to see if I'll scoop you ice cream.

Do not call me during an author event wondering where your coffee, shoes, baseball mitt or what's for lunch.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Michelle,

Thanks so much for stopping in. You know I get that one too, son, will say, "Mom, is that chicken still good in fridge?" I'll say, "It's been in their a week. I wouldn't eat it." He'll say, "Mom, how sick will bad chicken make you?"

Thanks for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Mary,

Good Lordie, girl. Three boys! Your house really must be Camp Run-a-Muk! Especially, if you boys are anything like mine.

Love you rules!!! Once my son came into my study and I'm on the phone and he says, "Mom, I need to ask you question."

Christie Craig said...

Okay, that post, posted itself.

The rest of the story... I say to son, "I'm on the phone with my agent."

He says, "It's important." I ask the agent to hold on, and son asks, "What's for dinner!"

I swear, it was good thing I needed the phone or I would have thrown it at him.

Thanks so much for stopping in.


Linda Warren said...

Hi Christie,
As always, so fuuny. Does your son get a lot of his qualities from his mother? LOL He sounds like a hoot.

We have rules at our house, no kids, but my husband ignores them. Number One Rule - Do not bother wife when she's writing unless it's an emergency.

Here are a few of his emergencies. Have you seen my keys?

Is that ham any good in the refrigerator? (what is it with guys? Are women offical tasters?)

Have you seen that receipt for those lures I bought last month?
Grrr!! I'm thinking of buying a lock.

Great post.

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Morning, Christie! Too funny about the milk. This is my husband about once a week. "I don't know if it's spoiled, milk always smells bad to me. Can you smell it for me?" How can you not know the difference between fresh and sour milk? LOL

My main rule is: No talking to mommy until she's been awake for at least half an hour. Needless to say, I'm not a morning person.

Some other rules...that no one ever follows unless they want something:

Everyone is responsible for putting their own stinky clothes in the hamper, especially socks and underwear.

Garbage goes in the garbage can, not on the counters.

No worms in my refrigerator.

No talking to mommy when she's in the middle of typing - wait for a pause. This rule gets broken on a daily basis, which is why I CAN'T WAIT for school to start...LOL

Great post, Christie!

Julie Robinson said...

Hilarious, Christie. Nos. 4,5, and 8 really got to me, being the only female in the house with a hubby and son. Probably my no. 1 rule is Put things back where you found them. 'cause if something is not where I'm expecting it to be, even if it's close by, I just don't see it! But I supposed that's my problem!!

Becky LeJeune said...

HIlarious! And yes, my guy is a taste tester, too. Never believes me when I tell him he shouldn't eat something.

We have a lot of food rules that get broken (by him) often, and that's one of them: listen to me when I tell you something shouldn't be eaten!

He has a tendency not to put up all of the leftovers. If it won't fit in one container of the size of his choosing, the rest gets tossed. One night, he chose to eat the rest that was supposed to get tossed -- it had a cream sauce with alcohol in it and had been out overnight at this point -- and then got so sick that I have been barred from making the dish ever again. And he still hasn't learned his lesson.

The other rule I have is if the case of beer won't fit in the fridge because there's too much food in the way, food is not to be removed to make space for beer! This is an issue when his friends come over. Why they feel 24 is a better deal for 4 people (I don't drink at all) baffles me. They want it all in the fridge at once and then I'm left maneuvering around it for the next week.

Is it genetic that man think women are full of it?

Anonymous said...

Oh, these were just too funny, Christie! I have to laugh about the "is this food product okay?" comments from guys. My ex had this habit of saying that food was spoiled when it wasn't. Like the ham I got one year for Christmas. I didn't get honey-baked; I got it with maple and brown sugar. He said it was spoiled and woudn't eat it.

His dog, my cat and I had a great feast. LOL.

Sandy said...

Christie, I just love to read your posts. I'm still giggling. I'm going to become a follower. I just have to do it.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Linda,

Okay, I love the emergencies. Funny, we a lot of the same emergencies around here.

Thanks so much for stopping by.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Donna!

