House Rule No. 1: Oldest gets the front seat

House Rule No. 1

Our family had very few, but very firm house rules. Mostly meant to keep the peace, once a rule was pronounced, it was set in stone. We’re all adults now and we STILL obey the house rules every time we visit home. I actually take great pleasure in invoking this rule even at age 30.

"C'mon girls! Let's get a move on! We're late!"

The girls head toward the minivanChrissy and Charlotte reach for the handle at the same time"What are you doing? It's MY turn to ride shotgun!" "No! y last turn didn't count. It was only a 5 minute ride."Ashley, Tess, and Nicki eat popcorn"Well that's too bad for you. Now it's MY TURN." "That's not fair! MOOOOOOM!""THAT'S IT! From now on, seniority rules. The oldest kid in the car gets to ride in the front seat. No more fighting.""WHAT?!"House Rule No. 1: Oldest gets the front seat






418 responses to “House Rule No. 1”

  1. Michael Cargill Avatar

    The popcorn and the end panels are superb, nicely done.

      1. ilyas afsoh Avatar

        this picture so good, i like it

      2. sarah aubrey Avatar
        sarah aubrey

        As a middle child I SO get this! Love it, well done.

      3. iedarla Avatar

        Love the art and the medium. These would make adorable greating cards. Well done.

      4. Celine teoh Avatar

        Hello, i just love that story! I am sorry for what you have been through. I am the oldest, but i don’t get any special attention. Great story and nice pictures.
        Well done!!!

      5. Julia Avatar

        perfect and so accurate. i only have one sister but we certainly fight as much as five. great job with the cut-outs, the are not too complicated and not too simple. you’ve inspired me!

    1. PrettyInDress Avatar

      very creative.. really nice :)

    2. teamteamsg Avatar

      hi;) Would it be okay if you help us “LIKE” this page: pleeeeeaaaaaseee? we are participating in a 5day 4night camp around Singapore called The NoMadic (Make A Difference) Race- Green Edition. Yes, with our big bags sleeping near beaches, trying our hardest to complete tasks with limited transport and budget on food. do help us “LIKE” the FB page?;( we would really appreciate it :) Thank you:)

  2. Gilly Avatar

    Heehee! This makes me miss my sister and rules made up out exasperation! Tis the season!

    Fantastic post! I love all the different facial expressions in the last panel.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Almost all the house rules were born of exasperation. But they managed to stick!

      1. Indian Ad Divas Avatar

        Yes, the facial expressions and dialogues are super!! nice art work :)

      2. Philip Baxter Avatar

        Lol, so true. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Great post!

      3. chrissythehyphenated Avatar

        Mom of 3 grown-up girls here …. LOVED this! The flannel boards are beautifully done. I’m off to email the link to my daughters. :)

  3. Miranda Gargasz Avatar
    Miranda Gargasz

    The varying degrees of sadness rock! I LOVE this post. I was an oldest kid, so seniority shotgun totally rocks!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      It’s pretty much the best rule ever. :D

    2. Philip Baxter Avatar

      As the youngest I would pretend that I hated sitting in front and would rush to the back. Eventually my sister would fight to get the back seat. Older does not mean smarter! :P

      1. Katerina Avatar

        Haha… Like that. :)

  4. Angie Z. Avatar

    I love it so much! My favorite is the varied expressions on you and your sisters in the final frame.

    I know this was a common fight among most siblings. It makes much more sense than the place I wanted to be. I always wanted to sit in the front — but in the middle on the armrest hump. Perfect ejection seat in case of an accident.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thanks! The fighting over the front seat was second only to who got the toy in the cereal box. Eventually, Mom stopped buying any cereal that came with a prize of any kind.

  5. Pete Howorth Avatar
    Pete Howorth

    Too right they should too!!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      hahaha! Eldest children unite!

  6. Diane Henders Avatar

    Oh, now that’s just MEAN! No fair! (Says the middle child).

    I love your creations – such wonderful expressions out of mere scraps of paper. And I laughed out loud at the popcorn. :-)

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! “No Fair” seems to the poor middle child’s sad refrain.

  7. life is a bowl of kibble Avatar

    I only had 2 boys for a long time. #1 son was odd days. #2 son even. It was hard and firm one their day it was everthing him. Shotgun. First cookies. Choice of tv show. Everything. If someone forgot it was their day, too bad. It worked. As least for me :). no way that would have worked for you all, way too many.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      My mom tried various systems, but everything got confused so easily. Even and odds seems like a sure bet for 2 kids, though!

  8. RoseMarie Boyle Raffel Avatar

    I love your creations they are fantastic and I think everyone can identify with them. Keep them coming

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you RoseMarie! :)

  9. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer Avatar

    Why do I feel a stir of anxiety at the thought of those kinds of arguments? Yes, child rearing might not be is a joy always but your cartoons are.

    BTW, it was’t though a reply of yours to my blog, but a comment Rae (of Peas and Cougars) made on her blog saying that you are the hardest working cartoonist she knows.


    1. Rae Avatar

      I wish I really did know her. I would force her to become my best friend!

