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 thoughts on “House Rule No. 1

  1. Yay for the FP!!!!!!! You totally deserve this for every post. I haven’t read one yet that I didn’t love.

  2. that’s teh way it is for us too!… sadly i am second oldest but sometime si can weasel my way into the front seat! ;) I LOVE the pictures! They are super creative! how long does it take you to make one??

    1. Thank you! It usually takes about 8-10 hours for one post, or 1-2 hours per panel. Each “scene” needs to be smaller than 8″x10″ because my scanner bed isn’t very big, so the paper dolls are usually between 2-3 inches.

  3. Amazing! Great work here – especially considering the materials you used, there is such a fluid expression of emotions through them! Awesome post, thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh, this is great, I love the art and thanks for the giggles! I have to facebook share this because I am second to the oldest of five sisters. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  5. I love how our society has developed riding in the front seat as some sort of rite of passage for kids that is desired by each and every American child…this rule was highly unfair. One of my teachers made us choose project topics by birthday once…I’m the youngest so I was left with all the dinky monarchs to choose from that not even google knows about…this makes me happier to be an only child, though.

      1. Aw sucks. Thank you, Nicki. Nope, I haven’t been on FP yet. (Sniff, sniff.) But I do love rooting for my blog friends who get there. Congrats again :) Well deserved.

  6. This is super cute! I never understood the obsession with shotgun, though. Even when I ride with my friends I prefer the back. I always found it easier to sleep in the back..

    1. I think, in my family at least, it was about getting to sit right next to the parent driving and feeling grown up. With so many kids, you kind of fought for one-on-one time with the parents and it was special :) Also, the back seat makes me barf (carsickness.)

  7. Aaaaack!! I probably would have put a frog in the front seat. How many years did you have to wait to ride up front?

    Wonderful art.
    Congratulations on being Freshly pressed.

  8. This is so true about families. We usually fought over the “captain’s chairs” which were two chairs in our van before you reached the back bench. The two oldest (my brother and myself) always dominated when it came to getting those chairs.

  9. I love your post and blog, especially the costumes (dresses in your header and the coats in this post). Your creativity is amazing. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Thoroughly deserved.

  10. Ah, there are 5 girls and 1 boy. I am the eldest, so for a long time, I naturally had some seniority. But some of “going first” I didn’t want, first to go to high school, first to university, etc.

    I seldom see them and one of them died. So when I see them the pecking order is forgotten. But it was forgotten…since our late teens.

    Good thing, I’m over 50 and the youngest is 10 yrs. younger. We just joke-fight over what dish to order in the restaurant for a collective large meal. Then we decide in 2 min. and eat, laugh, catch up on news. I only see them once annually or less.

    Like your felt stories. I’m sure you’ll do a little video clip one day if you haven’t already.

  11. This made my little, middle-sister heart smile! I am so good at wriggling my way into the front seat, it’s somewhat of a perverse talent I have (and one that I am strangely proud of!)

    You are phenomenally talented – I will definitely be stopping by to read more of the sisters’ hilarious and beautiful escapades!

  12. My kids are all adult now, and they still sometimes invoke the “oldest gets to ride in the front” rule, too. Sometimes it gets changed to “If I don’t want to ride in the front, I can choose whichever seat I like.” We have five kids, boys and girls, and have had an eight-seater van since the youngest started banging their heads on the ceiling in the “dicky seat” of the Ford station wagon.
    In the pre-dishwasher days, another simple and fair rule was that parents washed up, kids dried in multiples of their age – Francis was 10 so he dried 10 items (or 20 depending on how many were there to be done) , Moya was 7 so she dried 7, Edward was 4 so he dried 4, and so on. Simple, logical, easily worked out, appears fair.
    I think I would have got along well with your parents!

      1. We modified it slightly as we went – plates, pots, etc are worth one, cutlery is worth half points. That dissuaded the smart-alec older kids!
        My crazy brother-in-law had a different point value for just about every different size of washable item.. I did say he was crazy!

  13. i don’t have multiple kids yet, but i can only IMAGINE how insanely irritating it must be to sit there and listen to kids argue over who is sitting where. i am going to go nuts. this makes me want to go celibate right now. you have places to go, people to see, appointments to keep and all the majority of the car wants to talk about is who is going to sit where. scratch that, they want to talk about who is NOT going to sit where. in the middle, the dreaded torture seat. no relief from either side. thank god i’m the driver now. i am the middle child, but i’m the only boy, so we all had our places. i would pancake out like a golden retriever on a tile floor when i had to sit in the middle, that way NOBODY was happy. thank god i’ve grown up since then :)

  14. I love this, I’m the middle sister… There’s also a wine named “Middle Sister” Great job…funny

  15. This is so cute! I love the illustrations! I have a new blog where I write short stories and post them ( Check it out if you want! Again, love your blog! :)

  16. Cute illustrations! I was one of two, and somehow we figured out who got which back seat by ourselves with very little fighting. (There was a brief squabble over the middle seat once though – it had a much better view!)

  17. ‘No, that didn’t count it was only a 5 min drive’, aahh, memories. There was only my sister and I but still, a seat in the front is worth battling over. My kids try it too, but if the argument gets out of hand I just say ‘tough luck, everybody in the back’! I loved your pictures too, the popcorn, ha!
    Congrats on being FP :)

  18. I love these illustrations they are hilarious! This post just reminds me of how great it is to be the eldest!

  19. This post is great! It reminded me of my house rules. The first was that both of my girls had to ride in the back seat, in their assigned seats. The other was that they both had assigned seats at the dining room table. It cut down on the fights and whining SO much!

  20. I`m Favor for the rules, why? Your guess is right,
    I`m belong to the front seat too! he,he Thanks for sharing :)

  21. Wow, funny post. I always got the front seat, and we never fought about it, that’s weird. I guess because my sister was almost 9 years younger so she was in car seats and it was just the norm. Seniority rules lol.

  22. Oh my goodness, I loved this story. I have an older sister, and it seemed (still does in fact) that she gets whatever she wants and I have to play by the rules! Kind of unfair. But now that she’s at college it doesn’t really matter. And I love her anyway…. : )

  23. Gorgeous pictures. My brother and I used to fight over the front seat but he’s more competitive than me so I’d give up…

  24. My family had that rule! And as the middle child, I definitely hated it. Especially since I was only two years older than my sister which meant only two years of seniority front-seat riding.

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