Saturday, August 07, 2010

Mr F himself is beyond limits. (Question of the Day, 72)

Why do we say "off limits?"

This morning, in one of my occasional bouts of parenting, I had to lock off the laundry room door where we have cat litter, laundry, and hot water heaters. Mr F likes to go in there and play, and when he gets in that mood, we simply lock the door. (But not for long, because that's the cats' bathroom, at least until September 1 when Oldest takes them both to her new place.)(The cats, not the Babies!)

I told Mr F "You know that room is off-limits," and then, because I'd finished my parenting for the day, I thought about that saying for a while. It's a strange one.

We never say something is on limits. When the Babies! want to go play in their room, I don't say "Sure, that's on-limits."

And limits aren't really something you're off, anyway. They're a boundary, aren't they? So shouldn't I have told Mr F the room was beyond limits? Although that might mean that there are no limitations to what can be done in that room. Or maybe that there were no limits to the room itself. Just think: The Room Of Infinite Possibilities!* My mind spun with the various permutations, so much so that I forgot to brush my teeth.

Next time, I'll just settle for a spanking.

(*The Room Of Infinite Possibilities would make an awesome book, and I call dibs.)

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