Almost every day now, I am being accused of double standards by my daughter who is now in her teens.
Apparently I deal with her differently and have a whole different set of standards for the younger one who arrived recently.Well, he is much much younger!
HE is a hamster.
Online classes. My daughter is a teen for God’s sake. She has classes to attend. It is what kids her age the world over are doing right now. To be fair, she attends them faithfully.
However, she doesn’t stop complaining about how the little fellow doesn’t have to study, but she does, and how it is all so unfair.
Eating habits. I keep insisting that she should eat more vegetables. And greens. And yogurt. It is my job to make sure she eats what is right for her, isn’t it? That’s what all parents do, right?
What am I supposed to do if the little fellow already likes his vegetables and eats them without being told? He doesn’t prefer greens, but he eats so many other vegetables that I don’t feel like insisting. Is that a crime?
Hair cut. Well, she had long hair once upon a time, and she suddenly decided that she wanted a short hairstyle. My only role was to find someone to cut her hair. But somehow her short hair is all my fault.
She is now upset because I have not cut the little fellow’s hair. Well, it is tough to bring myself to do it. He has such soft silky hair and I love running my hands through it. She likes to do that too, but she doesn’t miss a chance to complain and point out the double standards!
Discipline. When my daughter was younger, I used to sometimes shout at her or be angry with her. There were rules and I had to make her understand that she was wrong when she broke them.
Now her complaint is that I don’t shout at the little fellow at all and am never angry with him. I am sure she is right. But if you see him, you will agree with me. It is impossible to be angry with someone who looks as cute and sweet as he does. A picture of calmth and cuteness!
Cleanliness. My daughter does keep her room pretty clean now. So I don’t have to say anything to her. But she remembers that when she was younger, I was always chasing her to keep her room clean.
The little fellow is generally clean, but his room is quite a mess. Chewed up toys, pieces of paper, and whatnot. I clean it as often as I can. But my daughter’s contention is that he is allowed to get away with it. How come I don’t insist that he cleans his room? Double standards she says. I am beginning to wonder if she is right! Am I partial to the little fellow?
Social skills. This one is a big bone of contention. I insist that my daughter should make some polite conversation with whoever comes home. She is old enough and it is good manners to do so. She misses that point entirely.
But the little guy is so young and cute that I am afraid that people will not handle him properly. So I avoid social contact for him. Call me paranoid. Naturally, this does not go well with her. I am beginning to see why she says I have double standards…
Sleep. This is by far the worst sore point. My daughter loves to stay up late. Hey, all of us are almost nocturnal. We all stay up late. I do most of my writing late in the night when all is quiet and all chores are done. No wonder that the little fellow is also up all night. Obviously, he sleeps through the day. He really has nothing better to do. I ensure that no one disturbs him. I tuck him snugly under his favorite soft rug.
Naturally, my daughter has an opinion about this. I wake her up in the morning for classes and such like while the cute little guy is allowed to sleep. I insist that she sleeps early, but he is allowed to stay up all night. All she wants to do is sleep snugly like him throughout the day. But I don’t allow her to. This probably makes her the unhappiest!
I do understand her point of view. I am sorry she feels the way she does. But she should know that I am doing what is best for her.
Each child needs different parenting styles.
A human child has to be treated in a certain way.
And a nocturnal hamster baby has to be treated in a whole different way!
In order to work around the double standards that I apparently display, my daughter has decided that she wants to be born as a hamster in her next birth.
All the little hamster chap does is eat and sleep. That’s a good life, she feels! 🙂
Originally published on Medium.com at this location.