House Rules for Big Kids

House Rules for Big Kids

Dear Prodigal Student (or, as the dog thinks of you, “Mystery Human”),

Welcome back to the Original Nest™ for your seasonal stint away from the hallowed halls of academia. As the CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) of this establishment, I’ve penned a few "guidelines" (read: non-negotiable House Rules) to ensure your summer recess is both restful for you and survivable for us. These are actual, undoctored photos of my house while my older children are in residence.

THIS IS HOME, NOT A HOSTEL (or hotel, fraternity house, or any other dwelling where your mother is absent). In other words, pick up your stuff. 🥸 This means you will remove your things from all common areas upon leaving them and put them in your designated sleeping area (aka room). PS: This does NOT MEAN you get to sleep in the Young Adult equivalent of a laundry pile. Keep your room as orderly as possible, or I will do it for you, thereby uncovering things that neither of us wants me to see and will then be forced to talk about. You have been warned.


DINNER: THE FAMILY EDITION: It's scheduled for 6 PM, with an encore presentation of leftovers around 8:30. It’s like a TED Talk, but we all get a turn at presenting, and sometimes there’s pie. Audience participation is required. If you cannot make the occasional family dinner, you will let your Host (that’s me) know well in advance. Regardless of your attendance, you will either help cook or do the washing up. Choose one!


YOU’RE SOAKING IN IT. Speaking of which, the dishes. Do some. And just so you know, “helping out” does not mean plopping your lipstick-stained glass in the sink or “soaking” your pasta bowl overnight and well into the following day. Also, Learn how that magical box called The Dishwasher works, including how to fill it and (especially) empty it.

BATHROOM ETIQUETTE: You’ve been potty-trained for a while now (#yourewelcome), but proper bathroom etiquette demands more than efficient wiping and washing your hands. For example, don't leave wet towels on the floor, hair in the shower, or evidence of your grooming habits anywhere near the sink! Hang towels, put your things away, and a little spray and wipe of the bathroom surfaces would be greatly appreciated, thank you. #leavenotrace

CURFEWS AND STEALTH MODE. Our household supports a ‘Stealth Mode’ initiative from 10 PM to 7 AM. I consider this my “off-duty time,” so please practice your electric bass and ninja moves quietly during these hours. #imonsmoko #mamaiswatchingherstories

GUESTS: AUDITIONS AND CALLBACKS. Visitors are welcome but must audition by providing a fun fact about themselves upon entry. If they make us laugh, they can stay. Just kidding! Let’s not do any surprise sleepovers. If you’d like to have a friend stay, please clear it with us first. We want to know if they are in the house, but we don't necessarily want to see them—or smell them. Seriously.

LAUNDRY LIMBO: You’ve been doing your laundry for at least a year now…good for you! Let’s keep a good thing going, shall we? Please sort and launder your own clothes while you’re back at home, just the way you do at school. i.e. Don’t leave your clothes in the washer so long they evolve into a new life form. Or monopolize the dryer for an era.

KNOCK THREE TIMES. Let’s practice The Golden Rule: Your lair is your lair; our lair is our lair. Let’s all knock before entering someone else’s dragon den. If you don’t want me going through your drawers, don’t “shop” my closet, either. Respect is a two-way street! I will know if you’ve worn/borrowed/lost anything from my wardrobe unless you use Garment Groom and are stealthy about it. Even so, If you need something, it's always better to ask.

EXIT STRATEGY: At summer's end, you'll return to your collegiate life, leaving us to our quieter, less exciting routines. Let's make sure you leave behind good memories, not just your winter clothes and a mysterious stain on the carpet.

We look forward to an epic summer of familial bonding and minimal eye-rolling. Remember, we’re overjoyed to have you back—seriously, the dog’s been practicing his welcome dance for weeks.


With all the love (and a pinch of sarcasm),

Mom xx