I spend a great deal of effort making sure that things are fair for my children.
When I pour drinks for them, I never fill the glasses up all the way, just in case I don’t have enough of whatever they’re drinking for each glass to be completely filled. If I tell one a funny story about their infancy, I make sure to tell the others a story at the same time, too, lest they think I don’t remember their early days. They are each evenly represented in photographs throughout the house and take the same number of after school activities.
Despite my best efforts, however, it seems I’m failing miserably. At least a dozen times a day, the three of them inform me that I love one of them more than the others or that their life is otherwise somehow unjust.
After keeping track of their reasons for a while, I have to agree; their lives are just terribly, horribly unfair. Why?
1. They have to shower every night if they smell, even if they showered the night before.
2. They’re not allowed to drink my coffee.
3. They have to carry their own school bags to the car.
4. Recently, Ben found a rogue chocolate chip on the counter and ate it. There were no others to be found in the house, so Lily and Evan had to wait until their after school snack the next day to have chocolate.
5. The fact that bread comes with crust.
6. I don’t let them blast Minecraft videos on the iPad when I’m working in the kitchen.
7. They get woken up in the morning.
8. And put to bed at night.
9. I get annoyed when they jump in puddles wearing new shoes.
10. If it’s below 35 degrees, they have to wear a jacket.
11. They’re not allowed to eat upstairs.
12. Lily gets to watch 15 minutes more of television than the boys at night.
13. Furthermore, because she is the oldest, she has actually watched years worth more television than they have.
14. They can’t stay outside on a school night past 7:15.
15. They need to brush their teeth.
16. They needed to accompany me to the drive thru bank last week.
18. Outdoor recess is cancelled in the rain.
19. The crust to rest of pizza ratio is way too small.
20. Lily is the only girl.
22. They can’t ride their bikes or scooters inside the house.
23. Evan has to wear glasses.
24. Evan gets to wear glasses.
25. We have to drive to Florida over spring break, not fly.
26. Monday mornings.
27. PG-13 movies.
28. They need to take off their muddy shoes outside.
29. They’re not allowed to drink soda.
30. The fact that the boys get a brother and a sister.
31. I made Evan the last waffle yesterday morning.
32. They have to wear helmets when riding bikes outside.
33. That sleepovers don’t occur on school nights.
34. Lily is going to overnight camp this summer and is going to have so much fun without the boys.
35. Lily is going to overnight camp this summer and is going to miss so much fun at home.
36. Spelling tests.
37. Lily used too much hot water last night and Ben could only take a five minute shower.
38. They never get to stay home from school just because.
39. They don’t each have a kitten.
40. Or any kitten, for that matter.
42. They can’t choose exactly what they want for dinner every night.
43. They can’t store the remote controls in their rooms.
44. Getting their toenails cut.
45. They can’t use my computer.
46. Thank you notes.
47. Lily gets to do everything first.
48. Ben gets an older sibling and a younger one.
49. Evan gets babied.