Yesterday I was annoyed by a child that was exhibiting all the characteristics I think are important; creative, independent of body and thought, acting on their desires, go getting it, trying to make things actually happen, questioning authority, reasoning, and negotiation, but what did I do? I resorted to being ‘the authority.’ I said “no”…. Was I annoyed that my authority was questionable, that it was inferred that I didn’t know what I was talking about? I feel my only claim could have been my perhaps superior ability to think of a multitude of other factors. I said my forceful “no”, very briefly and tautly explained my reasoning but I left no gap for rebuttal or questioning of my reasoning, which now I’m being more honest was sketchy. It was my usual issue of excessive consumption of resources and my disgust at people putting the joy of now in front of environmental consequences. This isn’t a fair view as I am able to ration and always have (even at this kids age). At times, with particular resources, I know I can appear puritanical. Years ago my parents and some of their friends were talking about the concept of hedonism and one 90 year old woman just didn’t understand why? It was beyond her. I thought at the time maybe she hadn’t “lived” but now I suspect she was expressing a similar world view to the one I am developing as I age. A world view that is increasingly disgusted by others. A world view which peaks out in such mantras as saying to Helena “if I give you an icecream every time we go to the beach how will it be a treat?” The disconnect is me totally believing icecream is a treat versus an every day experience. That joy is worked for, fleeting, and rationing makes it seem better….
It doesn’t help that I also suspect the child questioning me is autistic, which then makes me wonder if the kid had been labeled such would I have behaved differently? More sympathetically? I think I should treat all people as if they have elements of the under rated gift of autism as this seems more respectful somehow.
Sometimes I hate being reflective. A teacher’s day is lived 3 times (plan, do, reflect) and there aren’t that many hours in a day, it’s all consuming. I do value the learning/thinking from this event (the holiday programme is great professional development), an event that the child probably hardly noticed in a world that always reverts to saying “no” to her…
P.S. It was for more dishwashing liquid for the water slide! They were covered in bubbles and had been sliding for an hour at this point… it was okay I said no but not my delivery.