Kate Kirkle for 7/11

Three-year-old Kate Kirkle riding her bike without a care in the world.

Ah, 3-year-olds. They're as cute as they are bossy. It's both terrifying and hilarious to think of what the world would be like if they ran things.

So in the spirit of that thought, here's what it'd be like if my 3-year-old made the rules in my house.

• No one would wear pants. Ever. Boots and underwear with a food-stained T-shirt would be the standard uniform — both in public and in private.

• Pancakes would be an approved side dish for each and every meal.

• She would be allowed to take her cordless microphone everywhere she went — bathroom, school, shopping, etc. Literally everywhere. She would also be allowed to belt out show tunes at any and all times.

• People would be required by law to cheer and applaud after she finished the aforementioned show tunes.

• Baths would take no less than an hour, and stuffed animals would be allowed to soak in the tub. Wet fur would not be the toddler’s problem; it would be yours.

• All beverage-filled cups left unattended would be fair game. The kid could drink whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, and interference would not be tolerated.

• Potato chips would be considered a “growing food.”

• She would be encouraged to wear her tap shoes everywhere she went.

• The television would always be on, and always turned to Nick Jr.

• She would be given the freedom to ransack the bedrooms of all who live in our house without consequence.

• Her long hair would never be brushed again. However, she would reserve the right to bludgeon her mother’s skull with the hairbrush whenever her whim compelled her to “style mommy’s hair.”

• She and her parents would be eternally engaged in a game of “pretend circus,” and they would not be allowed to opt out regardless of circumstance, work or emergency.

• She would have six dogs, eight cats, four squirrels and a goose. Her parents would be responsible for care and feeding of the menagerie.

• No walking would be tolerated at home, in stores or at restaurants. It would be all running, all the time, folks, and you’d better keep up.

• Her mother would never be allowed to leave her side. She would have 24/7 “momcierge” service.

• Napping would be outlawed except for in-car snoozes and the rare occasions when her parents are trying to “keep her up.” Then and only then would it be allowed.

• Flash photography would be strictly prohibited.

• Grandparents would become official mediators, stepping in and handling negotiations when her parents get grumpy.

• All surfaces — walls, floors, counters, tabletops — would be canvases, available and waiting to be colored and/or painted. She would be free to marker up virtually anything, and you wouldn’t be able to do a thing about it.

• Outside would always be an option. It doesn’t matter how cold, wet or hot it was; the great outdoors would always be in play.

• The word “no” would be replaced with “of course, honey.”

Thankfully, Little Miss Ornery has not yet managed to overthrow the parental government. At this time, we still retain the authority to send her to her room and forbid her from bringing home the neighbor’s cat.

But she’s a shifty one. We will continue to sleep with one eye open for the remainder of her toddlerhood — all for the greater good of mankind.


Lynn Kirkle is a writer and lives in Omaha with her husband and five children. She writes twice a month for momaha.com, and can be found on Twitter @LAPainter.

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