Today, I watched in bewilderment as my four year old walked intently toward me - making eye contact - and proceeded to dump an entire container of pencil shavings on the floor. I'm still not sure why. It did bring to mind, however, the phrase "it goes without saying."
I do not believe in this phrase. You shouldn't pee in a public place. You really ought to dress warmly in winter. You should eat fruit and vegetables. Being polite will help you get what you want. These are all things that I thought went without saying, but have been proven wrong numerous times, by numerous people.
This is especially not true of children. I find myself saying "no" and "don't" a lot, and was thinking that it must suck to have a mum as negative as I am. I realised today though, that I am not a negative mum. I must say these things to them because if it goes unsaid, they figure it's allowed. So I will continue to say things like "don't dump out the pencil shavings on the floor", "don't feed your sister crayons", "no, you may not go to school in your underwear","do not pour shampoo all over your legs while you're using the potty"; because even though I thought these things could go without saying, I assure you, they cannot.
(I need to add "Don't pour milk on the couch." to the list.)