N observes me convince Klara put back a bag of jelly beans she grabbed at the store.
“It’s really great how you do this!” he enthuses. “Don’t you wish you could use these skills somewhere else? Like at work? To promote your career?”
“No!” I bellow.”Nope. Nopesie. NOOO! The only person who is entitled to my boundless patience, constant nurturing, and an engaged, inventive responsiveness is this little human being who was extracted from inside me. Everybody else can go jump off a cliff.”
“But isn’t it sad that you develop all these great new skills and they don’t go anywhere else?” he insists.
I’m honestly the least nurturing person I know, so I don’t find it sad. I find it wonderful. Unless a person was surgically extracted from inside me, I don’t nurture. Even discussing the possibility makes me seethe.
I have developed a major capacity to avert tantrums. My success rate is not 100%, and if yours is, have you considered a career in law enforcement? But it’s pretty good.
Today, for instance, a tantrum was beginning because we had to leave the bookstore and a huge yellow toy dog wasn’t coming with us. So I chose a moment when Klara was filling her lungs with air for another piercing scream, and asked, “Does your friend Zuri know how to laugh?” The question took her aback for a second, and I continued, “Does she laugh like this (a weird laughing sound) or like this (an even weirder laughing sound)?”
Half a dozen weird laughing sounds later, Klara was laughing herself and the tantrum was averted. Instead, we had an interesting discussion of why everybody laughs in a different way.
The plan also penalizes parents for each child by putting retirement further out of reach each time they take leave. Mr. Rubio has emphasized that his bill allows parents to “use their own money.” This perpetuates the idea that child rearing is an individual, not a collective, responsibility.
Yes, let’s stop perpetuating this egregious idea right now. Classes start next week and I uncharacteristically have no syllabi prepared. I need the child-rearing collectivity to fold Klara’s laundry, prepare her a snack and dinner, get her from school, and take her to the playground. But the collectivity needs to be prepared in case she chooses to go to the swimming pool instead.
Come on, collectivity, get to it and make it snappy.