      1. themiddlestsister Avatar

        I was so sad when I saw your location via your Twitter. That’s entire time zones away from me!

      2. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer Avatar

        You mean it wasn’t you who said that about The Middle Sister???
        Rae, thanks for commenting on my story about the Little Blue Fish.I wanted to tell you that you were right: my husband says he DOES feed green peas sometimes. He has Sparky back in shape by giving him little “meatballs” made of frozen blood worms.


    2. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! I don’t know how my mom put up with the constant bickering. It would have driven me mad.

  10. Loni.Found.Herself Avatar

    I adore this posting, and I especially love the little details, like the little snowy footprints.

    It’s funny, I remember having this problem with my sibs when I was younger, but then when we were in high school/college, the argument evolved (devolved?) into being about who could sleep all the way across the backseat.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! I have so much fun making these, I’m glad when the details are noticed! You know, the idea of stretching out in the back seat and sleeping had literally never occurred to me. We were usually packed like sardines.

  11. No Blog Intended Avatar

    Funny :). But also sad for the not-oldest sisters. I feel sorry for you! *comforting sounds*

  12. publikworks Avatar

    Well, you get to ride in the front seat now. And you’re not the oldest, that has it’s advantages as time passes : ) I love your work.

  13. whatimeant2say Avatar

    I showed this to Dimples, and you could tell from her laughter that she is an only child.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Hahaha! Yay, that makes me happy.

  14. LWSpotts Avatar

    I have a younger brother, and that’s how it usually worked for us. I’m sure he thought it was highly unfair.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      It is highly unfair and ridiculous, like all our house rules :)

  15. ChangedByChange Avatar

    We were a call shotgun family. Being a middle sister myself, this one would not have been a favorite of mine. And….I think all parent’s rules are made to keep peace. Maybe some for protection…but mostly so our parents can make it out alive! Loved you post as usual.

  16. ChangedByChange Avatar

    And, I totally loved the popcorn scene as well. How great is it to be one of the siblings NOT in the middle of the fight

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      SO great. The rule was totally, ridiculously unfair… but since it was unfair in my advantage, I didn’t really complain too loudly.

  17. Charlotte Belanger Avatar

    Yeah, getting the front seat was an EXTREMELY rare occurence, I loved this one…so many more unfair house rules to be illustrated, I can’t wait for them! Finally the world will see how hard it is to be (one of the) youngest!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Poor Charlie. Find your diary and then everyone will really see how hard your childhood was!

  18. riatarded Avatar

    That’s a mighty fine house rule! I wish that was applicable in my house too!
    P.S: I am the oldest ;)

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      The day this rule was instated may have been the happiest day of my childhood. (I am also the oldest.)

  19. Tin Roof Press Avatar

    i love the costumes! Also I remember when being in front was so important.
    I can’t remember exactly when i stopped caring. Now i much prefer the back seat

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      I still have to have the front seat. Though it’s less about the power grab and more about carsickness :)

      1. Tin Roof Press Avatar

        True but then you have to map read or be in charge of the music. I shun all responsibility

  20. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife Avatar

    Loved this! There was only my little sister and I (by 17 months), and we would fight for the front seat for maybe a minute, and she would resign and sit in the back. This, of course, always made me look like the selfish one. This meant my sister was to go first during any other activity, because “she let’s you sit in the front seat, missy, you don’t always get your way.” My sister is a smart one. :)

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Wow, now that’s a clever strategy.

      1. AKDowning Avatar


  21. Bountiful Giving Avatar

    Lovely post. Congrats on FP! Well deserved. Our bickering (car related) was over who sat in the middle of the back seat, feet on the “hump” (back then, there was a hump).Being youngest and only female, I always had the “hump” until Bro #1 went to college… phew then I got the window! Your figures are priceless and you bring up such pertinent topics, we all relate!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! The youngests have definitely got it the toughest.

  22. metalosophy Avatar

    That’s the way it is in my house. I’ve always had the front seat but now my younger sister is happy because I’m at college and she gets it. My youngest sister doesn’t mind since she still has to sit in a car seat.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      It was the best rule my parents ever instated. (I am the eldest… haha)

  23. booksnob Avatar

    GAHHHHHHHH! Two of my favourite bloggers get FP on the same day?! Awesome. Congratulations!

  24. mamaj Avatar

    I love your blog !! I laughed till I cried.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! I’m always glad when I can make people laugh

  25. msperfectpatty Avatar

    Lol the same rules apply in my family! So as the oldest I always ride up front! This post was absolutely hilarious! I could see my own family acting the same way!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! I think the rule was brilliant :)

  26. Eileen黃愛玲 Avatar

    So creative and amazing. :)

  27. Constance V. Walden Avatar

    Thanks for sharing this. There are five kids in my family. When we were kids, who sat by the window was the thing. The oldest got to sit by the windows…my older sister and I. Hee Hee Hee.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Cool! It’s always fun to hear from other families with 5 kids :)

  28. MJ, Nonstepmom Avatar

    First, you are quite the artist ! I loved this because yes, I’m the oldest & would have loved this rule. And with my girls, I just avoid the arguement altogether, our rule is “Both in the back!”

