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we are both of us anarchists or tyrants depending on the circumstances

Sometimes I joke something along the lines of: "Of course I am an anarchist. It helps me understand my children better." Implying that children are natural born anarchists, obviously. And also that that's an excuse for my house being messy.

Unfortunately this gives rather short shrift to actual anarchists. After all, I'm not an anarchist because I like crap on the floor. I'm an anarchist because I believe that a group of people, when stripped of abusive authority figures, can figure out a way to allocate work and resources in a humane manner.

By this definition children are anything but anarchists. Sociopaths maybe.

We are trying to teach Harvey the "golden rule," which is some blah-dee-blah that Jesus said and that parents make their children parrot. (As opposed to the other blah-dee-blah Jesus said about selling your stuff for the good of the poor. That part isn't so widespread in daily child rearing.) So do to others what you would want them to do to you, Harvester. Jesus goes so far as to say "Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back." (Luke 6:30) But in Harvey's case we're starting with "Don't hit Zion or he will hit you with something harder like a block." Willingly sharing the toys? That's an advanced spiritual concept. We're working on "Jesus says, this will make Zion punch you in the nose."

Oh God. What if I'm the abusive authority figure who's keeping my children from effective allocation of blocks?

Yesterday Harvey was whining that he only had water in the stroller instead of juice and I shouted, "THE ISRAELITES GRUMBLED AT MOSES IN THE DESERT BUT THEY WERE REALLY GRUMBLING ABOUT GOD AND GOD GAVE YOU ME TO BE YOUR MOTHER SO YOU SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW AND ASK GOD WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO DO IN THIS SITUATION!" Which is not really fair because a) I haven't like drilled the story of the poison quails with him, b) Harvey can hear God's voice just as well as I can and probably better if I'm not yelling at him, and c) if someone orders you what to pray the appropriate response is to tell them to fuck off.

But maybe, in addition to calming down around the juice issue, I should let the children figure out how to live together with one set of blocks. It's hard when one can't speak the language and the other has a lack of impulse control, but then again the same thing could be said for adults.

harvey and zion whispering at ashley's wedding

plotting the revolution

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