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Subjective Definition

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Definition A
“That’s not fair!” = “I didn’t get my way!”

This is the most common usage of this phrase by children. Employed on a regular basis, the child’s sense of fairness is measured only by whether or not he (yeah, yeah — or she) gets what he wants. True equity does not factor into the equation whatsoever.

Definition B
“That’s not fair!” = “My sibling gets to do something that I don’t!”

Utilized less frequently, this handling of the phrase conveys the irrational sense of imbalance felt by kids.

Like tonight. Right in the midst of Pajama Havdallah, Beernut gets a funny look on his face.

“I don’t feel very well,” he says.

“Could it have been the SIX pieces of pizza you ate, Beernut?”

“And the cookies too, Mom.”

Whereupon he promptly threw up.

Just a little. I got him into the bathroom moments ahead of the projectile vomiting. Afterwhich, he felt MUCH better.

Later on, Poppyseed whines:

“That’s not fair. Beernut got to throw up and I didn’t!”

For real. She was actually distraught that Beernut got sick — really grossly sick — and she didn’t. I could understand if he got to go to Disneyland and she didn’t. I could even understand if he got special attention or treatment (such as sleeping in Mommy and Daddy’s bed), but he didn’t. He had to go home right away and went straight to bed. She, on the other hand, got to stay the rest of the evening — which was past her bedtime.

So which part is unfair??

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Saturday, 12 July 2008 9:23 pm

    I had a friend who used to bemoan not having to have braces, just like all her other siblings.
    I didn’t get it.

  2. Saturday, 12 July 2008 9:23 pm

    Hope Beernut feels better.

  3. Sunday, 13 July 2008 5:59 pm

    Oh just let her get sick like her brother.

  4. Frume Sarah permalink
    Sunday, 13 July 2008 10:31 pm

    Thanks, Cat!

    And if I was a nicer mom, CP, if I was a nicer mom!!!

  5. Channah permalink
    Monday, 14 July 2008 8:54 am

    I was sitting there, listening to her complaining to you, and laughing my tuchus off. “But what if I throw up?”

    And then I remembered not to laugh too hard, because my time is coming, my friend.

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