Following the Rules

So after being invisible, the thing I hate most is being a “good” girl, a rule follower.

Especially when it gets you a kick in the teeth.

Our church has a special Christmas event for the preschoolers. The annual Birthday Party for Jesus is a highlight for all the preschoolers and their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Because, who doesn’t love to watch 2 and 3 year olds get their faces painted, ride ponies, decorate and eat cookies, and watch Mary and Joseph ride a donkey into the church parking lot before showing off their newborn wrapped in swaddling cloths. From Babies ‘R Us.

So many parents and grandparents signed up to attend that a rule was quickly instituted: One child = 1 adult.

I happened to be working in the church Information Booth one Sunday last year and someone came to buy tickets for the party. They purchased 1 child ticket. And 6 adult tickets. Yes, SIX. Two parents and four grandparents, had to be. But I said nothing. I sold them their tickets and patted myself on the back because we were following the rules.

In 2007 the Perfect Grand-daughter was 2 and eligible for the first time. Auntie took her. In 2008 Grampie took her. 2009 should be Grammie’s turn.

Guess what? Yep. No Birthday Party for Jesus in 2009. The economic crunch means the church has no money for hired ponies to ride. There’s not even enough for refrigerated cookie dough.

So. Being a rule-following-back-patter got me exactly nothing. No photo ops of Perfect Grand-daughter on the pony of her dreams. No shared pancakes. Bupkis.

I refuse to give up my day with her though. We’re going to decorate the best darn cookies in town.

Now, where can I find a pony for her to ride?


  1. Oh that stinks!!! I bet if they upped the price $1-2 everyone would have still come (even if there weren't ponies). Maybe if they loosened the one adult per child rule they could have covered the cost. They should have asked me, apparently I'm FULL of all the answers. ;)

  2. Carrie, That's tough. But you'll still find a way to have a special day with your granddaughter. And you followed the rules in getting there. Aren't rules wonderful?

  3. That IS the pits. :( Lately I've been ponedering my fascination (if you will) with rules and my need to follow them. For instance, tomorrow is *finally* a burn day. I have my insert loaded and all I need to do is light a match. It's 7pm and I can't bring myself to getting a head start on my fire. I have to wonder if I'm too legalistic or if there is a gray area that I've been missing all my life.

    Enjoy your time with perfect granddaughter.

  4. Thank you, friends. Stace - you do have the answers and you always know what to say.

    Richard - I like rules for traffic and grammar and golf. And we did end up having a very nice (if abbreviated - but that's a whole 'nother story) morning.

    Cheryl - I know! I would do the exact same thing. Sometimes I want a little gray in life.