There is nothing I look more forward to than hearing how unfair something is according to my children. It never gets old, EVER! This is right up there with being corrected by them after every single sentence I speak and having them ask why my belly isn’t flat and why I have to breath SO hard when I exercise. Love it, keep it coming, at least I know I am alive.
Our most recent “unfair affair” was the local school book fair. We have more books than we have places to put them, the kids get books for every holiday and even grandma sends books she finds interesting to them. They also have this place called a ‘Library’ where they can check out books for free and when they return them successfully they can get more books. I know it is a crazy concept but it has been working for years.
Even knowing we have books in our house that covers have not even been cracked, and the whole library thing, I gave them each $20 and told them to pick out two (TWO) books and bring me the change. The dissertation on what is fair started, and at that point and I should have just taken my $40 back and called it quits. However, I must love drama and squabbling so I let the madness go on. “What if sissy picks out two books that cost $7.99 and $9.99 and I pick out two books that cost $5.99 and $6.99, will you add up the difference and pay me?” Absolutely not!!! How does this even enter into their heads? I have made a conscious effort since birth to make it clear that nothing is fair, so why does it continue to come up?
After answering some more questions that made me question my reasons for choosing family over peace and freedom, I sent them off to school with their $20 reminding them to make good choices. On this day I was also subbing at their school and part way through the day I run into my third grader who sheepishly hands me her money envelope and skips off with her friends. I open it and there is literally change in it, no dollars, just change. The envelope does have the receipt for the two books, pencil, book mark and large finger pointer she elected to buy. At this point, I almost have to concede, as she has clearly out witted me. Not only did she buy TWO books and junk, but she handed the change to me at school where I was working and could not stop to scream at her.
My youngest child caught me in the office in front of all my peers at the end of the day where she produced her pointer and just laughed. That’s right, fuel mommy’s fire. I asked her the same question and she actually handed me back $3 and reminded me about my two book limit which clearly meant if there was money left she should buy something else. At this point she asks for $5 more so she can go buy the poster with two puppies for her bedroom wall. My response to this leads to more unfair and bad mommy protests.
When we get home I tell them that I am disappointed about their choices, and I might as well have been talking to the coffee pot. I then decide that I need a small break. I work two part-time jobs, which is really the equivalent of a full-time job that flexes around the kid’s schedules. In my spare time I clean house, grocery shop, run kids to their many commitments and do any of the other 500 things moms have to do. I sit down in a room by myself and open up my Kindle for a bit of me time. I hear a click and the lights go out, as I turn I see my 6 year old with her fancy new finger pointer by the light switch. Click, lights are back on and then click they go back off. I can’t tell you how many times this went on within 30 seconds, but I can tell you as I rose to grab it she ran like she was trying out for the Olympics.
You know what I think is unfair? The fact that Scholastic advertises a book fair in a school environment and then has all sorts of toys and junk when they clearly know that most parents send their kids to school to make purchases without adult supervision. You know what else I think is unfair? That they don’t give us the addresses to these people’s homes so we can throw rotten eggs at their siding or let our dogs crap in their yards. But all is unfair in kids and life, so we go on the best we know how.