Posted by: Jamie Stamm | August 5, 2008

The queen of fairness

Lately, my daughter has been very into fairness.

She hovers in the kitchen as I assemble afternoon snacks, mentally counting the number of Goldfish crackers I’m pouring into the purple bowl for her versus the green one for her brother, then carefully eying the plastic cups that I’m filling with milk to make sure both have the same amount (although it’s OK if hers has more).

And now she’s started judging the fairness of what Anthony and I do during the afternoon while she’s at school.

See, while Ant and I waited to get the van’s oil changed yesterday, we walked to Wendy’s for lunch. And since he ate only one of the chicken nuggets from his kid’s meal, I reheated his food for dinner last night (the rest of us were having turkey tacos, which he’s not a fan of).

“You went to Wendy’s, didn’t you?” Cera asked as I put Anthony’s plate on the table.

“Yes, we did,” I said. “We were out running errands and got hungry. But you got to eat pepperoni pizza at school today, and you love pepperoni pizza.”

Apparently, that wasn’t the right response because she now expects a Wendy’s lunch without her brother in tow.

Later in the evening, Cera took issue with a small wooden tractor trailer that I’d bought Anthony from the dollar section at Target as I was picking out girly gifts for her prize box at school.

“Why didn’t I get a toy?” whined the child who has a room full of toys, most of which she doesn’t play with.

“Because you got a new dress and three new shirts for school,” I replied.

“But those aren’t fun,” she said.

Followed by what’s becoming her favorite phrase: “It’s not fair.”

I knew there would be issues with jealousy when Anthony started staying home with me. And that’s completely understandable. What kid doesn’t want equal time and treatment from her parents? But with Cera in kindergarten for six and a half hours a day while Anthony is here, equal time just can’t be a reality right now.

Explain that to the queen of fairness.

I’m trying to compensate by giving Cera extra attention whenever I can, like working on a special art project together last night and taking a girls-only shopping trip after soccer practice last Saturday. And I’ve relaxed my “no talking once the light goes out” rule so that she has five to 10 minutes to talk to me about whatever she wants before she goes to sleep.

All that leads me to today. With temperatures expected to reach nearly 100 degrees, I would love to take Anthony to the pool (otherwise, we probably won’t get any outside time this afternoon). But, inevitably, Cera will find out that we went without her, either because Anthony will tell her (not to be mean – simply because he’s 2) or because she’ll see a wet bathing suit that I forgot to sneak into the washing machine before she got home. Or I’ll feel compelled to confess because I hate to lie to my kids, and Cera always asks me, “What did you do today?”

So I guess Anthony and I will be hunkering down at home.

It’s only fair.



  1. I’m getting a lot of this, too! We always do something that Jackson thinks he should have been in on, even if it was letting Colin play on the computer for five minutes in between working on something else!

    And FWIW, I didn’t cry, either. 😉

  2. tell cera what i told you guys- she did things for 3 years with just mommy before anthony came along and now he’s doing things with just mommy while she is in school – Ant cant sit in the house for the next three years cos cera is calling the shots!

  3. and you can always use the one i used on you guys that you hated- lifes not fair , get used to it

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