Snapshot: Flora and I are careening down Deerfoot, singing along to Taylor Swift’s Blank Space.
Now, you might infer from this that I like—the singer. Or the song.
Truth: I couldn’t care less. I live under a pop culture rock. I don’t think I could pick out Taylor Swift from a line up. And, thoroughly unmusical that I am, I can’t tell you whether the song’s good or bad. It just exists.
Fact: Flora, 10, LOVES it.
Truth: I LOVE her enjoyment of it. It thrills me.
I think: She loves that I love her loving it, and she’s thrilled that I’m singing along with her.
Truth: We love doing this silly loud thing TOGETHER.
Bonus: When we scream…
“Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t, I didn’t warn ya”
…the boy children in the back seat make puking-and-dying-noises.
Everyone’s happy. Win-win all around.
Ender’s six-year-old friend Stella is staring with disapproval at Cinder, who’s standing on the kitchen table, in order to reach something way up on the wall.
Stella: Jane? I think you need to come up with some rules for your kids. Like, they shouldn’t stand on the table, and…
I actually have some rules. Such as… You must wear pants at the table—after the horrible penis-in-hot-soup incident—and no vermin at the table after the traumatic “I lost a mealworm… I think it’s in Daddy’s salad” incident.
And also: Do not make fun of things your siblings love. You don’t need to love Barney (gods know I don’t), because you’re a cool 12 year old, that’s fine. But don’t ruin your little brother’s enjoyment. Don’t mock it. Don’t dis it.
Say, “It’s not my thing.” “I don’t really enjoy that.” “Not to my taste.”
Not: “It’s stupid.” “It’s lame.” “I hate it.”
There are so many things my kids love to do that I really, really don’t enjoy.
Playing video games (any).
Eating Jelly beans.
“Mom, will you play Battleship with me?”
“You know, sweetie, I don’t really enjoy that game. Could we play something else instead?”
“Yes, I would love to watch iCarly with you. Tell me, who’s your favourite character? Why? Really? Why do you think she acts like that?”
(Just to be sure I’m not misrepresenting myself: Most of the time it’s—“I’d rather not.” But it’s never, “Why would you waste your time watching that stupid show?”)
(yes, sometimes… I really, really want to say that. But I don’t.)
Flora: Are you watching Pride and Prejudice again?
Jane: No. Downton Abbey. It’s like Pride and Prejudice, except without the hot guy.
(Sorry. Dan Stevens can’t hold a candle to Colin Firth.)
Flora: Is it boring—I mean slow—like Pride and Prejudice? I mean, are there any murders and things in it?
Jane: Well… there’s deaths… but yeah, it’s pretty slow. I don’t think you’d like it right now.
Flora: Well, maybe when I get older I’ll like boring, I mean slow, stuff too and I’ll watch it with you.
Jane: I look forward to that.
Flora: Me too.
Jane: Boys only want love if it’s torture
Flora: Don’t say I didn’t, I didn’t warn ya
Cinder: Mooooooooom! Aaaaareeeee you trying to kill us?
Jane: No. Just torture you a little.
Cinder: It’s working! It’s working!
(It’s not necessarily that he hates the song. It might be that I’m a really bad singer. But you know. He won’t say THAT either.)
PS Want to sing along with us? Do: