We live in tough times. Generally speaking, there are more and more of us, which causes an exponential growth in the number of ideas on how to organize various fields of life. Besides, the situation is even more complicated because we tend to stick to our guns while rejecting the ideas of others, and without making the effort to do so politely. We rely on the wisdom of experts and trust that they will explain the world to us.
This time, the topic of discussion is parenting. Surprisingly, children have a lot to say on this matter – let’s give them the floor.
“Przekrój”: Let’s try to define parenting – let’s consider the principles of good parenting, and what makes a good parent.
Lu: You’re cool. You shout a lot, but usually you’re cool.
Would you be so kind and elaborate? ‘Cool’ doesn’t really explain anything, and saying that your mum shouts often doesn’t help the discussion, so this part probably won’t get published.
Lu: Oh no! That’s not fair!
Shush! Nina, and what do you think are the traits of a good parent?
Nina: A good mum is a mum that lets you get away with everything and doesn’t shout. And doesn’t care where you are and what you’re doing. That’s annoying.
Does this include babies as well?
Nina: No, you have to be over eight years old, more or less.
And how old are you?
Nina: I’m nine!
Lu: It’s also really annoying when you, I mean my mum, tell a story once, then a second time and then on the next day, you tell it again. Or when you ask about something a hundred times. It’s just horrible!
What if your mum is just forgetful?
Lu: Then I hate her forgetfulness.
What kind of mothers would you like to be?
Nina: A boring one. The kind that always does the same thing. And doesn’t allow anything. I’d be mean on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, maybe I’d even beat my children, and I guess I could be nice the rest of the week.
Lu: Just nice and fun.
I’m afraid that beating children is against the law.
Lu: There are no child lawyers!
There’s the Children’s Commissioner office, but it might as well not exist. In that sense you’re right.
Lu: No commissioner, no lawyer… nobody to count on!
Who’s got it better, children or parents?
Lu: Parents have to spend a lot of money.
Nina: That’s awful.
Do your parents stick to rules you don’t agree with?
Lu: Yes and no. For instance, I can’t use my phone at the table. It’s annoying, but I guess it makes sense.
Lu: I don’t mean you, it’s a general thing. I wouldn’t have said that about you!
Both: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Nina: I can’t think of anything.
Lu: Yes you can! I remember you told me that you can only play Among Us for 10 minutes, remember? I can say it for you.
Nina: 15! It’s super-annoying! Everything I do on my phone is counted in minutes – 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there. I hate it.
Do bans make sense?
Lu: Yes, because children won’t be spoiled. So it does make sense, I guess. Oh! Parents are annoying because they work all the time.
Nina: Mine too!
What would you want to do with your mum if she had more time?
Nina: Go shopping and buy clothes, for me of course. Talk, dye our hair, check out some stuff on the internet. And tie-dye T-shirts!
Have mums been spending more time with you during the pandemic?
Nina: No, nothing has changed in our case. My mum is the same way she was before.
So your mum was living as if there was a pandemic before it was actually hip.
Do your parents have any badass qualities?
Nina: I don’t know.
Small hint: they’re both good-looking and talented.
Nina: Hmm, maybe. Let me think… I don’t know.
Lu: There are too many nice things about parents to mention all of them. We’d have to have a whole year to talk about it. Boring!
What if I put it this way: do parents know more about the world than you?
Lu: If you mean the internet, then no, and if you mean the world in general, then yes. But don’t you get too sure of yourself!
Nina: I don’t think so. I know more, it’s as simple as that. I’m smarter and that’s how it’s always been. And always will be.
Both: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Imagine that a goldfish swims up to you and promises to make three wishes about your parents come true. What do you ask for?
Nina: First of all, I want them to earn three times more. I want them to take me shopping, to buy me new clothes and maybe… I also wish their backs wouldn’t hurt so much.
Lu: I would wish for my mum to have the strength to give me piggyback rides, for her to earn three times more, and I also wish I didn’t have to go shopping to buy her clothes with her, because it’s boring. Or wait, you don’t really buy lots of clothes. Maybe that you raise me well, so that I become a good person in life.
And do your parents listen to you?
Lu: You don’t listen to me.
Please let Nina answer.
Lu: You don’t listen to me!
Nina: I wish they would listen to me and obey my orders.
Lu: Oh yeees! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
When do we become adults?
Nina: One second before we die! And some people become adults at the age of seven.
Lu: When you’re 40.
Hmm, so your mum raised you for seven years before she became an adult?
Lu: Well, I hope not! Hard to say, maybe.
Imagine a world in which mature, seven-year-old people become part of the government and engage in the world of politics. What changes?
Nina: News stands with cigarettes turn into toy stores. Only Sunday and Saturday are schooldays, the rest of the week is free. It’s a comfortable living style – three classes on Sunday, two on Saturday. Adults are not allowed to organize parties without their child’s permission. Smoking is prohibited too, and finally, adults are not allowed to be mean.
Lu: Parties, alcohol and cigarettes are not allowed! And they have to be nice.
Both: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
That sounds like revenge. You forbid us from doing what you are not allowed to do.
Nina: Because it is revenge!
And that’s the end of the interview.
Translated from the Polish by Joanna Piechura
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