Here’s my to don’t list

As you may remember, I am a fan of lists–lists for almost everything.
One of my favourite comedians, Demetri Martin, says the only thing on a magician’s list is “ta-da.” I find that hilarious but perhaps you have to love lists to get the humour.
I’ve added a slightly different twist in the title of my latest list, to be added to my list of lists. It’s my TO DON’T list and it seems there is no shortage of entries qualifying for inclusion in the category of to don’t.
To Don’t forget to floss; your teeth have to see you through to the end. To Don’t carry too much firewood in one armful or you will fall down the basement stairs and that is never a good idea.
To Don’t use bad language at the massive amounts of hair strewn about by “Gracie” (she can’t help it, it’s the time of year). To Don’t be afraid to speak up about not needing a straw when you’re served a drink (you can be a leader in change).
Perhaps the first entry in BOLD BLOCK LETTERS should be To Don’t let “Gracie” out in the dark unsupervised because she indubitably will find a skunk to threaten. I swear if she gets sprayed one more time, that’s it for me.
To Don’t be offended because your one-year-old grandson finds you frightening and would rather scream his head off than have you touch him or look at him or breathe the same air as you.
He’ll come around, hopefully, before you head for home in two weeks. It’s his way of saying, “Take that for being in the Yukon when I was born.”
To Don’t eat more than 16 honey dip doughnuts on any given day. To Don’t eat cereal for supper and toast is not a meal. To Don’t press the elevator button more than once. To Don’t tell yourself one more episode on Netflix will help you sleep (it won’t).
To Don’t suggest a colour of paint other than white to Lor (it’s never going to happen, save your energy). And while you’re at it, To Don’t think she’s ever going to find another sofa that you can sit on without sliding off.
I must keep this To Don’t list in perspective. When raising children, we start too many sentences with the word don’t. We do have to set boundaries but we must make sure to use the word do more often than it’s contrary.
So I may be contradicting my own rules about lists, but every now and then I need a tune-up.
To Don’t leave the dishwater in the sink thinking you’ll have one more dish to wash because you know darn well you’re going to have to stick your hand in that cold yucky water so let the water out now (be proactive). To Don’t buy Hallowe’en candy too early (you know what happens) and To Don’t tell yourself that 50 children will come to your house in their scariest of costumes calling out “trick-or-treat” (three will come and you live in the middle of nowhere).
And most importantly, To Don’t lose your sense of humour when life is staring you down; laugh it off.
wendistewart@live.ca

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