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thanks! Avoiding the argument is pretty wise…. but I’m glad my mom didn’t think of that!

  29. mariegriffith Avatar

    I’m one of the middle out of 4 sisters. I don’t remember Mom making up rules as she went, but I do with my own!!! They hate it.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      How cool, I love hearing from other people with lots of sisters. There are more rules to come, and I think they are all pretty strange and funny. It’s amazing how kids will drive parents to make the craziest rules.

  30. Jenn Jennings Avatar
    Jenn Jennings

    The popcorn viewing was epic. Keep up the good work!

  31. Vodka Before Noon Avatar

    Overall AWESOME BLOG!
    I have three sisters and my mother never let that rule fly. We are told to rotate.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thanks! Rotation is good as long as all parties agree on the terms :)

  32. midnitechef Avatar

    Is this all done with paper or on the computer? Very curious. Like others, I’m reminded of a fight between my little brother and I over a spoon.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      It’s all done by cutting and pasting scrap paper and then scanning. I’m hopeless at photoshop and other design programs. A fight over a spoon? Sounds intense.

  33. thebookstudy Avatar

    Very Nice! Love the visuals!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thanks, I appreciate that!

  34. Jess Banuelos Avatar

    hahaa sounds familiar. love it!!!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      The front seat and who got the cereal box prize were the most common arguments in the house.

  35. Im Dating A One-Percenter Avatar

    This post pretty much resembles my life with my sisters. As the older sister, I always wanted to the front seat and got it until my now not so little sister got way taller and stronger than me and bullied me out of the front seat. I love how life just makes it happen- everyone gets turn in the front!! =) Thanks for the great post!!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! Little sisters have a way of getting bigger and stronger… I don’t think I like it, haha. I’m the oldest and each younger sister is taller than the next.

  36. Yatin Avatar

    Golden rule of my sweet home. I am the boss of this house & I have my wife’s permission to say so. At my home I’ve freedom to do anything I like …. (as long as it is approved, little detail there).

  37. Dounia Avatar

    Your artistic creativity and talent amazes me every time I visit your blog! This post made me laugh so much! This was definitely a rule in our household too, and we still uphold that rule! Doesn’t matter how old we get, I will always let my sister sit in the front seat when we’re back at home, it’s just automatic! My younger brother occasionally needed to be reminded of said rule, but I think he got the hint.

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed – it is very much deserved! :)

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! I love hearing everyone’s car-ride traditions and rules.

  38. Boggleton Drive Avatar

    Congratulations on getting Fresh Pressed! You deserve it!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! I am happy to join the ranks of so many other bloggers I admire :D

  39. JulyA30 Avatar

    Perfect rule! :))

  40. thatawkwardkid93 Avatar

    Wow. Five sisters fighting over shotgun. Sounds strangely familiar. Lol. I like that rule. (Second oldest)

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      It is, without a doubt, my favorite rule.

  41. notesfromrumbleycottage Avatar

    I love your scenes but have you been hanging around my house? Perhaps, this happens everywhere…

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Yup, it seems like if you have multiple kids and you have a car, you’re going to hear this argument!

  42. sportsjim81 Avatar

    This is hilarious. I love the popcorn picture. I come from a small family, just me and my sister, but I can imagine what life in the middle must be like. Great post and congrats on FP!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! I checked out your blog and subscribed– good luck with your list!

  43. restlessjo Avatar

    I’m an only child- missed out big time obviously! But your post took me back to hours of playing with fuzzy felts with my daughter when she was small. Thanks for the memory.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Aww, I’m glad I could do that! I have a toddler who loves playing with the paper dolls while I make the illustrations :)

  44. Cassie Avatar

    I’m the youngest. Does that mean I get trunk?

  45. unspokenkay Avatar

    lol i love this i have 3 sisters

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thanks! I’m glad you can relate :D

  46. becomingcliche Avatar

    I am so happy you’re getting some recognition! I adore your blog.

  47. valentinedee Avatar

    haha, loved this! Did you do the art work too? Funny stuff, and so true. I was the youngest. Guess where I sat?


    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thank you! Yes, I do all the illustrations with scrap paper :)

  48. sbharper Avatar

    I absolutely adore this post and this blog. Thanks for sharing your snippets of life and artistry with us. And yes, SENIORITY RULES. I was the middle child and I couldn’t wait for when my older brother went off to college and I got to sit in the front seat! This was an especially important rule in our family, because we’re all VERY tall. The oldest kid was generally the tallest kid, too, and it made for a much more comfortable ride if you were in the front. Hugs to you blogger!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thanks! I’m glad you eventually got the front seat :D

  49. James Avatar

    You have one of the cutest sites that I have seen in a long while. I am gonna go back and read everything from the beginning.

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Thanks! I hope you like it!

  50. ChangedByChange Avatar

    Congrats on the MUCH deserved FP!!

    1. themiddlestsister Avatar

      Aaahh, thank you! It’s exciting!

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