Driven To The Only Logical Conclusion

, , , , , , , , | Related | March 8, 2018

(When I was little, I didn’t have that many toys. I always envied my friends when I went in their rooms and saw beds covered in plushies and teddy bears. I am at my mum’s friend’s house. They have two kids and a room FULL of toys. It is like heaven to six-year-old me.)

Me: “[Mum’s Friend], can I please play with the toys?”

(My mum shoots me the “don’t embarrass me” glare I have learned to recognise. I ignore it and put on my best puppy face.)

Mum’s Friend: “Of course you can! Go have fun.”

(I gleefully go play with the myriad of toys. I am being a bit rambunctious, and I can hear my mum grumbling her disapproval and her friend loudly brushing her off: “Oh, let her have some fun!” That is all the encouragement I need. After about half an hour, I spot the jackpot: a little red toy car — the kind big enough for kids to get in and ride — partially covered under a desk. Again, I scurry over to my mum’s friend:)

Me: “There’s a red car under the table in that room. Is it okay if I drive it a bit?”

Mum: “No. You need to sit down and behave.”

Mum’s Friend: “Oh, there’s no need to be so harsh, [Mum]. You only get to be a kid once! Of course you can play in the car, honey. Have fun!”

Mum: “No. She’s had enough fun. Other kids can sit quietly when their parents take them out; so can she. She’s being disrespectful to you in your house.”

Mum’s Friend: “Oh, stop it, [Mum]. I don’t mind her at all. It’s fine, sweetie. You can go play in the toy car.”

(I look between my angry mum and her smiling friend as they go back and forth a little more. Then my mum says this to me:)

Mum: “[My Name], if you go play on that toy car, you’re going to get a beating when you get home.”

(Perhaps contrary to her intentions, this ultimatum made it much easier for me to decide what to do. I could drive the little toy car and get a beating, or I could forego what might be my only opportunity ever to drive a little toy car — I was only going to get bigger as I got older, after all — and there was no guarantee I wouldn’t get a beating in the future, anyway, for other offenses. With this sound logic, it was not a difficult choice. I rode that little toy car around the house to my heart’s content, careful not to crash into anything. I did get a beating when I got home, and it was 100% worth it.)

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