Rules to live by

I have recently been accused of being a little uptight. Okay, that’s a bit of an understatement. Actually, I have been accused pretty much my whole life of being obsessive to the point of neurosis.

But it was only in a recent conversation with some friends that I realized I have been following the rules of life with a lot more vigour and enthusiasm than some of you. Therefore, I am taking an informal bloggy survey to see just how my own personal neuroses measure up to the rest of you. I’m not (yet) admitting to being neurotic about all of these, but I was surprised at how many little “rules” I could think of off the top of my head. Feel free to answer some or all of the following questions, or add your own peccadillo.

1. The sticker on the package of chicken breasts says it was best before two days ago. Do you cook it up and feed it to your family anyway?

2. Do you bring your car for an oil change religiously every 5000 km?

3. Knowing you will only need 1/2 of the baby food in the jar and intend to put the rest back in the fridge for another day, do / did you scoop the food out of the jar and into a bowl, or just spoon it from the jar?

4. Have you ever tried to pass off an expired coupon?

5. There is a tiny spot of mould on one end of the $6 hunk of cheese. Do you cut away the mouldy spot or turf the whole thing?

6. Would you allow your preschooler to ride a tricycle without a helmet?

7. Do you launder dry-clean only clothes? Do you even read care tags on clothes?

8. How old was your child before you bought your first “not recommended for children under age three” toy? (First child responses only!)

9. Do you throw away mascara after three months and buy a new one?

10. Would you allow a 12 year old to watch an R-rated movie?

11. Did you wait until your child was 20 lbs and one year before turning the car seat? Have you let your older child ride in a car without a car seat?

12. Do you always finish the full run of your antibiotics, or stop when you’re feeling better?

13. Do you *always* wash your hands after you go to the bathroom? Play with the dog? Handle raw poultry?

14. Did you wait until baby was one before introducing honey, and five before introducing peanut butter?

15. Did / do you avoid raw eggs, cold cuts and soft cheeses while pregnant?

16. Do you wait 20 minutes after eating before going in the pool?

17. Did / do you put your baby to sleep on his/her back, and avoid putting pillows, stuffies and heavy blankets into the crib until at least age 6 months?

18. Do you use the seatbelt in the stroller?

If you don’t feel like answering all the questions, just tell me if on the whole you follow (or would follow) these rules, or whether you’re too busy laughing at me to type.

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

19 thoughts on “Rules to live by”

  1. 1. No way!
    2. I try to, but am not always on time.
    3. Spoon it out of the jar and end up throwing away the rest two days later.
    4. Nope, I don’t use them.
    5. Cut the mold, keep the cheese.
    6. Nope…I train them for their future as world class riders….they must always wear a helmet.
    7. Never read them, don’t care.
    8. 6 months old??
    9. Rarely use it, so nope!
    10. Probably not, but am not there yet, ask me in 6 years:)
    11. Yes and yes…under very dire circumstances….either I take him or leave him behind.
    12. Finish them…my hubby does not.
    13. Do you really want me to answer that? πŸ™‚
    14. First baby,yes (not the PB though), third baby was eating PB and strawberries and eggs around 9 months or whenever older siblings fed her.
    15. Nope, didn’t know I was supposed to.
    16. Nope, old wives tale.
    17. Yes!!!!
    18. Not with my first 2, but it is a must for number 3, I have “lost her” way too many times to not use one now.
    You are not as neurotic as you thought, I am sure that my husband thinks I am a little crazy, (actually I know he does) but at least I am having fun.:)

  2. 1..NEVER
    2..Nope it has gone over many times by a few thousand.
    3…Out of the jar..and then I found out that rule and said oh well my 15 yr old is still living.
    4..nope…not a coupon clipper
    5..cut it off
    6..I have but not where there is pavement. We live in the country.
    7..I read the labels and some dry clean only shirks so I don’t buy it…that’s why I sell Weekender’s LMAO!PLUG
    8..Beat’s me but probably before 3.
    9..yes…but I use it alot
    10..NO f’ing way
    11..I waited the year but the weight was long after he turned a year. he was 18 lbs for a long time.
    12..finish it all…paid for it.
    13..Yes..Yes…3 or four times
    14..No and NO
    16..Yes on the side, and nothing in the crib.
    18..yes…up until the age of 2 and then only when they needed to be restrained.
    I wasn’t laughing really I wasn’t!

