Every day while mommy and daddy are in the kitchen getting things ready for dinner, I get some free time to play and explore. One of my favourite ways to pass the time is to reorganize all of our possessions. I’m unbelievably good at making our home more functional. I keep very busy and work up quite an appetite.
I bring all the books and DVDs from the bookshelf in the living room to the kitchen, because books and movies can be enjoyed anywhere. I pull out all the plastic bags from the kitchen cupboard and leave them in a heap in the corner, because searching for the perfect bag at the back of a cupboard is just not very convenient. I scatter the cat food cans all over the kitchen and living room for easier access. I sprinkle my toys throughout because there is always time to play.
Playing safely in my baby zone is fine, but being free to run around all over the house is infinitely better. I have been getting more opportunities to experience this freedom and it has been incredible! The only downside is that the more freedom I am given, the more rules mommy and daddy have for me. If it wasn’t for all these rules I could be so much more productive.
“The cutlery drawer is not for playing in.” mommy tells me. “Don’t pull the tablecloth off the table.” daddy says. “Get your arms out of the garbage can.” I hear. Why? Nobody was using that garbage. Why can’t I have it? All these rules are really slowing me down.
If you feel the rules in your life are proving to be a burden, here are ten ways to cope with those pesky rules and the people who make them.
1. Follow the Rules
The most obvious answer is to follow the rules. The good news is that this strategy is very effective at getting the rule makers off your back. The bad news is that with this option you don’t get to do what you want. If the activity in question didn’t mean that much to you to begin with, you might want to go with this plan.
2. Pretend You Can’t Hear
The secret to this strategy is to make no reaction whatsoever. Don’t look up, don’t hesitate, don’t even blink, and above all, don’t make eye contact. If you play your cards right you can usually get at least a few seconds into an activity before someone comes over to stop you. Plenty of time to pull that tablecloth onto the floor.
3. Ignore and Disobey
If your body betrays you and it becomes clear that you heard, you can always blatantly defy the rules. In this case it’s best to make eye contact and continue with your activity. This gives the rule makers hope that you will listen. Suckers! Chances are that you will hear the rule repeated several times before anyone makes a move to put an end to your fun. Use speed to your advantage and empty out that cutlery drawer as quickly as you can.
4. Scream in Outrage
This isn’t the most effective strategy but it does make me feel good! When I know I have no chance of getting my way, I voice my displeasure loud and clear. To really drive my point home I may even stomp my feet while I scream. I may not get what I want but at least I can take comfort in the knowledge that everyone knows how furious I am.
This strategy is similar to screaming in outrage but has a slightly larger chance of success. When you don’t get your way, simply cry. Make sure you cry loudly so that everyone can hear and squeezing out a few tears can only help your case. It might not work but at the very least you can make people feel guilty for making you so desperately sad.
6. Run Away
If the project you are working on can be picked up, your best bet is to grab it and run. It’s going to be a while before you get caught. You might not be able to put much focus into your project as you race around the room, but the chase itself has its own advantages and can be a lot of fun.
This strategy is one of my personal favourites and I use it on a daily basis. When you get caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing, pretend you are planning on obeying the rules by promptly ceasing the forbidden activity. Move on to something else until nobody is watching. When you’re sure the attention is on something other than you, quietly go back to what you were doing. You’ll be armpit deep in that garbage can in no time.
Whining can be an effective tool but you have to be determined enough to keep it up for a while. This is not a quick fix, but rather a slow grinding away at the willpower of the rule makers. The party which persists the longest will persevere. If you have time and energy to spare, this might be a good option for you.
9. Have a Fit
This technique combines the screaming in outrage and crying strategies. Combine them with throwing yourself on the ground, kicking, punching, and hyperventilating. Pull out all the stops and make a good show of it and don’t forget to be as loud and animated as possible. This tactic has the greatest chance of success in public spaces.
10. Turn on the Charm
If all else fails put you sweetest and most innocent face on and use your cuteness to break their resolve. Sometimes a snuggle, sad smile, and longing sigh is all you need to get the job done. Nobody can resist a sweet and cuddly baby.
There you have my 10 methods of dealing with rules and the people who make them. Which method is your go to strategy?