I am a man of habit. I am a man that craves routine. I am a man, a handsome one at that, that runs my castle the way that castle’s should be run—with approval from the wife and complete disregard for all my rules and regulations.
And for the most part, my house runs pretty smoothly. The natives seem to get along reasonably well with the exception of the fat cat and the fat dog. The dog constantly chases the cat. Honestly, I have no idea what the Fat Belly Newt thinks that she is going to do when she catches the cat. Because the cat is mean. It’s the difference from dealing with the normal Mafia to dealing with the Columbian Cartel—Theez betches are crazy, mang.
I have no doubt that if my cat was actually caught, she would turn around and rip my fat dog to shreds. And there would be a big part of me that would stand back for a second as the Fat Belly Newt chased her in the first place. She brought this on herself, let her deal with the consequences. It’s like your coach in highschool football. He was never in to much of a hurry to break up a fight and if you watched him, he would be in the corner watching for a few seconds before throwing people around.
So besides the cat chasing marathon that is the daily event, my house is pretty solid. And it is solid because I am a good leader. It is solid because we are principled and follow rules of the household. There are a few rules that I have dictated in the past but my experience as a married man has taught me that approach does not work.
That incites rebellion and I can’t spend all my time putting down the peasants. I’m sure that when my daughter comes of age she will join forces with my cat and I will have a coup on my hands. Unless I get to her early and show her how things are going to be.
Rules 1-4 mainly deal with my daughter. These were essential to my wife and I making it through my daughters first 4 months. For the first month, we fought a lot more than we ever did. We were tired and cranky and the only person there to take that out on was the other spouse. I think next time I am going to hire a woman who’s only job is to get yelled at. She will be known as Helga.
Rule 1: No fighting after 11:00pm. This saved my marriage. If you don’t have something positive to say at 3:00am, keep your mouth shut. For you new parents, try this, it works like a charm.
Rule 2, also known as the Dad Rule: If you have a diaper blowout, then whoever put the diaper on last has to change it, regardless of the time. Ok, granted, this was a rule that was dictated to me but it was deserved. I had a problem making diapers leak proof without the use of my caulking gun. But once you are woken up once or twice at 4:00am, you learn real quick my friends.
Rule 3, the 23-19: This rule also applies to diapers. For new parents, trust me, you want a lot of diaper rules. This occurs when you have a diaper blowout that is not the fault of anyone as there is just to much poo and whiz that the diaper couldn’t contain it. This is a 2 person job diaper. You yell “23-19” and every one comes running. If you are in my house and you hear this, it’s code blue time, drop what you are doing and go help. Why 23-19? Watch Monster’s Inc. and you’ll get it.
Rule 4: Dad does the 3 am feeding. This was my own rule for several reasons. It allowed my wife to sleep and re-coup from a kid sucking on her boobs all day and gave me the best time to spend with my daughter. No one gives you any shit at 3 am. No one tells you what to do. It’s your show, run it how you like. Mothers, wives, Mother in laws and in fact any woman alive always feels the need to give “advice” to new Dads. Hey, we can figure it out, it just might be a little different than yours. Where you will use a baby wipe, I may use a belt sander. But the job gets done and guarantee she has more fun with me.
Those cover the baby rules but as leader of this family when my wife is not around, I have had to implement several other rules. This is because I am a benevolent leader.
Rule 5: My wife makes all social plans. Unfortunately some of our friends and family don’t take this rule to seriously but it is at their own peril. So look everyone, don’t cake plans with me. Chances are that 1. I will forget, 2. I have no idea what other plans my wife has made and 3. I will not offer to bring anything to your dinner party. This is not on purpose but just because my brain isn’t wired that way. Apparently, this is a very bad thing to do. Eventually, and I mean about 10 minutes before we are to leave, I will tell my wife that we have to be at someone’s house for dinner. She will ask what we need to bring and I will look at her with a blank stare. Then I will say that I don’t know. At which point she will get mad as we run to the grocery store and pick up a tomato just so we can bring something.
I have no idea why this is the way it is, but you always have to bring something. Go figure. I don’t have high society manners, I do not know. But my wife assures me that we will be judged and if we are, then I will have to pay for it later. So everyone pay attention to Rule #5.
Finally, we get to Rule #6 and one of my most important rules. It’s a newer rule, I admit, but it is a rule that must be adhered to. By everyone. That means mother’s and mother in laws. Yes, I love you two and yes I am going to be grateful that you are helping out with the baby. But just keep this rule in mind, it will save me a lot of grief and thus make my family happy.
Rule #6—No yelling upstairs for me.
Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it. You might be saying, why does this have to be a rule. Let me tell you why. Because I am not a butler. I am not a dog. I am not someone who can be beckoned like some cheap spirit at a séance. This is where this rule comes from. We have a two story house. My wife spends a lot of time downstairs. I spend a lot of time upstairs because that is where the computer and Xbox are. It was easy enough at first. My wife would call “Hossman” and then would continue to call until I poked my head over the railing. 9 times out of 10 it was for something simple—like she needed something or wanted me to come downstairs. I pointed out that maybe I wanted her to come upstairs, but this was a no go. But then this started getting abused……by everyone. I won’t point any names, but let’s just say that I am now full on ignoring anyone who calls me from downstairs unless I am reasonably sure that a bear is in the living room.
What was the tipping point is that when I wouldn’t hear someone calling for me so that eventually they would have to walk upstairs and talk to me, like a normal human being. Somehow they would always get mad. “Why didn’t you hear me?” they would angrily say.
“I don’t know, I am not the master of physics and decibel levels” I would reply. This would, as you can imagine, get me in more trouble.
But I would be defiant. Why the hell am I getting attitude when you can’t yell loud enough. And on that subject, I am not a genie for you to call down for you wish. I would assume that the burden would be on the person making the request rather on the person receiving it.
Which brings us to the Rule #6 Addendum: I will ignore you. I had the opportunity to do this this weekend and it was all worth it. Sure, I got crap later but wouldn’t I get the same treatment if I didn’t hear you? And it’s not like I didn’t try to find a solution. I actually bought Walkie Talkies to use for the upstairs and downstairs. Let’s at least pretend we are part of the A-team and have a little fun. My code name is Bravo Charlie Echo Eagle base.
Otherwise, well, I’m afraid I just can’t hear