  3. 1.Do you cook it up and feed it to your family anyway? NOPE
    2. oil change religiously every 5000 km? YES
    3. do / did you scoop the food out of the jar and into a bowl, or just spoon it from the jar? INTO A BOWL
    4. expired coupon? NOPE
    5. cut away the mouldy spot or turf the whole thing? CUT OFF THE MOULDY CHUCK EAT THE REST
    6. tricycle without a helmet? NEVER
    7. OWN DRY CLEAN ONLY CLOTHING? LMAO! Do you even read care tags on clothes? YES
    8. “not recommended for children under age three” toy? TWO?
    9. Do you throw away mascara after three months and buy a new one? ER, UM, USED THE SAME ONE ONCE FOR OVER A YEAR…so, er, eu, NOPE.
    10. Would you allow a 12 year old to watch an R-rated movie? DUNNO
    11. Did you wait until your child was 20 lbs and one year before turning the car seat? YES
    Have you let your older child ride in a car without a car seat? NO WAY
    12. Do you always finish the full run of your antibiotics, ALWAYS (I am a GOOD girl)
    13. Do you *always* wash your hands after you go to the bathroom? 99% Play with the dog? (BLUSH)
    raw poultry? ALWAYS, OBSESSIVELY TOO
    14. honey, TWO
    peanut butter? YUP, STILL WAITING
    15. avoid raw eggs, cold cuts and soft cheeses while pregnant? YUP
    16. 20 minutes after eating before going in the pool? LMAO, ya, right, WHATEVER
    17.TILL 4 months; they started ROLLING OVER, got tired of sneaking in every 45 minutes to turn them back on to their backs – finally gave up. NO stuffies or blankets till almost 1 year.
    18.seatbelt in the stroller? DID, now just as needed, more like punishment – heh heh.

  4. 1. We don’t eat chicken.
    2. Me, no. My husband, yes.
    3. At first, I would scoop it into a bowl. Later, I decided that was neurotic and stopped. Finally, I realized jarred baby food is a total scam and quit buying it.
    4. Nope.
    5. Of course! What would cheese be without mold? Milk. Who wants to spread milk on crackers?
    6. Probably.
    7. Yes and yes.
    8. Hasn’t happened yet.
    9. I almost never wear mascara, so if I threw it away at 3 months, it would be a total waste.
    10. Maybe.
    11. She was a little under 20lbs and yes.
    13. Always wash after using the bathroom, not after playing with dogs, never handle dead animals.
    14. Yes on the honey, no on the pb.
    15. I ate eggs over easy all the time, I don’t eat cold cuts, soft cheeses in the US are almost always pasteurized.
    16. Are you joking?
    17. Yup.
    18. Yes

  5. 1. I get it from Costco and freeze. So no date. πŸ˜‰
    2. No, I like to wait until the light comes on.
    3. Leave it in the jar
    4 No, I never use them
    5. Cut it away.
    6. Depends on when and where.
    7. No, I pray to dry cleaning God.
    8. I really donΓƒβ€šΓ‚β€™t remember. I know he has lots of stuff now for 4 and up
    9. No,
    10. Maybe
    11. Yes, and only in the drive way into the garage.
    12 finish
    13. Yes, after I pee, not always after I touch a dog. Always after I touch poultry
    14. Still have not introduced honey and no, about the peanuts. And you see where that got us. πŸ˜‰
    15. I wish I could answer this one. πŸ˜‰
    16. No,
    17. Yes
    18My kid would not sit in a stroller

  6. In the interest of fairness, I should also disclose that I make up plenty of my own very irrational rules. For example, sorbet or ice cream should be shaved off the top, not dipped because I don’t like pits. Toilet paper and paper towel rolls should always be placed such that the new thread hangs over the roll, not under. I have a million more. I just thought you should know.

  7. And yes, I too have weird thingys…all of my cutlery has to point in the same direction…My milk and water always have to be in the same spot in my fridge (probalby due to space) and raw meat must never touch anything but my dinner plates which are scubbed and then put in the dishwasher

  8. I can’t believe nobody would pitch the mouldy cheese. I’m so mould-phobic that anything that if one strawberry is mouldy, the whole package goes. Same with cheese, bread, anything. Ew!
    And it would take another list of 18 items, probably more, to really address my neuroses along the lines of how the toilet paper must be placed – MUST loop over and forwards. (Although the sorbet one is quite funny!) Like how I don’t like to use antibacterial stuff because, well, I don’t know why. I guess I don’t like thinking about bacteria. I can only eat yougurt if I don’t think about bacterial culture for the same reason.
    Thanks for playing along! I am very reassured that most of you are at least as neurotic as me, if not moreso!

