Trademarked Children

kids on dock OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin Barlev

 

“She is a stubborn one,” her mother claims. “Screams bloody murder when she doesn’t get her way.”

“He is our difficult child,” the father sighs. “I guess every family has one.”

“This one is the lovey-dovey twin,” the grandma declares. “Her sister? She’s the total opposite. Wriggly worm, that one.”

“He’s Mister Independent,” the foster mother says, “Won’t let anyone help him with anything.”

“He’s the lazy one,” the teacher complains. “If he can get away with not doing something, I bet you he won’t do it.”

“She’s the fighter,” the nanny imparts, “bossy as they come.”

Surely she is more than stubborn. Surely he’s not always difficult. Surely there are times she does not want to cuddle and when her twin sister relaxes into hugs. Surely sometimes he wishes to be helped. Surely he is not just lazy. Surely there are situations where she does not want to fight.

Children listen to our words, and the tone we say them. They internalize our attitudes of them and all too often identify with the boxes we sort them into. Let us take heed, for what we stamp children as, they might live up to without knowing there are many more hues in the palette of what they are and can become.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Expectant

 

“My mommy have a baby in her tummy!” she announces even before her little feet clear the steps.

“How lovely!” I’ve known for a while, but delight never gets old.

“But the baby not coming out yet,” she clarifies soberly.

“Oh,” I match my tone to hers.

The girl nods sagely. “It not ready yet.”

“I see.”

She shrugs out of her coat and wriggles a bit as she lets me help her remove her snow boots. She pauses mid-wriggle. One socked foot liberated.

“Will mommy have to blow?”

“Blow?”

“Yeah,” the almost-four-year-old cocks her head with bewilderment at my lack of immediate understanding. “When the baby come out.”

I look up, slightly flustered. Someone did a tripe-knot on that other boot. Fort Knox.

She stares at me.

It is one of those times when I have a feeling that my hypothesis about her question is quite different than what she is actually asking about.

“What do you think?” I default to my when-in-doubt-return-the-question-to-the-kid.

She nods vigorously. “Yeah. Because when the baby finish cooking it going to be too hot.”

 

hot-food

 

For The Daily Post