Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life isn't fair

Recently I was reminded that life "isn't fair." No, not by some event affecting my personal life, but by my dear, sweet, 6yr old daughter.

The other night, we all went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. All in all, there were 4 boy's and D.Q. (dramaqueen) was the only girl. Typically, this is not a problem, that night however, it was. You see, all the boys were talking and enjoying themselves and then they started sharing secrets and she suddenly believed they were talking about her. In true dramaqueen fashion, she got upset and proceeded to start trouble.

I, as a parent, do not like to be embarrassed in public - actually I HATE to be embarrassed in public by my child who knows much better than to act like a fool in a restaurant. But this did not stop her, she proceeded to be loud and stir the pot so we took a moment to "chat" about it at which time she started to cry...

"Nobody likes me, nobody wants to be my friend, they only want to be my brothers friend ... cry cry cry"

Really, I did feel kind of sorry for her, she was the only girl, but seriously? All this act over just that?
As the evening would have it, she did not completely straighten up so by the end of the night she had lost her bedtime movie, but her brother had not. She was very disturbed by this and could not understand how, if he was being mean to her, why she was being punished and he was not. She understood why she was being punished - but in her mind he needed to be as well. I tried to reason with her - like a good parent, but no, there was no reasoning to be had.
Oh, yes, she understood and accepted her punishment, but wanted him to be too.

So why is life unfair, you ask?

Well the conversation went like this...
DQ - But he needs to lose his movie too, he was mean to me.
Me - Yes, but you are not being punished for being mean, it is for x, y, and z
DQ - I know, but...
Me - Do you think you should be punished each time he does something wrong?
DQ - No, but tonight is his night.
Me - It doesn't work like that.
DQ - Life isn't fair.
Me - Why do you say that?

Oh and here is where she pulls the only card a kid can on a parent to make them feel uber guilty...

DQ - You love him more than me!
Me - Why do you think that?
DQ - Because he is the new kid in the house?
Me - Hum, do you think we love your sister more than you?
DQ - No
Me - She is the new kid in the house, not him - but no honey, we love you all the same.
DQ - Well, he isn't being punished?
Me - No, he's not tonight, but I'm sure tomorrow there will be something ....

As a parent, I think there is amnesia between then and now? I remember thinking life isn't fair because I wasn't "old enough" to do something, but there is SO much I don't remember about being 6 and why life wasn't fair.

I really think somewhere along the way all that information got pushed out to make room for something newer....oh how I wish I had that info back so I could not feel like the uber guilty parent!

What "life's so unfair" thing do you remember about being a child?


Semi-Charmed Wife said...

Sitting at the kid's table. I always wanted to sit with the grown-ups and talk about grown-up things. It really made me mad that I was forced to sit with all the BABIES at the kids' table at family gatherings. (Now, I love to sit at the kids' table!)

All in all, "life's not fair" is a great lesson to learn--and the sooner you learn it, the better. Because life really is not fair. Mean people get rich. Good people get cancer. Criminals walk because some paperwork was filled out improperly. "Fair" is just another four-letter word...

Kim said...

Being the oldest I was ALWAYS getting punished for my younger sisters bad behavior.. It used to drive me crazy.

I have to say that what semi-charmed wife stated was dead on.. life is not fair at all..

JIC- Kimmylyn

auntie said...

i remember thinking it wasn't fair that my older sister got to do EVERYTHING and i never go to do ANYTHING!! the story is told that when i was 2 years old (and my sister was 6), some injustice was happening and apparently the explanation i got was that my sister got to do whatever it was because she was "big". and my response was "I AM BIG! I AM SIX!". guess i thought maybe they'd believe me if i was emphatic about it? i don't know, but it didn't work. i still had to wait my turn to do everything. and of course now i couldn't be happier that she's older because it just means that she turns 40 before i do. ha!

The Woman said...

my brother always got to go to town with my dad

Jojo said...

Life was SO unfair when my brothers would beat me up (just playin) or pick on me and I COULDN'T TELL MY parents because they would just do it more and worse because "i told". It sucks being the youngest AND the only girl.

Kellan said...

Oh ... If I had a $1.00 for every time one of my kids has said that phrase - I would be very rich!!!

Nice to see you Kel - take care - Kellan

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I agree with my kids when they say that. In fact, when they say "THAT'S not fair!" My typical response is, "LIFE'S NOT FAIR!"
However, one of the unfair things I remember from childhood is, my parents never explained a NO answer. If I couldn't do something, the answer was simply NO, and how dare I question their decision? So, I think you're doing great by at least explaining things and talking to her.

Busymama Karen said...

Oh yes, sitting at the "kid's" table was unfair or that my sister and I were given everything at the same time! I was older so why did she get it at the same time I did?