This morning I was waiting with my kids for their bus. They are, like every other morning, all involved in the all important Pokemon Trading. All of them.
So I hear Nathan say: "I'm going to trade this fake Pokemon to Raphael. He won't know. I'll trick him."
I didn't know what to do.
I often feel like I "mother" my boys too much. The other day at Max's Little League game it was all I could do to stop myself from yelling across the field: "Tuck that string into your pants!" And forget about trying to fix Nathan's little league shirt, which hangs down almost to his knees... I'm very conscious that I'm a woman raising two boys. (Ok - there's a father involved, but most of their time is with me.)
So I'm about to say something like: "that's not very nice" but I stop. This is the "code" of the playground. It's kid stuff. You have to let them work out all this stuff on their own.
But then I (mentally) counter myself: "but what about morality? Aren't you supposed to teach them that?" Then I go on to say to myself: "They learn that in the playground, too. It's all part of it. You teach them the big stuff... but the little stuff has to sort itself out." Then, as if I haven't had enough I go on to tell myself: 'Yes, but if they don't want you to hear it - then they shouldn't say this stuff right near you." And I remind myself of how when I was a chaperon on a flight for North American exchange students going to Brazil. There were a LOT of exchange students on our flight - from the US and from Brazil. The one BIG rule for the kids I was chaperoning was no drinking... but all the Brazilians were. And these "kids" were going to be on their own, in a country with no drinking age.... SO - what do I do. I put my head phones on & went to sleep. BUT, at one point I turned around & two kids were behind me. Drinking beers. I told them to put it away. I said: "listen, if you're going to drink, have the good sense NOT to do it right near the chaperon." I mean, come on.
SO. Where was I. Stuck in my early morning morality morass.
I didn't say anything.. but I'm not really sure it was the right thing to do. As we were walking back from Hebrew School this evening Nathan mentioned it again & I jumped right on it. This is the three of us walking together. This is not the same. So I did the ole' "don't do to people what you wouldn't like done to you" spiel & they nodded & were like "ok mom.. whatever..." and that was that.