As rational adults, most of us recognize that as unfair as it may be, certain double standards do exist in this world. Call us “sell outs,” call us hypocrites. It’s just the way it is. The experiences we have in life help to justify or rationalize this. Stealing is bad. But maybe – just maybe – you could be ok with it if meant obtaining life-saving medications or food for someone on the brink of death. Murder is bad. But what if you’re a soldier in a war? What if you’re killing some would-be despot and madman (or woman) like Hitler? You know. Those old “what if” extreme scenarios designed to test standards of behavior or morality.
But I’m not even talking about that kind of thing. I’m talking about the mundane. Have you ever had to try to talk about double standards with a 3 year old? A little person who lives in a very black and white world?
I say: Stella, you’re a big girl.
Big girls don’t get naked at school.
You’re too big to shout like Felix; he’s little. He doesn’t know any words yet.
You’re too big to jump up and down on me. It’s ok for Felix because he’s little.
You’re too big to nurse . Nursing is for babies. You can have chocolate milk instead. (There has been some recent and somewhat uncomfortable interest in this. They’ve been talking about mammals at school, which also doesn’t help.)
I also say: Stella, you’re too little to have that steak knife on your plate.
You’re too little to go into daddy’s room unless he’s there.
That’s daddy’s computer; you’re too little to play on it.
Microwaves are for grown-ups. You’re too little.
You’re too little for mascara. Mascara is for mommies.
No wonder my child – and any child – shows her butt sometimes. I’d be pissed, too. Her mother is clearly schizophrenic.