One of my least favorite things to hear as a child was, “Because I said so.” The phrase, to me, represented adults’ authority, an authority which allowed them to make arbitrary rules. So you can imagine my chagrin when those words popped out of my mouth today.
“You can’t play with those blocks right now.”
(sigh) “Because I said so.”
There was a plethora of reasons why I didn’t want him to play with those blocks: there were already a lot of other toys littered around the classroom that would have to be put away, one of the students had taken to running around the room whacking other kids in the head with those blocks, and the student in question almost always ended up getting angry when he played with those blocks. Those blocks are trouble, and I didn’t want to deal with it. But that’s difficult to explain to a four year old.
I had a realization- Because I Said So wasn’t just a way to adults to exercise their authority, as I had thought in my childhood. It was more of a sigh of defeat, a white flag.
But for the next half hour, the kids played peacefully. They did not argue, they did not fight, and when I said that it was time to clean up, everyone cheerfully acquiesced.
So….maybe I wasn’t defeated after all. It still felt so strange to say those much maligned words. I felt like I was finally wearing that mantle of authority that adults are supposed to have, and it didn’t fit quite right.
After work, I went running. A younger Katie would much rather eat a pizza and get a little drunk after a challenging day. But I knew that a run would release some pent up stress, and getting drunk would just make tomorrow hellish. So I went running, and I drank water.
Guys, I think this is growing up.
ps- I’m not going to stop loving Blink-182 and eating pizza though. Not. Happening.