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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.