Early Conservationist

I’ve come across an interesting conundrum: teaching my daughter conservationism from an early age. If Neptune had it her way, she would hang out in the bathroom and “wash her hands” with the water running, and her just touching the water, maybe getting some soap to make bubbles. Then she would most likely leave the water running and move to the toilet, where she likes to put tiny scraps of toilet paper into the bowl, then flush it and say: “All gone.” She enjoys flushing the toilet a lot. But she is never left in the bathroom to just hang about. I take her to wash her hands after playing outside. She turns on the water, and I tell her to turn it off when she is done. Then, if I’m feeling generous, I let her put her scrap of TP in the toilet and give it a flush. But I tell her: “Just once, baby. Don’t be wasteful.” And that’s the phrase that I wonder about: did our parents worry about wastefulness in the 80’s? It really wasn’t in style. I know my sister flushed my uncle’s watch down the toilet when she was little, and I would imagine that might have taken a few flushes.

I teach Neptune to be gentle with plants, how to smell flowers and not to kill bugs. Now when we are walking on a path she will stop dead and fall to her hands and knees, focusing intently on a tiny ant. She doesn’t touch it, she just follows it with her eyes. Will she respect the environment more than we do? She almost has to, that our predecessors have forced this situation. Hopefully by the time she can get her license, the world’s oil reserves will have been depleted and the hydrogen car is on the streets.

P.S. Isabelle I tought of you when I wrote this!

One Reply to “Early Conservationist”

  1. That was funny! I was reading and scrolling line by line and then I came to your p.s. and saw my name!!! Thanks Natalia! (Maybe I need to go out more if I’m this excited…) And yet I just came back from the Feist show.
    About our parents worrying about wastefulness, I’m older than you are, but do you remember when people just through stuff out of the windows of their cars withouth even thinking about it? We’d have take out from McDonalds, let’s say, eat it in the car and then my step-father would gather all our wrappers and styrofoam things in the cardboard tray and just throw the whole thing out the window (and it wasn’t just my family, I saw other people do it too… I think!). And in the Montreal metro, people would eat a candybar and just let the wrapper fall on the floor.
    And all those people who would wash their driveway and sidewalk with their hose.
    We’ve come a long way!
    I think it’s great what you’re doing teaching your daughter to respect nature. And she must be so cute doing the toilet bowl thing.

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