  9. Oooh, fun.
    1. Probably. Has it been frozen, or in the fridge?
    2. yes, plus or minus 500k
    3. In a bowl.
    4. No.
    5. Cut it away. This is CHEESE. Cheese is valuable.
    6. WE’re not at that point yet.
    7. No, and yes I do. And follow them. Scrupulously.
    8. I haven’t yet–she’s 18 months.
    9. No.
    10. No.
    11. She’s still rearfacing–and 18 months–but if we wait until she’s 20 lbs she’ll be 4, so my guess is we won’t be waiting that long.
    12. Always.
    13. Yes, no, no.
    14. Yes, no.
    15. No, no, no.
    16. Usually.
    17. No, but then she slept in our bed, not in the crib. And we don’t do the sleeping without blankets thing.
    18. I try not to. Frances has more fun without it. It depends on how wriggly she is.

  10. Andrea, you raise a question that I have been wondering about for years.
    Re: chicken – when I asked the question, I was thinking about fresh chicken. But if you freeze it the day before the expiry date, do you have to use it the day you thaw it? How long does thawed, previously frozen chicken live happily in your fridge before becoming a science project? Educate me, dear friends!
    xo Dani, thinking maybe Casey is onto something with the vegetarian thing

  11. 1. If it was frozen..yes
    2. No, Dh does it whenever
    3.I never used any jars
    4. Nope
    5. Cut the mold off
    6. Nope
    7. Dry Clean only doesn’t get bought..if I do they get sent to my Mom’s to wash
    8.Depends on how small the parts are
    9. Nope
    10. Depends on why it’s rated R
    11. Yes I waited
    12. Can’t remember the last time I was on AB
    13.Most of the time after a Pee, Not always after the dog…raw meat of any kind..yes
    14. Yes..still haven’t had Honey and waiting fo PB
    15. Can’t answer that one
    16. Depends on how many kids are around..can’t have the kids follow the rules if the adults don’t
    17. at 6 weeks Jo started on her Belly she only now has stuffies in her crib and won’t use blankets

  12. 1. Ewww! Ick!!!
    2. Are cars supposed to have their oil changed?
    3. Spoon it from the jar; live dangerously.
    4. Oh, is it expired?
    5. Cut it off and feed it to the kids.
    6. Not a chance; once without a helmet is a contract for life. In fact, I stop other peoples’ kids if they are not wearing a helmet.
    7. Who has the money for drycleaning? Someone who is not paying daycare, obviously.
    8. I always divide those numbers in half.
    9. I am lucky if I can find the mascara after three months.
    10. Ask me when they are twelve and I just want 15 minutes to do the dishes.
    11. For the first, I waited. When the second tried to strain to get turned around, I moved them. My eldest will travel without a car seat. Very rarely my second will.
    12. Stop when I have forgotten I was ill. Usually before the end.
    13. I wash my hands neurotically. and still I get colds.
    14. One for honey and for peanut butter.
    15. I was lucky to avoid tequila while pregnant.
    16. As long as alcohol doesn’t count.
    17. Baby on the back, with a bumper pad though (new research limits those now); small pillows no heavy blankets.
    18. Strollers have seatbelts? YOU HAVE TO GET JEN’S THOUGHTS ON THIS.

  13. 1. do the touch smell test first, if passes, yes
    2. nope
    3. spoon it out
    4. not intentionally
    5. cut it off, cheese is mold in some cases πŸ˜‰
    6. no, I don’t think so, although I don’t wear one yet.
    7. no, yes – am obsessive about laundry
    8. ah… 6 months
    9. nope, never had a problem
    10. yes, if I have watched it first
    11. yes, no – I used to cry watching my neighbours pile their 10 kids in a van without carseats
    12. yes
    13. yes – bathroom, dog – no, chicken – yes
    14. yes and no
    15. yes
    16. no
    17. yes, until he rolled over, still sleeps on his tummy with stuffies and blankets, all hand knit with holes.
    18. yes, still do!
    phew! You’re not that neurotic Dani, I have more I coujld share, about cupboards, fridge, toilet paper, parking the car…

