There is a lot I love about Brazil. But I’m becoming increasingly concerned with the kind of influence living here is going to have on my (currently 3-year-old) daughter.
Every morning as I am getting her ready for pre-school, we have the same conversation:
Daughter: Are we going to walk to school?
Me: Yes. We are walking.
Daughter: But I’m tired.
Me: You just woke up. How can you be tired?
Daughter: Can’t someone drive us? (The school is two and a half blocks.)
Me: No. We’re walking.
Daughter: Can’t we take a taxi?
This is followed by crying and whining.
I envision years from now, when she is in high school, she will be recanting this story to her friends as an example of the horrors of her childhood.
(Translated from Portuguese of course…)
Daughter: Yeah, and my mother made me WALK to school every morning when I was little.
Friends: Walk? Didn’t your driver take you?
Daughter: No. I had to WALK.
Friends: Wait? Didn’t your nanny push you in the stroller until you were seven or eight years old?
Daughter: No. I had to WALK every day.
Friends: But why?
Daughter: Because my mother is a cold, soulless being whose only pleasure was to inflict inconvenience and work upon me.
It’s not just the physical laziness that scares me. Nor that whenever my daughter decides to scatter something across the floor, our maid rushes to clean it up. It’s the life lessons in general.
A friend of mine gave me Brain Quest for ages 3-4, which is a series of cards that tests kids on things like numbers, letters and scenarios. My daughter aced everything except the following:
She didn’t know what a can opener was.
She didn’t know what a washing machine was for or why the mommy mouse in the picture was using it.
She didn’t know that Molly Mouse was polishing shoes.
She had no idea that Molly Mouse was peeling potatoes.
(She also didn’t know what a church was, but that’s my fault.)
Am I looking too far into this? Maybe in NYC, she would be the same. Or maybe… it’s just the beginning.