As a parent, especially to more than one child, you are automatically ordained to be a judge. No law school, no LSATs, no degree required. Just your two cents for your law degree, your parenting manual (oh wait, just kidding, there really isn’t one), your current location as your chambers, and your over-used and -abused ears. Each child chooses to act as their own lawyer and you are flooded with oceans of trials, litigations, impeachments, and the good old “but it’s not fair!”
If I had a dollar for each time I heard “it’s not fair” from one of my children, I’m pretty sure I’d be on my way to the bank to cash my million 😉 Any time I’ve been confronted by this expression, I’ve sort of brushed it off and responded with the old cliche that “oh well, life isn’t fair”. But today when I heard it from my daughter for the umpteenth time, here’s what happened…
My daughter was complaining that she thought it wasn’t fair that her younger brothers got to be pushed in the stroller (I have the callouses on my palms to show for this) while she had to walk everywhere. My initial thought was as mentioned, well, yes, life isn’t fair. However, by some miracle, through the whining and bickering, I was actually able to hear a thought form in my head and what came out of my mouth next surprised us both… “In fact it was fair!”. I explained that it wasn’t equal, but indeed it was fair. What made it fair is that when she was 2 years old like her youngest brother and 4 years old like her other brother, she indeed got to ride the stroller whenever she pleased. She is now 6 and doesn’t need a stroller. She is stronger, taller, and more capable of long walks. Then I explained the difference between fair and equal with portions of food and how if I fed all of them equally, in the same portions, she would be starving or she’d have overfed brothers. And I ended with if it was equality she was aiming for, then perhaps she should start napping in the afternoons like her brothers instead of doing her routine quiet time. This quickly delivered the point and we were able to both walk home relieved. Relieved that once again, justice was served and indeed Persian Momma is not an unfair villain as was portrayed in her 6 year-old’s thoughts.
* I should provide a disclaimer here that when indeed my daughter is very tired of walking, I make one of the boys get up and offer their seat to their sister, but for the most part the stroller is reserved for them.