Here are a few things that are not fair in my house.
Teena is a year and a half younger than Genea but Genea goes to bed at 8 and Teena at 9.
Genea could not handle the kind of birthday party where all the girls in her class come to our house for a party. Ditto for having a party somewhere else. Ditto for having just a few girls over. She is doing so much better and I expect within a few more years she will be able to handle this. Until then, neither girl will have a birthday party with her friends. We have small family parties instead.
There is an insane lack of judgment and impulse control in both my children. Does one drive the other? I don't know. But Genea, she really has reduced reflexes and decision making. We have no sidewalks in our neighborhood and neither of my children will be learning to ride a bike any time soon. I have to beat off offers with a log from people who want to give them bikes, along with the chorus of "but- what- abouts". You know, like "but what about taking them on a bike path?" and "but what about using training wheels?" etc.
Teena has no friends in the neighborhood, but Genea does. Genea gets to play with her friends and sometimes I make them play with Teena too. Sometimes Teena doesn't get to play with anyone.
Last summer I had both of my daughters out at a local park. It was *sigh* one of those *sigh* days *sigh, pass out from lack of oxygen*. I was giving myself an enormous headache, certainly not helped by all the sighing, over being fair to the girls. There was a time when I struggled massively trying to make things fair for them both. I wanted to be an even handed parent, one who distributed evenly love, attention, affection and consequences. A parent who approached both children the same, or as similarly as possible. That day at the park I was trying desperately to be fair. Trying to juggle a million things in my mind ensuring equal treatment. I realized I was doing neither of them a favor, and making myself crazy in the process. I was trying to compromise constantly so that one or the other would not feel left out, or that one was getting what the other wasn't. Parents are supposed to be fair right? Life may not be fair, but parents are expected to try.
My daughters come from diametrically opposed backgrounds. I have to shove one to get her to try anything, I have to yank the other back from trying anything. So I gave up the idea of being fair that day in the park. I don't get to be one parent either. I get to be two different Mom's to two different children. Makes life more interesting. You know, in a crazy sort of way. I think I am remembering all this because it is getting nicer out and people are trying to give us bicycles again. Anyhow, it's freeing, giving up on that pressure and letting the expectation go. It's not fair. It's not going to be.
Ps, please don't suggest all the options we could use to balance any of the situations I wrote about at the top. We have thought them all through, we are okay with our decisions and it will change in a year or two anyway.