Ruby and Sadie stayed at our place overnight last weekend so their parents could go out and have some time on their own. We love the opportunity to take care of the kids as we completely enjoy their company. We never thought that kids would be much a part of our lives and see these opportunities as kind of a happy happenstance. Ruby is much more of a talker than Sadie is, like her dad, Ruby can talk about pretty much anything at length. Sadie much prefers to listen and to make commentary when necessary or when she can find a joke to be made. So, it's fun.
Oft times I'm made to rethink something as kids have a natural kind go questioning that throws chaos in to a well ordered kind of rigidity of thought. I was challenged to think about something differently over a simple conversation about the new Jif spread that we had picked up in the States a couple weeks ago. We knew the kids liked Nutella and thought they may enjoy this new spread. We'd made them waffles, or more honestly we toasted them waffles, and they both chose to try the new spread.
Sadie was first to weigh in. "It's good."
Ruby ate it and agreed that she liked it.
I asked the question that I think most would ask at this juncture of the journey, "Which do you like better, Jif or Nutella?"
Ruby said, quickly and enthusiastically, "Both!"
This is not an acceptable answer of course because there are two categories in modern thought, winner and loser. There is no room for communism in comparing breakfast spreads. So, I asked again, differently. Ruby said, "It tastes a bit the same as Nutella and a bit different."
OK, there's movement here.
"So, which do you like better?"
Ruby, a bit exasperated, probably because she was trying to have breakfast while being grilled like she was a single person focus group, said, "Why does one have to be better?"
I was stopped by the question.
"Um. Well. Um. I guess one doesn't have to be better."
She was then able to eat her breakfast in peace.
And I've been thinking about the possibility that maybe things can just be as they are, without competition, without constant valuing against others, without need for one to trump the other. I find the idea oddly jarring.
The boldness of children's thought -Coke versus Pepsi is a purely adult construct that serves to make divisions where none are necessary.