Dealing with my kids this week, (or actually any week), I wonder why some careers are given such prestige and in some cases high salaries when as kids we are clearly born with the inherent skills to do them. Now I appreciate I have only 2 children to base this theory on, but I’m guessing that there are thousands of parents out there who will agree with me.
My 2 year old is a born crisis negotiator. The crisis situation that she is usually trying to avert is going to bed or taking a nap. Firstly she will try to identify what she can tempt her captor with, in order to prevent the impending disastrous event, i.e. what are her bargaining chips? She will offer to brush her teeth, even voluntarily have them brushed for her, which I have to admit is a hard one to refuse. She may also offer the opportunity for me to watch her adorably attempting to read a book (even though it’s upside down) and in extreme circumstances she will offer endless hugs and kisses. You see her cunning plan, right? She’s seeking out my weak spots, seeing where her efforts will have most impact. And even though she knows that these offers are only good for a short period, ultimately they provide her with a delaying tactic, putting off the inevitable for as long as possible.
My 6 year old is the lawyer. For example she will argue that jam is in part a health food, after all it contains fruit and fruit is good for you right?
She will also convincingly argue that “was” should actually be spelt “whas”, after all “what” has an “h”, so does “when” and how do they sound any different at the beginning. Think about it, it’s a difficult one to argue against.
This week she became her own defense lawyer after playing a particularly loud game with her little sister. I can’t remember exactly what she was yelling or what the purpose of the yelling was. I find these days that I can employ an effective mental cut off mechanism to these games, whereby I go into my own personal bubble. However at one point I did notice that number 2 daughter wasn’t enjoying the game so much any more.
“Stop doing that please,” I ask.
“But she started it,” ah, identify an alternative instigator, bring down the charge to accessory to causing world war 3.
“But she’s getting upset,” I counter.
“I’m trying to make her feel better,” hmm, the ‘my intentions were good’ defense.
“Well you can see that it’s stressing her out now,”
“But I only did it once,” ok, I’m obviously guilty here so let’s try and reduce my punishment by showing that I’m not a hardened trouble-maker, I merely lost my way momentarily. Of course her true defense is to simply argue her point so tirelessly, that she beats down the opposition with her tenacity.
Now just for a moment, let’s consider some of the more everyday (and usually poorly paid) jobs such as clerical work or fast food restaurant server. Honest jobs, but often undervalued and rarely pursued ardently as a career and yet these are the people who have the hardest jobs. My kids demonstrate daily that the skills required to perform these jobs quite frankly go against human nature, such as doing as you are asked, working in team to achieve a common goal or doing something you really don’t want to without complaint. Much as I try to teach my kids these skills, I guess it’s just not what we were born to do.
P.S. To any lawyers reading this, it was all totally tongue in cheek. And should I ever get arrested for attacking someone about to take the last pair of 75% off Manolo Blahniks that should have been mine, please don’t hold this blog against me when coming up with my defense.