I like your rules. The no worms in the fridge is a good one. But I can't seem to get my crew to abibe by it. "But mom, I'm trying to keep them alive so I can fishing tomorrow!"

I mean...Yuck!!!!!

Thanks for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Julie,

Look, would you please let me know how you get them to follow that rule? Hubby and son use something then come back and ask me where it is. I say, why don't you look where you last used it!!

Thanks for stopping by.


Christie Craig said...


I love the beer story. That is so like a man!

Yup, I think men think we're crazy, but of course we know differently. Ahh, gotta love em.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Faye,

Good think you got rid of that guy. Is this where you cat learned to say..."Ham?"

Thanks for dropping by.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Sandy,

Thanks! Girl, we all need to laugh more often. Thanks so much for popping in.


TerriOsburn said...

I love these. You have such an interesting household. LOL!

Apparently, my ex and Faye's are related because mine always thought everything was spoiled when it wasn't. The really scary part, my daughter inherited the trait.

We have the "Don't wake mommy on the weekends" which has the unspoken understanding "unless you want to unleash the evils of hell."

I try to enforce the rule "Do not come into the bathroom while mommy is in there" but that one won't stick. And now, I can't go without the cat either. What is up with that?! He even gets in the shower!

Christie Craig said...


Your cats and Faye's may be related too. They are always following her into the bathroom. Okay, I have two kitties that also think the throne position is great for petting.

I've threatened to visit them while their in the BOX, but it hadn't done any good.

Thanks for popping in.


Julie Robinson said...

If only!
I try to make it a rule!

Kimberly Ivey said...


I'm with you on the "dingle balls." A few years ago, Mr. Tom Tom, our kitty, ate a strand of silver Christmas tinsel off the tree and I had to chase him all over the house with the ahem...dingle ball attached to the tinsel and (clunk, clunk) trailing behind.

We have a few rules, like absolutely DO NOT try to flush a clogged toilet until I've accessed the situation. (My crew is absolutely NO good at plunging and has caused many a hideous nightmare by not observing said rule.) Another rule is that we don't eat cooked chicken after two days. Homework is always done before dinner or playtime. Jeans can be worn twice without laundering (three times in dire situations) provided there is no odor. *That's a woman rule. For the guys it's different. Five to seven days is considered "manly". The stinkier, dirtier, and saggy-er, the better.

Julie Robinson said...

OMG, ROFL, Kimberly, that is toooo funny.

Christie Craig said...

Okay Kimberly!

You had me chuckling and good.

Love those rules!!!

And the jean thing is soooo true.

Thanks for sharing.


Refhater said...

One of the rules from my childhood was that while at a store, all children must hold on to the shopping cart at all times. It's funny because even though all of us are adults now we still hang onto the cart if we ever go shopping with mom.

Another rule was that we never were to interupt mom when she was talking. We had to squeeze her hand and then wait to be acknowledged.

And if we got caught fighting with each other we had to say 5 nice things about the person we were fighting with.

I have my own apartment now so anything goes except that no foods will be consumed after the expiration date has passed. They put those dates on there for a reason!

Christie Craig said...


I agree, Kimberly should write her own top ten rule list. Hey maybe I can get her to do it here!


Christie Craig said...

Okay, Refhater,
I'm getting very funny visual of a grown family moving through the grocery store with a bunch of adults holding onto the basket.

Very funny.

And I really like the five nice things rule.

Thanks so much for stopping in.


Brandy said...

One of our few rules is for my Daughter. I stopped doing her laundry last year and now make her do her own. Because I would wash, dry, and fold her laundry only to have it sit on her desk until she used piece by piece. (And she'd never put anything in the hamper, instead leaving it all over her floor.) She now waits until she has NO clothes to wear THAT day to run a load. *head thunk*
I get the whole "Does this smell bad?" too. Is my nose better than theirs?
And "have you seen...?". What am I the keeper of lost objects?
I understand dingle-berries. (We have 8 cats.)
I am enjoying every one else's rules!

Steve said...


Love it. My seventeen years does his own laundry and he will pull something out of the dirty clothes for a few days before he'll wash.



Christie Craig said...

He (Steve) also gets on google on my computer and doesn't sign out. I'm killing him!!