Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Twos Terrrible

I shouldn't let myself get embroiled in impassioned arguments with my two year old when he obstinately maintains, being only two, that, for instance, a pentagon is hexagon and vice versa. And yet I just can't help it. So there I am, pointing to a pentagon and explaining why it's certainly a pentagon and decidedly not a hexagon. I try to persuade the court, which has already proven partial, to simply take note of the etymological roots of the two words, as the bench has learnt how to count to ten in Greek. "A pentagon has five sides, because as you know, pende, means five in Greek" I continue and then move to my next polygon, pointing out the Greek root "exi" and then proceeding to count each in Greek to further impress my point which leads the bench only to shout "ne, ne, ne" but unfortunately in Serbian rather than Greek in a callous and incorrigible continuation of its prior stance (this is quite fitting for the current political climate, as if he were merely parroting the sitting President and sticking to his alternative facts).

The tragic irony is that I know that when L gets in a mood, I can't change his mind and yet I just can't let it go. This possibly comes from my Serbian heritage, since inat is an innate part of our genome - a word that has no English synonyms and may be unique to Serbian, as inat may be a unique to our culture (our greatest strength and our worst weakness and the reason if I may be impolitic, we are historically not known for artful diplomacy). It stems from the Turkish "perseverance" but we've developed the word to connote persistence to a fault. It implies resistance for the sake of resistance and self-defeat or rather, self-sacrifice, is inherent to its meaning. Admittedly, despite my faults, I
cave first in this Sisyphean endeavour in the face of the tenacity of a two year old. If he believes something is one way, than no amount of facts and no argument will sway him - it's as if I'm arguing in front of a bench that's so impartial that it allows each side equal time for argument only to roll a die for its decision.

Then in an affront against my vitreous sanity, he grins his victory and then kisses me as if to forgive my indiscretion, later making a point of expressing the proper characterization of each polygon which makes me wonder as to the political implications of his prior tactics. Is he simply diverting me to expend my energies on attempting to persuade him on something that is largely irrelevant for we both know the proper properties of the polygon in question, for instance, while he uses this as a mere exercise to test my reactions and exact more power for his structured positioning by building an arsenal of my vulnerabilities?

In any case, there is certainly truth to the "terrible twos"...

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