  14. (comes late and breathless to the party, verbose answers in hand saying “Hey Dani! Can I play too?”)
    1. Dog yes, family no. But only if it passes the sniff test and I cook it so that it’s so over done that Beauty’s rummaging through the fridge looking for anything we have that she can add moisture to it with.
    2. No, but say, four times a year because we have a slow leak and take a lot of road trips.
    3. Not to make you feel bad, but nearly every meal we eat is lovingly prepared fresh from scratch with only the best ingredients. Leftovers get one re-heat then are dog food. Who wants to eat something more than twice?
    4. Only a criminal mind can come up with a question like this. No, you evildoer, no.
    5. Yes, but I cut WAAAY around the mouldy spot – like, $2 worth.
    6. I’m not buying her a tricycle. I’d have to take it and her near busy streets, or lug it to a park with enough of a path for her to ride safely on. My nerves couldn’t take it. I’ll just show her pictures of one and tell her she had it and boy, it was fun. She won’t remember, right?
    7. Yes, but only because I worked at a dry-cleaner for six years and know that they’re only put there for legal reasons. I read the tags for the fabric content and launder the garments appropriately, using my super laundry care knowledge powers.
    8. She wasn’t even an itch in her Daddy’s pants yet.
    9. (Breaks down sobbing) I know I should, but I don’t. Signed, Mrs. Pinkeye Conjunctivitis.
    10. Depends which movie. A Clockwork Orange? No. Blue Lagoon? Maybe.
    11. Hahaha. My child was twenty pounds at seven months. But I did wait the proper amount of time, and would NEVER let her even be in a vehicle unless she was strapped in a car seat. Unlike my cousin who lets her six and eight year old sons play in an old VW Bug of their father’s that’s up on blocks in her garage. Maybe she doesn’t like them.
    12. Depends on the drugs and the disease. In the dog’s case, I saved a few in case she decides to have Colitis on my floor again in the near future.
    13. Always Always Always after the bathroom, and if I see you leaving the ladies’ room without doing so, you’ll catch the tail end of my snarky comment too. Isn’t a dog’s saliva cleaner than our own? And raw poultry, yes, and then I wash the tap and only dry with paper towels. Should I be nervous when coming to your house?
    14. Honey, yes; PB, no. But on a related topic, I’ll go through three clean spoons in a row just having one spoonful from the jar each time.
    15. Yes, especially after hearing that Steve’s cousin miscarried at five months due to Listeria. No sushi either.
    16. That would mean that I’d get wet, which is bad for my hair colour and my ego due to my post-partum body. I’d also have to save up and buy the $80 US swimsuit I want from Land’s End. So no, I’ll be waving at you soggies while I eat my burrito and sip my Margarita poolside.
    17. Yes, although I did occasionally use a sleep positioner to prop her on her side,

  15. (Wow. Did you know your comments only allows 3000 characters? You should do something about that.)
    18. What’s the other option? Glue? Obedience? Velcro?
    Thanks for a great post!
    (does the Ralph Cramden shuffle off)

  16. 1. I’m afraid I cook the chicken and, as long as it smells OK cooked, I feed it to my family.
    2. Heck, no. I’m lucky if I change the oil every 6,000 miles (twice the recommended).
    3. Religiously. I never put a half-eaten jar of baby food in the frig unless only a clean spoon touched it.
    4. Not intentionally.
    5. Cut off the mold and eat the cheese.
    6. Hmm…yes, but never the two-wheeler.
    7. I do launder some dry-clean only clothes, but I always read the tags.
    8. Probably bought it for his 3rd bithday.
    9. For the first time ever, I did replace an old (but not empty) mascara last week. Huge difference! This is a habit I want to cultivate.
    10. Nope. But I’d let a 14-year-old, depending on the movie and the 14yo.
    11. Oh, yes! My children have ridden in cars without carseats maybe twice, in emergencies, never with me driving and never before they were 3. But I’m anal that way.
    12. Heck, I ask for a shot or the five-day thing thing. I’ve never once finished 10 days of antibiotics.
    13. Always when I use the bathroom or do raw poultry. Hardly ever when I pet the dog.
    14. Yes, I waited on honey, but I never heard the peanut butter one.
    15. Nope. Never heard the cold cuts or soft cheese one, but I avoid raw eggs as a general rule always.
    16. Nope. I swim right away.
    17. Umm..yes about the pillows, etc. The rules about tummy vs. back changed between #1 and 2, but I followed them.
    18. Yes.

