Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Alain's children

I usually agree with Alain de Botton, and a lot of his videos are very touching and insightful, and he never shies away from the taboo 'negative' topics. I think he might overstate the negatives here though. Parenting is pretty cool. 

And yet.

Tonight Jimmy told me I was mean.

I wasn't even doing very much, and I don't think he really even meant it that seriously. In fact I laughed. A lot.

What prompted the criticism was that I had spent some time trying to pry an answer out of him, regarding the source of a mysterious abrasion and swelling on one of his fingers. A scratch, irritated by orange skin? A spider bite? A burn?

It was ouchy and he wanted me to kiss it better. I did, but I wanted to know what had happened. He wouldn't say. Or couldn't. Instead there was a lot of evasion and deception (he's getting good at that - nothing serious) and so it became something of an issue.

I pressured for an answer, hoping it wasn't as serious as a spider bite or something like that. I put a toy away that seemed a source of distraction. I tried to reason with him. I tried to get him to see my point of view.  I asked him why he thought I was being so insistent for an answer.

He said "Because you're mean".

Once I had picked myself up from the floor, I gave him a hug and we went on with our night. I never found out what caused the ouchy finger, but I'm pretty sure Jimmy doesn't remember either. The swelling soon went down everything was fine.

Later, Alain de Botton reminded me of our earlier interaction. It's nice to have a bit of warning about what to expect in the future.

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