The ambiguity of behaving badly

My five-year old daughter lied to me. I’m quite used to her lying, because she lies to me in a funny way many times: “Daddy, I won’t annoy you any longer, I promise” while jumping on my stomach once again, I reply “Stop it, don’t do it again, It hurts”, but I expect and want her to do it again. This time, it was different.

Morning. Our living room full of small pieces of paper. Mess! Me: “Who did it?!” Daughter: “It was Franta”. I rebuked my two-year old son for making such a mess. I cleaned up the mess. My daughter was watching.

Afternoon. We watched trains coming and leaving the train station from our vantage point, the favourite activity of František, Zuzanka said: “I lied to you. It was me who cut the papers and messed up.” I was mad at her: “You let me yell at František and you watched it! You should be ashamed of yourself!”

Zuzanka is very nice to František. She likes him, plays with him, takes care of him. She is too nice to him actually: she lets him hurt her without taking revenge, she yields to his omnipresent claims to play with the toy she started to play with just a second ago, she lets him eat part of her cookie.

Evening. She took advantage of his inability to speak, abused my trust, and let me punish him instead of her. Finally, she did wrong to him. Maybe, she should do wrong to him more often and not be such a nice girl all the time.

The day after. I can’t tell her that it was actually good to behave badly.

Ondřej Krása