  17. 1. Vegetarian.
    2. Is 3000 miles the same? Then yes.
    3. Jar, but baby food was short-lived here. Kids want the real stuff.
    4. Not on purpose. But didn’t correct it if it went, either.
    5. Pitch the cheese.
    6. I don’t allow my kindergartner to ride without one.
    7. Wash and Wear, BABY!
    8. Recommendations for age are beyond what I bother with.
    9. Mascara….is that some form of alien makeup device that doesn’t enter my home? I replace toothbrushes πŸ™‚
    10. Yep.
    11. 11 1/2 months–she was well over 20 lbs. Never an older kid without a seat (unless an emergency comes up, I suppose).
    12. Full antibiotics–no supergerms here. But I rarely take them–opt for homeopathy whenever possible.
    13. Potty, diapers, animals, yep. Again, vegetarian.
    14. 2 for honey, 3 for peanut butter.
    15. Of course–vegetarian!
    16. Swimming never waits.
    17. Reflux baby–on the tummy. No pillows until 3.
    18. Use the seatbelt since the toddler insists. The kindergartner tried to ride in it sometimes–and goes without.

  18. My answers are pretty mixed. Former vegetarian, so uptight about raw meat. No helmet for tricycle, but ALWAYS for two wheeler. (I think I figured if the Very Good Preschool let them ride tricycles without helmets, it was OK.)
    Here’s the one my husband teases me for (and he’s as uptight as they come about most stuff): I put money in numerical order in my wallet, and before kid probably all facing the same way. It makes me nuts when I have to go in his wallet for money and it looks like nothing but ones and then oops, there’s a 20 buried in the middle. (We live in Canada now, no more ones to worry about! Just a very valuable pocketful of change!)

  19. 1 – I’d use my nose, and eyes to see if they looked and smelt off. If I did use them I’d cook at a high temperature for a long time in a curry or something similar (that’s where currie)
    2 – Um, don’t have a car
    3 – I’d scoop and bowl it
    4 – maybe. I don’t tend to have coupons.
    5 – cut the mould, keep the cheese for cooking. It’s the plastic shiny orange cheese that doesn’t go mouldy because its so synthetic you have to watch out for. Blue brie, Gorgonzola…mmmm yum.
    6 – Yes, absolutely. We didn’t even think of buying a helmet for a tricycle, although now with the bike boywhoisfour always wears one, although he did give his sister girlwhoisone his helmet to wear riding his old trike. He rides the trke away from traffic, and it has 3 wheels, not 2, so no balance is required!
    7 – I check labels, but take them with a grain of salt at time. Sometimes it’s just a liability avoidance technique not honest labelling. New clothes I look after better than old ones, I’m ashamed to say.
    8 – Again, the label is often designed to avoid liability. The reason for the label is that children under the age of three don’t have a choking reflex, so anything which could fit in a film canister could choke a child. (for those of you who remember what a film canister was like before digital!) That said, boywhoisfour was, at age two and a half, not at all likely to put toys in his mouth. His sister, girlwhois one still does though.
    9 – No! I wear it so seldom…I do chuck it if I get an eye infection.
    10 – Depends why the movie is R rated – if I’d seen it, and had made my own judgment then I might do.
    11 – Hmmm, don’t know. Yes to the second, but strapped in to the back seat in an adult seatbelt that had been hooked behind the seat so it came across his head at the right angle. It sounds complicated, but I was confident he was safe for the 4 minute journey (when I drove ultra defensively.
    12 – No brainer OF COURSE I ALWAYS FINISH THEM!!!!. Anyone who doesn’t, wants the bacteria to survive and mutate so they become anti biotic resistant and our wonder drugs will stop working. you must always finish the dose!
    13- Yes (except for extreme inadvertence), Don’t have a dog but I usually would. Raw poultry yes.
    14 – Honey? What’s that about then? Is that a Canadian parental health warning that hasn’t spread here yet?
    Peanut butter no when a baby. We’re not huge PB fans, so boywhoisfour and his sister would eat nuts in other contexts occasionally – thai food, satay sauce etc. And Grandma did buy boy a big bag of peanuts in the shell to play wiht the christmast nutcracker, so we’re pretty relaxed about nuts round here (no nut allergies in the family).
    16 – is it only 20 minutes now? Used to be an hour.
    17 – Back and side, as per the advice. No pillow for babies, my mother trained me well when my brother was born.
    18 – For girlwhoisone, yes, boywhoisfour on the rare occasions he uses it, no (sleeping after a picnic)

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