Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You're Not The Boss of Me! (a near death experience)

Don’t tell anybody, but I actually really enjoy running. I don’t do it a whole lot because upon leaving the air-conditioned confines of our homes here in Arizona, we burst into flames. There are very few days when spontaneous combustion is less of a threat and we are in the very last hours of that whimsical week. So, in an effort to get one last chance to go running and to allow Darby to do something fun (for once), we went for an outing with her taking her scooter and me taking my chevro-legs. We only run in the neighborhood to the west of ours because if we were to mozy around in our own neighborhood, we would surely get shanked. Not really, but the other neighborhood is a mile-long rectangle and that is convenient.

So, as soon as we enter our track, we hear a little voice shout out, “Darby!” It is Darby’s nemesis. In an effort to CMA, we will call him Sweet Baby James. Darby and Sweet Baby James love and hate one another. It is a very complicated 4 year old relationship. They are in preschool and primary together and while they have to sit together and talk to each other, it usually results in insult-slinging and eventually comes to blows. But, in this moment, they were friends and super pumped to hang out together. I didn’t want to keep her from getting to play with a friend and I didn’t want to hover, so I sat on the sidewalk on the other side of the street and just watched them run around together. To an outsider, I just looked super creepy. They played and chased each other with a humongous stick (can you believe I allowed that? I’m growing as a parent!) and when they started playing in the neighbors’ yards and sprinklers, I decided it was time for us to go. They had been playing for probably 45 minutes and we had a pretty busy day ahead of us. So, we moved on and finished our outing.

On the way home, Darby said, “Mom, Sweet Baby James told me to stay there, but I didn’t want to.” I replied, “Well Honey, you don’t have to do what Sweet Baby James tells you to do.” And she said, “Yes I do, because he’s the boss.” I thought that maybe that was part of their game and I asked, “Well, why is he the boss?” She responded with “Because he is a boy, and boys are the boss.”

I stopped cold and a little part of me died inside.

“Darby, listen to me. Boys are not the boss of girls. Boys are not better than girls. Sweet Baby James is not your boss.” She said, “Boys ARE the boss, like Daddy. He’s the boss and he’s a boy.”

I see the underdeveloped logic. I do. My poor, sweet baby. I explained that our Daddies and Mommies are our bosses, but not because they are boys or girls, but because they are our parents and that Sweet Baby James’ dad was his boss, but not Darby’s boss and that boys are not the bosses of girls. She seemed greatly relieved and I dare say enlightened. No, empowered! We’ll make a feminist of her yet!

Crisis narrowly averted.