Quite possibly my 3 least favorite words right now. I must hear these 3 words approximately 8,463 times per day during the summer. (I especially love it when the words are paired with a whiny voice and stomping.)
"It's not fair that Skyler gets to stay up later than me!"
"It's not fair that Savannah's chores are easier than mine!"
"It's not fair that we can't have a pet elephant who entertains us all day long by giving us elephant rides around the backyard while you pop us some popcorn for breakfast, lunch and dinner as we have fun playing with the lions and tigers and the clowns and then you bring us snow cones and we get shot out of a cannon for fun and then you surprise us with cotton candy and life is wonderful and...."
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I'm the kind of mom who believes in reasoning with my children and explaining to them why things are the way they are whenever possible.
Upon hearing the first 3,691 "It's not fair's"of the day, I reply calmly, and explain that because they are 2 different human beings, with different needs, different skills and different desires, things cannot and should not always be 100% equal.
"It's not fair" numbers 3,692-8,462 create a little more anxiety in me. I'm an incredibly patient person when it comes to raising children but I can feel that my fuse is shortening. My voice may be slightly raised as I explain to my dear, dear children:
"I'm pretty sure that if given the option, you two wouldn't want everything to be 100% equal and fair. That would mean you both go to bed at exactly the same time. You both would need to wake up at the exact same time. You'd do the same chores. Eat the same foods. Etc., etc., etc.
And yet, my explanations are simply not registering in these darling little girls' heads. "It's not fair" # 8,463 actually creates smoke which escapes from my nose and ears, my eyes turn red and bulge out of my head, I open my mouth and out comes...
"LIFE'S NOT FAIR! GET OVER IT!"
Although I do not feel proud about losing my cool, I usually don't hear those 3 pesky words for a good hour or two...after the smoke from my ears and nose has dissipated.
Then I realize, I am a hypocrite.
Because here I sit in my own adult world seeing headlines like this:
Gay rights: a world of inequality
Chick-fil-A exec takes stance against same-sex marriage
Shocking level of inequality for LGBT families
And all I can think...what I want to scream out is: "IT'S NOT FAIR!"
***I may or may not say this in my whiny voice while stomping my feet.
I understand that obviously the issue of equality on a global scale is slightly larger than the issue of equality within the Denhof household. However, what I am learning is that equality is something we all long for, from a very young age. I am beginning to understand that when my children cry out "It's not fair!", there are feelings, emotions and yes, even validity in their words. It's natural to want equality and fairness. It makes sense. Why can't things just be equal, and fair? It seems so simple. How frustrating that even as adults, there are millions of people across the globe who are made to feel less than equal. Who are fighting to have basic rights. Rights that every human being should have. ...It's not fair.
I cannot guarantee that smoke will never again pour from my ears and nose when I hear those 3 words coming from my girls' mouths, but I do hope to have a better appreciation and understanding of the fact that they are feeling that something is unfair. I hope to be able to show them that there are many things that should be and are fair, and that there are also things that should be fair that aren't. I will teach them that for those things which are not fair, we must maturely and respectfully fight for equality.
That being said, if I should have a weak moment and agree to the elephant, lions, and tigers in the backyard scenario, I WILL NOT be in charge of scooping poop, because...well....that just wouldn't be fair.