These kids are doing my head in. The constant fight we have in our house is around what’s fair and what’s not. Liam is at the age where everything must be fair and square. And even if it’s to his advantage, he insists that it needs to be cut straight down the middle. Not so long ago, I could get away with giving him the slightly bigger piece of a banana which I’d halved for the two of them. I always give him a bit more of everything – purely because he is bigger than Hannah… so I dish him slightly more at meal times, or if something doesn’t split exactly in half, he always ends up scoring. And not only with food, I mean EVERYTHING needs to be debated and thrashed out and we need to hold a brainstorm session over how to fix something that doesn’t appear to be fair. It’s exhausting. Then the confusion of “ladies first.” We have always tried to instill this old fashioned thinking in our son. It’s respectable and it’s polite and I don’t care how old fashioned it appears, that’s what I have taught him. Always girls first. It was working well, until he discovered the “fair is fair” rule. Now he questions why Hannah gets to do everything first, why she gets to go first all the time and why she doesn’t “be fair” to him. So to stop the pending argument, we do “eeny meeny miny mo” because this makes the most sense to them in terms of it being fair and square. You were selected in a fair manner by the process of elimination, basically. Wait until they are old enough to know that that system is rigged. I mean really, it’s two of them, if I want Hannah to go first at whatever – like brushing teeth or bathing first, then I start eeny, meeny on Liam because I KNOW it will end on Hannah.. HELLOOO.
You think I’m joking, here are just a few of the “that’s not FAIR” fires I have to put out on a daily basis:
- 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 Liam’s 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 have their medicine first. It’s a scuffle in the kitchen every morning for the vitamin run.
- Who gets to brush teeth first. This is a huge fight because the person who doesn’t brush first, must pee while the other is brushing. But the person who pees first doesn’t get to flush the toilet, because I only let the person who wees second flush because I do not waste water on two flushes of a bit of baby pee. So you see that the person who brushes first is at an advantage because they get to flush the bog, while the other person doesn’t. How UNFAIR on you because you didn’t get to flush the blinking toilet. Shame. It’s a fight, every single night, guys.
- Who has to pack away the toys. In their minds, fair means putting away the toys according to who they belong to. So Hannah must pack away all the “girl” toys and Liam must pack away all his toys. Works well if they were playing independently. But if they were BOTH playing in Liam’s room and only playing with HIS toys and then Hannah gets up and walks away when it’s cleaning up time, citing that those are LIAM’s toys, then that is NOT FAIR and Liam loses it. Same thing if they were playing in Hannah’s room and he 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.
And I am sorry, 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. The only positive here is that they absolutely believe in fairness, even if it’s to their disadvantage, which is a good thing when it comes to sharing. They totally get it, even if they don’t like it.
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. Silly example, but they get it. Sometimes. Right now, it’s all just UNFAIR. Like is so UNFAIR for 3 and 4 year olds, I tell you.
You have everything done for you, down to getting your bum wiped and your bed made for you every morning, but life is just so UNFAIR!!! Oh my bleeding heart!