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The Unbearable Unfairness of Windows

It gets dark early, here. Which means if we go anywhere in the warm, cozy car, all snuggled into our car seats, any time after 4:30…sleep is very likely to overtake both Rory and Wyatt. And I am sorry, but you CANNOT NAP after 4:30 here. In fact, you really can’t nap at all, with occasional exceptions for illness, early dozing off on long rides and planned late nights.

And the one thing one hundred percent guaranteed to wake up a dozy child is a big ole blast of November air from an open car window. Then said child can close the window–but has to hold the window closing thingy up, or I will open the window again. Most of the time they think it’s really funny. Tonight, as it happened, Rory didn’t. She was howling and wiggling and trying to go back to sleep with ten minutes left to go in the ride, and there’s a limit to how much I want to actually torture a coatless kid when it’s  in the twenties. I feared for bedtime, indeed.

But Lily declared herself hot, and Wyatt offered to open his window half way, which they did. And Rory cried…I’m cold! I’m COLD! I’M COLD! She couldn’t have been very cold–I cranked the heater–but I felt bad because of an incident a couple of weeks ago, in which she was forced to apologize to Lily for refusing to shut her (Rory’s) window. (If you hold onto the open or close button, I can’t override the window from the front seat–although I can lock it, I can’t do anything about it if you’re holding the button. It’s a design oversight that makes a window filibuster possible).

In any case, I withheld Rory’s jacket outside until she apologized to Lily (it wasn’t very cold). She didn’t want to apologize, and she was convinced that I had put her jacket on Wyatt and was trying to put his on her (that would be two identical blue jackets, and as it happened–hers is a size smaller–I had not) so much tantrummy drama ensued. All leading back, in Rory’s mind, to her refusal to shut the window when Lily was cold.

So you can see why Wyatt’s refusal to shut the window–which I was endorsing–was a problem. I explained that keeping the window open would keep them BOTH awake…and so she wailed I’M NOT SLEEPY all the way home, while kicking my seat. But she stayed awake. And I’m solo tonight, so in the end, it’s all about bedtime. 

We’re never going to achieve precision fairness here, I’m afraid. And I’m doubly sensitive to Rory’s perception of unfairness, because I have treated her differently in the past, for both good and bad reasons. So of course, I’m second guessing. But I’m REALLY unfair when I have to wake her up to get her out of the car to eat dinner, so I’m going to decide this one in my favor.


3 Responses to “The Unbearable Unfairness of Windows”

  1. Wuxi Mommy says:

    I never thought of this idea:) Maia falls asleep all the time in the car in the evenings now and usually wakes up wired and wanting to stay up waaaay past bedtime. I think, with a little help from Peanut, I might try your window routine!

    Maia is also incredibly obsessed with fairness. Actualy, obsession might be putting it lightly! It can put me over the edge some days, and then I feel even more tempted to be UNfair, just for spite. Is that a bad thing??

  2. Wuxi Mommy says:

    I never thought of this idea:) Maia falls asleep all the time in the car in the evenings now and usually wakes up wired and wanting to stay up waaaay past bedtime. I think, with a little help from Peanut, I might try your window routine!

    Maia is also incredibly obsessed with fairness. Actualy, obsession might be putting it lightly! It can put me over the edge some days, and then I feel even more tempted to be UNfair, just for spite. Is that a bad thing??

  3. Lisen says:

    Ah, the dreaded window open/window closed mess. Why can’t they all be hot and cold at the same time? They’re ususally all dressed in similarly season-appropriate clothing and the temp outside the car is always the same on both sides of the car. And in our car there’s 1 window lock button so even the other adult who occassionaly rides shotgun cannot control his/her own window. The only thing that trumps it all is, “I think I’m gonna puke!”

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