Friday, June 21, 2013


Kids have RULES. They just seem to show up with them. If you don’t have children yet, never say that you haven’t been warned.

I was blindsided by this fact a number of years ago when I was minding my own business on a Sunday afternoon. Out of the blue, my offspring appeared at my side. “Your favorite color is yellow, Mommy,” Daughter said.

“No, it isn't, Honey. My favorite color is blue.”

“Nope,” said Son, jabbing his thumb in Daughter’s direction. “That’s hers.”

“Well, Sweetie, people can have the same favorite colors.”

“No they can’t!” Daughter pipes up.

“But… you just don’t get it,” I stammered, then tried to explain that there simply aren't enough colors to go around — that even if you parceled out every conceivable hue, the human eye couldn't see those billions of shades…
No, I was the one who didn't get it. I was being reassigned.

“You get yellow,” Son said. They both stuck out their chins.


They crossed their arms.

I was going down. Sure, they were under three feet tall, but I was outnumbered. And this was apparently THEIR WORLD, and these were THEIR RULES. It was a battle I could not win. Or you might say I was just too yellow to fight it. So I simply shrugged and thanked my lucky stars that I hadn't been assigned orange — orange and I DO NOT get along.

For the next 10 years I would receive yellow cards, yellow flowers, yellow hair ribbons, yellow placemats, you name it — if it was a gift, it was yellow. And I must admit that in some small sunshiny way, it made me appreciate all the wonderful yellow things that the world has to offer.

However, it wasn't long after my reassignment that I saw the dynamic duo approach my husband as he blissfully read the morning paper. Yes, ignorance is always blissful.

Uh-oh. I knew that he and my son shared the same favorite animal. I couldn't bear to watch — I left the room. I was yellow, after all.

Later I came upon my husband sitting at the kitchen table. Defeat hung in the air. He stared off into the middle distance and slowly shook his head. “Birds,” he said. “I got birds.”

Ouch. Tough break, Babe.

PROMPT: Make up your own RULES and create about them. If you write fiction, this is a great opportunity to make a wacky world where office memos must be sung at the top of your lungs, or Fridays are “bring your pig to work day”. If you’re an artist, make up some new rules about color. Like, maybe, everything that is supposed to be blue must be painted yellow… Just DON’T send it to me.


  1. You are so fun, Barb! :) And you're right--kids do have rules. I remember being about nine and writing long letters to my best friend, trying to figure out the gray areas surrounding some of my rules.

    I, by the way, love orange. I'm wearing it right now!

    Hope summer is off to a great start!

    1. Wow! My kids didn't have any "gray" areas to their rules until well after nine. Obviously, you have always been brilliant! And you probably look fabulous in orange, too.
      I, on the other hand, look like a marmalade train wreck in orange.