Fair Is Not Always Equal…


…and equal is not always fair.

Indigo is on a rampage right now.  And “It’s not fair” is her battle cry.

It’s not fair that DJ has her own (very well monitored) email account.

It’s not fair that DJ got invited to sleep over at her friend’s house.

It’s not fair that DJ has an iPod.

It’s not fair that DJ gets to …. insert something a 9-year-old can do but a 6-year-old can’t.

Garbanzo has started feeling guilty about things.  Like Friday, for example, is a concert I got tickets for.  DJ loves this band – and it’s an all ages show.  I figured I would take her with me.  She has hit that point where she would love the experience.  Garbanzo didn’t want to make Indigo feel bad.

DJ’s friend from school invited her for a sleep over the other night.  We knew Indigo would flip if she found out DJ got to do this but that she wasn’t invited.  Garbanzo’s first inclination was to decline the invitation to keep the peace.

DJ had a birthday party invite a couple weeks ago.  The girl who invited her said that Indigo could come if about 3 kids didn’t show up.  (It’s an expensive place to have a party, so most parents cap it at a certain number of kids.)  Indigo was convinced it meant she was going.  And, cried when it didn’t happen.

Noticing a theme?

We have been trying to explain to Indigo that there are things she is invited to, that DJ isn’t.  And things DJ is invited to, that Indigo isn’t.  There are also things DJ is old enough to do, but she isn’t.  And there are things DJ is too old for, but Indigo isn’t.

At 36, it makes perfect sense.  At 6, it sounds like a lot of bullshit….or at least that’s the approach Indigo takes.

Garbanzo doesn’t like to see Indigo upset.  Not because a crying child is hard to deal with, but because she is at an age where she just doesn’t understand.  She feels big enough for all of these things, but doesn’t understand that she is not big enough.  Throw in the fact that Indigo is way too articulate for her own good, and you get rants from Indigo where she feels we don’t love her as much ad DJ.  That’s what Garbanzo can’t stand.

So, we are having to be extra cognizant.  For example, Garbanzo and I were supposed to go to a wedding on Friday.  I was going to see if Ms Panda would take DJ to the concert.  Instead, Indigo is going to be Garbanzo’s date.  And, DJ and I will go to the concert.

The sleepover the other night for DJ resulted in Garbanzo finding a local brew pub that has a movie theater which was showing Monsters vs Aliens for their dinner show.  He, Derek, and Indigo went (while I was at work).  They ate, they drank, and all enjoyed the movie.

The birthday party?  We made sure Indigo got some special time with us too.  We went to Build-A-Bear where she got a monkey.  (Build-A-Bear is more her age anyway, IMO.)  Then we browsed through the Lego Store and got a snack.

There are certain things where we have drawn a line in the sand.  Like the email account.  I don’t care how much she wants one (DJ uses it to email her grandparents in Mexico), she’s not getting one.  She’s not old enough.  The iPod – the same thing.  She’s too young and not responsible enough.

What we’ve realized is that we need to make sure DJ doesn’t get screwed as the older kid.  That she gets the experiences she deserves as a 9 year old.  As the oldest in my family, this task hits pretty close to home.  (I was screwed over on stuff quite regularly for various reasons as the oldest, so I’m a bit sensitive to it.)

And, we have to make sure that Indigo doesn’t miss out on the experiences she deserves as a 6 year old – experiences that are at her level – not beyond her level.  While she loves her big sister and wants to be just liker her, she is only 6.  She has those experiences to look forward to – not necessarily experience now.

That is the challenge anyway.  Now to see if we can actually succeed in finding that balance.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dana says:

    Just so you don’t feel alone, I struggle with this as well, only mine are much closer in age – Cam is 13 – step daughter is 14 (just 15 months apart). It does help that they are different genders, but I still hear “It’s not fair” from Cam. Even when they do understand, the battle cry remains.

  2. Just me... says:

    It’s easier when they are further apart.. Or so my mother says.. I’m 9 years older than my brother. And while it was like having two families for her, we really didn’t have that ‘not fair’ fight.. Plenty of others, but not that one.. I’ve avoided it all together by only having one child!! :):):)
    Good luck on figuring it all out!!

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