Things to Do and Not to Do

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The following is a list prepared for my nephews when they were eleven and six years old. One must have such a list when imaginative elementary boys enjoy spending the night at Aunt Kathy’s. Some of these rules were created as a result of having experienced an event that required them. The others were created in anticipation of or prevention of such events.

If you are staying with Aunt Kathy, even if you think you are helping, please do the following:

  • Answer Aunt Kathy when she calls. Don’t just leave a trail of cheese curls to wherever you are figuring that will suffice.
  • Do not help Aunt Kathy make a new chocolate drink my stirring up the whole pack of her sugar free chocolate covered raisins into a glass of milk.
  • Do not try to clean the TV screen with a paper towel dampened with juice, Sprite, or Hawaiian Punch.
  • Do not tie all of the seat belts together in the back seat of Aunt Kathy’s car.
  • If you are feeling the least bit woozy, please let Aunt Kathy know before you get into her car. The same goes for having to go to the bathroom.
  • You have Aunt Kathy’s permission to close all doors that lead to the outdoors when you go through them.
  • You have Aunt Kathy’s permission to get out another roll of toilet paper or simply inform Aunt Kathy that the roll is empty—oh yes—and you do have permission, if you don’t already, to actually USE toilet paper.
  • Look at the trash can when dropping items into it.
  • No, you do not have to help Aunt Kathy paint anything or surprise her by painting something for her that belongs to her.
  • Yes, you may wash your hands before meals, after using the restroom, after sneezing, and after scratching anywhere inside your nose or in your little pants.
  • As coffee has the opposite effect on children, of course you may have a cup or three.
  • Do not put audio tapes, toast, baloney sandwiches, or crackers in the VHS. Do not put video games, YuGi-Oh cards, Oreo cookies, or chicken nuggets in the DVD player. Aunt Kathy doesn’t like those shows.
  • Toss your own mysteriously used tissues. Aunt Kathy loves you but doesn’t trust your little green tissues.
  • You do not have to press any keys on the computer to help Aunt Kathy type her papers. I will use spell check thank you very much.
  • You do not have to share any drink in which your little face has already been in—especially if your nose is the above mentioned color.
  • Most pets Aunt Kathy may happen to have do not require that you brush, bathe, blow-dry, share gummy worms or hot fries, shave, brush with my toothbrush or yours, dress, or assist in using the potty.
  • Aunt Kathy does not need you to acquire pets for her—especially in the form of lizards found in the garden, palmetto bugs, ditch frogs, spiders, or that striped-legged creepy creature scientist have yet to classify.
  • If Aunt Kathy is lying down with her eyes closed, that means she is asleep and Dragon Ball-Z is not considered an emergency for waking her.


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