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a peeve of marty's is when adults make condescending remarks to children about how easy their life is or how they've so got it made. these often take a sarcastic form like "oh, it's a hard life isnt it?" or "you never get anything you want, do you?".

after one of marty's huffs about it i asked her why she took issue so. she explained that she didn't agree with this widespread notion and contended that a kid's life is difficult and challenging because they have such little control over what happens to them from day to day and moment to moment. we tell them what to eat for dinner, we tell them when they can go outside to play, we tell them who they can and can't play with, we tell them when they will take a bath and if they do or do not have to get their hair washed, and we tell them when they can go to bed, and we don't care what they are in the middle of because the clock just struck eight and if they don't get their eleven hours (such a tough life) they're going to be miserable tomorrow.

marty's obviously not arguing that the kids should get to make these choices on their own but she is saying that it sucks to have so much determined for you. as an adult just imagine having someone in your grill exerting this much dominion over your world, especially that bedtime one. say you're twenty minutes from the end of a two hour movie and someone walked into the room, stood in front of the tv and said ...

ok. time for bed. go potty. brush your teeth. and you (with a fingerpoint), you put on some clean underwear. i know you've been wearing those for two days and they smell foul, so get a new pair.

but we were watching that.

you can finish it tomorrow. it's bedtime.

but it was almost over.

that's what you said two nights ago and you were up thirty more minutes. in the bathroom for teeth and i want you all pajama'd and under the sheets in five.

but ...

but nothing. i don't want to hear it tonight. i've had a long day and am not in the mood. you make this difficult and you won't get to finish that show tomorrow. in fact if you're not asleep in twenty minutes i'm taking it back to the library and then you'll never get to finish it. so let's go. bathroom. now.

i don't know about you, but in thirty years of life i've accumulated the patience to withstand one of these. ok i just lied. i should say one minute of the above before incarceration became part of the equation. approaching this empathetically, marty is more than right.




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