i'm old enough to know better

I am the oldest child of three. I wasn’t a naughty child, but I definitely tested the boundaries every now and then. Mostly I was very well behaved, obviously. There was one phrase, however, that I heard on more than one occasion, and to this day I feel the injustice of.

“You’re old enough to know better”.

Hmm. Admittedly, when I was six, my sister was four and my brother was one I probably was. I’ll give you that one.

But then, when my sister or brother were six, it was still me – ME! – that was old enough to know better. How does that work? Apparently they were still too little to understand, even though I was “old enough to know better” when I was their age. Ooh, I can feel my blood pressure rise as I type. I tried to point out my excellent logic to my parents, but they just repeated that I was old enough to know better. Grrr.

At thirty three months, Big M usually eats using cutlery, doesn’t dribble or spit out food often, and doesn’t test everything out by putting it in her mouth. Unlike Little M. And herein lies my problem.

Like I said, Big M is only thirty three months old. She doesn’t understand why she gets told off for shoving food in her mouth with her hands when Little M is sitting there smearing pasta sauce over everything within arm’s reach. She doesn’t get why Little M can dribble all over everyone and everything, yet Big M gets told off for being dirty.

We explain to her that Little M is only a baby, and she has to learn. Big M, as the big sister, has to show her how Big Girls do it properly. And then it happened. I almost said “you’re old enough to know better” but I stopped myself just in time. Turns out I am old enough to know better.

What have you said or done that reminds you of your own parents?

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