Adventures In Babysitting

I’ve never wanted kids and I don’t think I will ever change my mind. It doesn’t mean I dislike children, I just don’t want any of my own. My brother has two girls and I am babysitting tonight so that he and his wife could go out to dinner and a comedy show in celebration of her birthday. The kids are now asleep, or at least in bed, and I’m writing this as their hamsters run their little hearts out in their wheels. It turns out that hamsters are nocturnal. Yeah. Note to self: never get a hamster. They’re loud and, again, nocturnal.

I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but I like one of my nieces much more than the other. I find the youngest one to be a spoiled little brat and she is sometimes downright mean-spirited. Call me crazy, but I don’t really find those to be endearing personality traits. I think part of the reason she is this way is because of how her parents are raising her (they let her get away with a lot with relatively little consequences) but part of me has always wondered how much of her personality was just there from the beginning and how much of it was due to her parents not helping. Based on my experience tonight, I think it might be much more nurture than nature. I didn’t let her get away with things I thought were wrong, and while she gave me some trouble, after she realized I wouldn’t budge, she gave up on being a brat. That’s a shame. I might like her more and want to spend more time with her if she were more like she was towards the end of the night and I think she has the potential to be more pleasant if she’s just disciplined a bit more. I just don’t see her parents doing it anytime time soon. Again, a shame.

Her sister on the other hand is a sweetheart. She is pleasant and incredibly bright. She is much calmer and quieter than her sister and doesn’t demand to constantly be the center of attention, so unfortunately, she is often ignored and pushed aside to the benefit of her sister. I let her stay up way past her bedtime tonight because I was enjoying spending time with her so much. I find it to be a shame that she is getting the short end of the stick just because she is nicer and more respectful than her sister. She constantly has to make the sacrifices because her sister throws a fit is she doesn’t get what she wants.

I don’t say this to her parents. I made a comment once about how my brother was handling his kids and he had a cow. He does not take criticism well. He also felt the need to point out that because I did not have children, I had no idea what I was talking about. I have always hated to have that said to me. I don’t have a dog either, but I’m perfectly capable of picking up dog shit. Just because I don’t have kids doesn’t mean I can’t recognize when one of them is acting like a complete pain in the ass and that something should be done about it.

So does it make me a terrible person that I like one of my nieces so much more than the other?

Happy Birthday Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (you can get an HTML or PDF version here). It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the Harper government is downplaying this event to the point of practically ignoring it. As a Canadian, I will admit that I sometimes take the Charter for granted. I have grown up with it all my life (I was two years old when it was signed) so those rights were always a given for me. I think it’s important to mark these kinds of anniversaries and remind ourselves of the road that we had to travel.

It turns out that the Charter is also an inspiration to other nations as a roadmap to human rights. That makes me proud to be Canadian. I am not happy with the way my country is being portrayed and the way it is behaving under Harper’s government, but I hope that celebrating achievements like the Charter reminds Canadians of what our country is supposed to be about. I hope they are still able to remember it at the next federal election after Harper has spent five years misrepresenting my values as a Canadian. We should get back to being an example and an inspiration for the rest of the world.

You should all read the Charter, even if you are not Canadian. It’s a great read and it’s only seven pages.

It Might Not Get Better

This video is just so sad because once again, it shows how much religion can cause pain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekoVGgn5sT0

I keep wondering how people can still cling to religion after it’s brought them such pain. I just don’t get how you can still align yourself with your religion and belief system when it makes you feel like you are less than a person. Someone needs to explain that to me. Please.