28 nov 2017

This week, in “My baby’s about to crash and burn” news, I present to you Sofia’s Cool Girls’ Club and its rules of admission. Baby is the “club’s” . Baby is the “club’s” self-appointed president, treasurer and secretary. Her club, her rules!

She knew from the start I was going to be angry at the list which consisted of who could and could not be admitted into this pretend circle of cool girls. But bless a seven-year-old’s heart, she was too excited not to share at least its existence with me (primarily because it was all written in bright, pretty pencils), nothing can dampen a kid’s enthusiasm, not even fear of potential condonation, it’s hilarious. Still, the “rules” were off bounds to me, it was Sofia’s father who got to hear them first, over their FaceTime sesh, with Baby trying, and half-assing, to act super secretive, taking their convo into her room but leaving the door open.

Yeah, I hated every single word about that list, Sofia was right about that bit. “Hated” is not quite right, I was more upset than anything. I have to say, even after the three weeks of hell, Sofia’s trust in me had not completely disappeared, for trust me she did when I asked her why she thought I’d be angry at these “rules” and if maybe I could see what they were so we could talk it out. She brought me the goddamn list and I wonder if her faith in my parenting is a credit to me or to my child.

The list had since been disposed of, but from what I remember, it was very strict admission rules indeed, nobody got a pass for being kind or decent or clever or even helpful. Nah, my daughter doesn’t roll in soppy sh-t, you better look immaculate and be clad in your finest feathers if you’re thinking of joining the Cool Girls’ Club. Bear in mind, you won’t be permitted if you wear glasses (should I be proud how attentive to detail my child is?), if you aren’t cool (goes without saying), if you are a “good girl” (bad girls only – duh) or if you are a nerd (Jesus, what organisation plans on surviving the current competition culture without the knowledge and wisdom of nerds?). Basically, what we have in our hands is your standard list of exclusion. Seeing as my daughter is in a private school, with literally no child of colour in it, how long before race appears as one of the criteria on a list like that? If I had to bet, I wouldn’t bet on “long”.

This is not to say that I am a hard-core activist who relentlessly takes parts in marches for the rights of the minorities. Apart from attending the Gay Pride I don’t insert myself in actual activities, to my own shame. I want to argue, however, that although my behaviour is seemingly passive, my mouth is f-cking loud. I am aware of and on board with the existence and the struggle of the marginalised and the oppressed and the humiliated and the scared and the helpless, and I am there to shout about it to all the people I talk to: friends, strangers, family members and especially, extra loudly, to my own child. I preach like a mother-cker that exclusion is unacceptable and Sofia's on some Nazi sh-t.

That’ll show me.

Ours was a long-ass conversation, man. I took my time in going through every single point, from how deeply problematic exclusion is to how beautiful inclusion feels, from what constitutes a great team to how to be a proper boss. A new club was invented, and since Sofia no longer wanted it to be girls only, we called it The Young Ballers.