Johnny, Johnny, Yes, Papa!

How many times have we heard this rhyme being parroted? After listening to this rhyme for the gazillionth time, a thought occured to me, did Johnny really eat the sugar? Pause, think about it…

Did Johnny really eat the sugar? Did Johnny really tell a lie?

No, there is no logical way of concluding that Johnny did either of that. But now focus on what the papa does, Eating sugar? (suspicion), telling lies? (doubled up suspicion) and notice Johnny’s consistent denial. I was left to wonder, whether as parents we are predisposed to suspect that our children are upto no good? Are we predisposed to think that they yield to temptation of eating the ‘metaphorical sugar’, as soon as they get the chance? Does this maniacal response come from our deep-seated belief that children cannot think on their own and decide for themselves what’s good for them? That we, the mighty parents, need to hover over our children, watching their every move, and never letting go of control…

I wonder whether this rhyme is a disguised commentary on parental behavior. I wonder whether Johnny’s papa suspicion syndrome (a condition where parents launch interrogation on their children based on their own biases, term fully-patented by me :D) is what leads Johnnys of the world to choose not to communicate to their parents as teenagers?

I wonder…If we start from a place of trust, how different this rhyme would be? How different parenting would be? How different childhood would be?

So, since I like to twist things around, here is my version of the same rhyme, reflective of a more positive parent-child relationship 🙂

Johnny, Johnny

Yes, Papa?

Eating sugar?

Yes, papa!

Is it yummy?

Yes, papa!

Give some to me!!

Ha Ha Ha