So many rules, so little time.
We do not touch used gum. Have I mentioned the infamous Gum Episode of last week? Isaac noticed I was chewing gum, marched straight up to me, held out his hand and said, "spit!" I complied before stopping to consider that, hey now, I'm the adult - I don't have to spit out my gum on demand - but before I could reclaim what was mine, Isaac said "thanks" and popped it into his own mouth. (!)
This disturbs me on many levels, not the least of which is the fact that he could potentially eat recycled gum on a regular basis without my knowing it (and I say 'eat' because he hasn't quite figured out the 'no swallow' thing yet). I've been tempted to brush his teeth with soap ever since.
We do not pretend 'mi casa, su casa' means 'my shower, your shower.' Once while visiting friends for dinner, Isaac walked into their bathroom, stripped down, and yelled, "Mama! I'm taking a shower!"
We do not talk to strangers. Since beginning preschool, Isaac has become especially chatty with strangers. He likes to yell things like "HEY YOU!" at people who pass us on the sidewalk. Usually I get a kick out of this, but today, in particular, I felt the need to impress upon him that you really shouldn't converse with strangers.
We were having this little talk while walking home from school, when a middle-aged man driving a white van pulled up next to the sidewalk and yelled, "Is that your kid?" in Danish. I pretended not to understand, said, "I don't speak Danish," and kept walking. Undeterred, he repeated the question in English. "Um, yes, why?" I replied. "Well, how old are you?" was his incredulous comeback. "I'm twenty-six," I stated. It's a fact. At which point he gave me this look that either meant, "I think you're lying; you're in high school," or "You probably rented that child," and drove off. (Excuse me?)
... You can see why I'm torn between saying, "SEE? That's why you shouldn't talk to strangers!" and "This is why we should never leave the house!"
We do not eat sugar for breakfast. I'm a salt person and Tim's not a late-night eater, so we rarely keep dessert items in the house. When we do, they go in the cabinet over the stove. Or at least, they did until Isaac figured it out. One morning we woke up to find him huddled behind the couch, devouring an entire tray of cookies. When he spotted us he immediately tossed them over his shoulder, all care-free-like, as if to say, "What cookies?"
We address friends by name. Isaac is fairly popular with the little girls at his kindergarten. To the point where their parents will notice him when we are out on walks and say, "Oh, so you're Isaac! I hear so much about you!" (The flaming red hair is a dead-giveaway.) As sweet as this is, I'm guessing the adoration is not returned. Whenever I ask him, "Who's your friend?" he usually says, "Uh ... girl."
We pay for things before leaving the store. Isaac once confiscated a candy bar while I was standing in line, paying for the other groceries. His thievery went unnoticed until we'd left the store, and he started devouring his bootleg item. Tim made him go back inside and pay for it while I stood outside and had a little argument with myself about how it served the staff right, they put it there on purpose to tempt toddlers anyway.
Since then, we try and make him pay whenever we go grocery shopping. It makes him feel important and rarely ever backfires on me, excepting that one time when he loudly informed The Entire World that "Mama wants wine!"
We do not take our neighbor's mail. This one is recent. Apparently Isaac likes to collect fliers - you know, the ones with the bright pictures featuring Various Expensive Toys, etc. I am forever finding them taped to the refrigerator, or stashed in my shoes. I think it's his not-so-subtle way of informing me that he does, in fact, need these things.
Since he can't reach our mailbox, I can only assume he took them from our neighbor's.