Tuesday, April 14, 2009


First-borns are notorious for being rule-followers. I admit that in some areas I am obsessive about this. That’s why I’m an English teacher. On the other hand, I think I’m more laid back than many and I’m glad. My oldest is showing signs of loving rules, so the other day I tried to introduce her to the idea that some rules are just not that important.

We frequently pass by a farmhouse up the road from where we live. And by frequent, I mean just about every time we go anywhere. Back in the fall we were driving by and I noticed their Halloween decorations and pointed them out to Sophia. She was impressed. It was festive and Sophia loves to be festive.

Well, the decorations have not moved since and Sophia cannot help but point this out regularly. (Warning, my daughter liberally uses the word ‘hate.’ Don’t hold it against her; we’re working on it.)

Yesterday she says, “I hate that house. They need to take that stuff down. That witch is ugly. It’s WEIRD.” (another favorite word of hers if she doesn’t like something.)

“It’s not that big of a deal, Soph. They probably just keep forgetting. Don’t let it bother you.”

She was very insistent on this, though.

“They should NOT have that up anymore! Halloween is years ago. It’s summer, Mom!”

“Sophie, it’s not your house. What do you care? People can do whatever they want with their houses! What if they drove by and said ‘You should not have a swing in your yard, because we don’t like it!’

“That’s illegal. Of course I can have a swing in my yard! Mom! That decoration should not be there!”

“Sophie, people can have whatever they want on their porches. It isn’t your deal. Don’t worry so much about the rules! Sometimes it’s fun to do your own thing!”

“That’s wrong. I hate it. They need to change it.”

Oh my.

This is somewhat amusing. (illegal?!) But scary too! I really try to be aware of daily conversation that is so judgmental and black and white like this. I try to avoid it or snuff it out when it rises up. She can be so harsh! And I’m sure I can be as well. I pray to God, this passionate anger about nothing that really matters... goes away. Yikes. Literally, I’m going to pray about it and actively work on this. For both of us.

[Btw, don’t hold this against her when she’s older, or bring it up when she’s 12 and says something is ‘wrong.’ Yea, I’m talking to you, family members. It won’t be funny. She’s 5. Give her a break. :)]

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