This should be our new family motto. The number of times I hear this phrase a day from my perfectly privileged children is alarming. They are, however, at the age where everything needs to be fair and square. Things need to be split fairly; duties need to be shared unbiasedly and who gets to go first for EVERYTHING needs to be closely monitored. It.is.exhausting.
My son totally understands the chivalrous concept of “ladies first” as long as it doesn’t infringe on his life’s pleasures. And my daughter doesn’t mind things not being fair, as long as she isn’t the one who has been put into an unfair position. Kids, hey.
These are just a few “unfair” situations I have to deal with on the daily in my house. Woe is me:
- Who has more peas on their plate. I am sorry, I will simply not start counting out peas at dinner time. Oh and do not let the sliced carrots look different. How come his carrots are bigger/juicier/rounder than mine? I mean really I&J, can you not slice your frozen carrots exactly the same please?
- Who gets to brush their teeth first. Seriously? What difference is it going to make? Will the person who goes second have a minty fresh breath for 0.5 seconds more? And along with this point is who gets to flush the toilet… well forgive my ignorance but surely it is the right and privilege of the person who is ON the toilet, to flush said toilet?
- Who has to pack away the toys. In their minds, fair means putting away the toys according to whom they belong to. So my daughter must pack away all the “girl” toys and my son must pack away all his toys. Works well if they were playing independently. But if they were BOTH playing in Son’s room and only playing with HIS toys and then Daughter gets up and walks away when it’s cleaning up time, citing that those are Son’s toys, then that is NOT FAIR and Son loses it. Same thing if they were playing in Daughter’s room and Son leaves her to clean up. Of course, I disagree with their rule and everyone must pick up everything together regardless but that was THEIR rule!! They came up with that all on their own! But it’s like WW2 when their rule backfires because, of course, it’s not FAIR!
- And it’s the same for everything: who gets to talk first, who gets to use the soap first in the bath every night, who gets to have the last yellow yoghurt, who gets the last kiss good night, who gets to switch on the lights, and who gets to switch off the lights, who gets to fetch whatever mommy is asking for.
So that’s IT! I am done trying to appease small children with big demands. They need to understand that life ain’t fair baby. I’m not going to start cutting up frozen carrots to make everyone happy. No sirree. So NOW I’m trying to teach them that ACTUALLY, not everything IS fair. Life is often not fair and sometimes we just need to suck it up and get on with it. Sometimes we do things for the other person’s sake and on the surface it seems unfair but we do it to make that person feel happy… for example helping to pick up the toys even if you didn’t play with them, but you’re doing it to help your sister or your brother out. But alas, right now it’s all just UNFAIR. Life is so UNFAIR for 4 and 5 year olds, I tell you. *eyes rolling in deep sarcasm*
Who’s in the throes of the “that’s so unfair” stage?