Knock, knock

The other day Axa and Raj had a bit of a scuffle, and we ended up having an impromptu family council. During the course of the discussion, Tony asked them how they thought they could prevent similar problems in the future. They came up with what I thought was quite a clever and mature solution. Since the altercation had involved Axa forgetting (yet again) Raj’s rule that people ask for permission before entering his bedroom, he said he would like a sign for his door to remind her (and everyone).

Axa decided she could benefit from a sign as well, and they had a great time choosing colors, fonts, and wording for their signs. The thing that fascinated me was how different the signs ended up being, and how descriptive they were of the two children’s distinct personalities and ways of engaging the world.

Here is Axa’s sign:

and on the back:

Straightforward and unambiguous, but almost Victorian in its regal courtesy. Her choice of red and green for the colors accentuates her idea that entering her room is a binary yes/no situation, to be determined in advance by her.

Axa’s sign was hung as high as she could possibly reach. Raj, by contrast, chose to hang his sign exactly at his own diminutive eye level.

Notice the subtle nuances of Raj’s sign (done in his two favorite colors):

Meaning, of course, not that one already has permission to enter, but that all are enjoined to seek permission before entering. (Permission is nearly invariably granted. The important thing is that he wants to be the one to issue it.)

Interestingly enough, the reverse sign on Raj’s door contains no direct commentary on the feasibility of entering his room, only an analysis of the state of his psyche. Is it a warning to stay away? A hint for how to address him if you do decide to knock? Or just a general proclamation of his feelings?

Which sign do you think your children would hang on their doors? What about your door?

(or do I just psychoanalyze my kids too much?)

3 thoughts on “Knock, knock

  • November 23, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    What cute signs. It always amazes me at how different my kids are, and how they do things the same but in their own style.

    I just wanted to thank you for the comments you left on my blog. It is fun to get to “meet” you. Also I wanted to ask you if you might be interested in doing a guest post for my LDS women around the world series. If you are would you email me at heatherlady at

  • November 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

    How fun. It really does reflect personality, too. Unfortunately, mine would say the same as Raj’s if I were to hang one. However, my children KNOW not to go in my room unless I’m in there. There’s nothing in it for them, and they know I keep things they should not be near in my bedroom, and NOT to go there.

    Lydia (my only girl) has hung a sign she made herself. It says ‘Please knock before entering’… and of course the boys don’t pay it any mind at all, even though they know there’s a rule advising them NOT to go in if she’s not in there. And then there’s the fun of her leaving the minute they step inside, just to keep them out, and them accusing her of doing it on purpose (which she did). *Sigh!*

    The problem is that the costume box is kept in her room. It’s got everyone’s costumes. We’re simply out of room, anymore… there’s nowhere else it can go (and if it’s kept in her room, there’s a better chance of everything ending up back in the box and not strewn across kingdom come). But if she’s in the bathroom or out of sight… they’ll run in, grab a cowboy boot, a combat helmet, a fireman’s coat, and dodge back out. It’s become a game, of sorts. And it’s impossible to prevent. Forbidden fruit, and all that.

    As for the rest of my kids… I have four boys in one bedroom together. There’s no sign. There’s no FLOOR for all the toys. There’s hardly any paint left intact on the walls (they peel it off). Children are barbaric. They don’t need a sign, they need crime scene tape.

  • November 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Ha those signs make me laugh so much! Kids are hilarious.


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