Saturday, March 18, 2006

Line up

The other day, Benjamin was washing his hands and I needed to do the same. I reached in from the side and started to wash along with him.

"Dada, no," he started. (I fitted my I-don't-respond-for-Mr.-Bossy look.) "You have to get in line."

He doesn't go to preschool, but lately he has been attending Sunday school quite regularly. His rash reaction was clearly instigated by my appalling breach of wash-up-time protocol.

He will start a preschool program this fall, so this is just a taste of things to come. It will intensify, culminating in 2nd grade. At that point, we should anticipate that any break with established precedent will require a lengthy, carefully-worded explanatory statement, along with a liberal question-and-answers period. The results will likely range from "Well, that's still not fair" to resigned, quiet and highly skeptical acceptance. (Or, if we're in a hurry, we'll have to fall back on "we'll talk about it later," hoping later never comes. Worst case scenario: "because I said so.")

Back to the bathroom incident: Benjamin registered my stern look and reflexively repeatedly his request with a "could you please." I thought about explaining that there are different rules for home than there are in classrooms. I had just imagined all of our rules discussions for the next four years. I'll skip it this time.

"That's better," I sighed, and slunk to the end of the line.

He's probably right. It's a small sink.

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