It’s no secret: I’m a shameless fan of a couple of children’s tv shows. Olivia is one of them. Olivia is a pig with an unschooler’s instincts (although she probably doesn’t know it) surrounded by parents, teachers and friends who are all pretty mainstream. Sometimes the mainstream view gets the limelight (see Say Goodbye to My), but every once in a while, Olivia’s unschooling way of looking at the world just makes so much sense that there’s really no arguing with it.
In tonight’s episode, Olivia and her friend, Francine, are playing “babies”. Francine’s baby is a bit fussy, and Olivia suggests that she may need a nap. “Oh, no,” replies Francine, in a haughty, all-knowing tone, “it’s not her nap time. I always put her down for her nap at the same time every day.” To which Olivia queries, “But what if she’s tired now?”
We can turn the most simple, natural processes, like a baby’s sleep, into something so regimented and artificial! Experts give us a myriad of reasons why it’s necessary. And like Francine, many of us accept those reasons and put them into practice, certain that we are doing the “right thing”. But are we, really? What would happen if we listened to the Olivia voice inside us, the one full of simple, instinctual wisdom?
I have to confess, I’m a recovering Francine myself. For a long time, I deferred to conventional wisdom and expert advice. Maybe that’s why I’m such a fan of Olivia. She has a knack for putting things in a way that makes me go, “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that before?”
Not a bad day’s work for a pig with a baby carriage. Thanks, Olivia.