So, I have a question.
But first, let me tell you that I’ve already decided what the answer is. That’s because I really like my kid and I want her to be well-rounded, and smart, and funny, and beautiful, and amazing, and really good at golf, or dancing–or whatever she wants.
Not that I think taking her to this Wednesday’s panel discussion on building a fairer food system, given by Slow Food Portland at Portland State University, will make her any of those things. I don’t. We’re talking about a three-year old, whose main interaction with food is finding out whether or not it has green in it–and not eating it if it does. Or going to the store with me and making sure we aren’t buying any beans.
I think that she’ll be totally bored and antsy and wanting to play. Which is why I’ll pack some crackers and my headphones and I’ll distract her with Goldfish and attach her to the Netflix app on my phone. But I’m taking her anyway.
Ariel’s in school Wednesday night, so there’s no question of being able to leave her home. But I’m not sure that I would want to if I could.
I want to acclimatize to taking part in the community–something that I’ve allowed to be woefully lacking from my own life for too long–at an early enough age that she’ll never remember a time when she wasn’t a participant. And I want to set a good example for her myself, which means walking the walk when it comes to taking an active roll in the community and trying to affect the changes I want to see in our food culture. So on Wednesday evening, instead of staying home and making dinner and watching Dora or Thomas, we’re going to attend an event and meet people and shake at least 2 hands and I’ll listen to informed people talk about something I’m interested in while she watches Dora or Thomas on my phone.
What do you think? Do I have an obligation to find her a babysitter? To spare her, myself, and perhaps the discussion panel the presence of a child who might do something as terrible and socially awkward as talking during the presentation? Certainly I’ll remove her if it’s not working, but I’d really like to take her to events like this–plus, I’m infinitely more likely to go myself if I can take her with me rather than trying to find a babysitter.
I figure we’ll just sit near enough to the back that we won’t have to make a scene if we do duck out, and I’ll try my best to explain to her what we’ re going to be doing beforehand, so she’s prepared. Then, I’ll keep my fingers crossed, because she’s a kid and they’re unpredictable. If she makes it through, I’ll be proud and happy and I might even have learned something. If she doesn’t make it through then I’ll have learned something else. No biggie.