Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Separate and not equal

I had some free rental codes to Redbox this weekend. I let Emerson pick a movie on Friday, and I picked one on Sunday. Apparently, my choice was not to her liking.

"But...! I wanted to pick da movie!"

"It's mommy's turn, sweetie."

Then she proceeded to be a little buttface through the whole thing. It honestly took me 4 hours to watch a 90-minute movie, because she could not be quiet. Finally, I sent her to her room for smarting off to me for no other reason than she was feeling irritable.

When I let her out of her room, she was even more wound up. And it was all my fault, she said.

"Mama, I'm angwry wif you."

"That's fine. You're allowed to feel angry," I replied, totally not giving a crap.

"You're not being fair."

"I'm okay with that," I said, turning the movie back on.

"Are you eeben lithening to what I'm thaying to you?" she demanded.

"Uh... to be honest, not really. I think you've had a lot to say today, and you've been pretty rude to mommy. I'm going to finish this movie, and you're going to do something quiet."

She glared at me. I ignored her. She put her hands on her hips. I continued to ignore her. She stomped her foot. I choked back a giggle.

"Mama, I fink you are not being like Martin Luther King. An' dat's a bad fing."

Uh, what?

This was totally worth turning off the movie to hear.

"Okay, I'm listening, Emmie. What's on your mind?"

She burst out with her explanation. Here it is, verbatim:

"It's Martin Luther King Day, for Pete's sake! And Martin Luther King wanted us to be equal - to be the same thing. Every children in this country wants to boss the parents around a little. So they just want to boss them around sometimes or a day because children are not sussposed to be in this argument. If anything happens to any children I'm gonna fits [fix] it because children are not equal to grown-ups. They're not even making this 10 percent fair. This is just a plain piece of meat. It doesn't feel like I'm in charge because mommies and parents don't even do what the children says. Period."

"So... you're saying that I'm not living up to the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr., because I don't let you be the boss and make the decisions?" I asked.

"Right. I think that children should be the boss a little. Because I don't really lite parents bossing us around because it's not very nice. You already do 'blah blah blah blah do the dishes blah blah blah blah get dressed blah blah blah blah do the floor' - lite that. And I don't really lite that," she said.

"Emmie, I try to involve you in our decisions. But there's a reason that I'm in charge. While children are capable of making good decisions, and you mostly do, parents make better decisions, generally speaking. Sometimes, of course, we make mistakes, too."

She was standing on the bed now. She put both of her hands on my shoulders and stared at me intently.

"Mama. You need to be lite Martin Luther King. An' he showed us how to all be friends. An' how to be nice to each other. An' how to be equal." She waved her hand back and forth between the two of us. "How we should be equal."

I stared at her, torn. On the one hand, there was so much that was good in what she was saying. And ownership does breed responsibility. On the other hand... no.

"You know, that was a really strong appeal to my emotions and my sense of morality, Emerson. I have to applaud you for almost making that work. What law school do you want to attend?"


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