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Mrs. Should lives in my head. She wants my house to look like a showroom and not a home.

A fort to play in a house that is a home.

My youngest daughter wanted a fort, a secret place to be alone. She clipped a king size sheet to the bookcase and tied one end of the sheet to a table. When you walk in the front door of my house and look to the left, you can see the top of her fort.

She asked me, “How long can I leave this up?”

I wanted to say, “Just today,  tonight we will clean up and put it away.”

I said, “As long as you want.”

The fort has been up for one week now.

There has been a battle going on in my head. A battle between Mrs. Should, who tries to run my life, and me, who wants to live by my own rules. Mrs. Should is mortified there is a fort in the living room; I am delighted there is a fort there.

Why am I so concerned with what Mrs. Should thinks?

 Mrs. Should lives in my head. She has rules I like to ignore. 

  1. You should only let your children set up forts in their bedrooms. I want my home to be living in, my home is not a showroom.
  2. You should make your children make their beds every day. My oldest daughter said, “Making your bed every day is stupid.” I agree. You are just going to sleep in it again.
  3. You should vacuum up the dog hair daily. Vacuum once a week or the day before your mother is coming to visit. Dog hair is only hair.
  4. You should make your children pick up their toys every day. If my children set up the train set, they can leave it up and continue to play with it. Imagination is important, just watch where you walk, you could step on a train.
  5. You should always take your shoes off at the front door. With four cats and one brown dog who sheds, it is better to leave your shoes on to keep your socks clean. Make yourself at home here, and only take off your shoes if you stepped in dog poop on the way in.

(Mrs. Should also tells  me I should color my hair to hide the gray and that I should stop dreaming. But that is another story.)

Mrs. Should does not have permission to add any rules to my home. She doesn’t live here, I do.

What about your house? Who is in charge? Mrs. Should, or you?

Go ahead, build a fort, don’t make your bed and leave your shoes on.

If you want to, that is. I don’t want to be a Mrs. Should to you.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Dave Kwiecinski

    At our house, THE CATS are in charge. Mr. Should typically takes a back seat to Mr. Yeah-But-There-Are-Simply-Not-Enough-Hours-In-The-Day…Any-Day! So, the cats win by default.

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  • Sue Sutherlin

    I LOVE your rules! I’m so glad Mrs. Should does’t run your house! You can come visit me any time! ( . . . as I sit here looking at the many piles of stuff . . . representing multiple projects . . . ).

  • Robn Patrick

    I’ve had many a conversation with myself about why I decorate and clean the way I do. Do I do it for all the people who rarely come into my house or do I do it because that’s the way I want to live. The frustration is that I’m not always sure. I know that if there was a guarantee no one would ever see my house, it would be a whole lot funkier than it is! I’d paint flowers on the wall and stack my books up high. But there still that part of me that wants to look sane to other people. One of these days I’m going to paint those flowers and stop worrying about pleasing other people with MY house!
    Your Mrs.Should should head out the door. I love forts!

    • Hiding your flowers that want to be painted on your walls is like hiding the Robin who writes in a notebook.
      Let your friends see the flowers of the wall, live life with you on the outside.
      And your idea inspired me to paint a whole wall with chalkboard paint. And now I have to find what wall I want flowers on. Have you done any sketches on that kind of flowers you want to paint?
      Until we try to sell this house, it is mine. As your house is yours. So stack the books and get our the brushes.
      Daisy’s or tulips?

  • Brad V

    I have a Mr. Always Should and Mr. Never Ought that I battle with in my head. Some days I just want to hide under the pillow but they find me there, too. Great reminder, Pamela, about what really counts!