Barreling in the door after a long day at work to be greeted with an enthusiastic “Mommy’s home” and the gallop of little feet sprinting toward you with open arms is the absolute best way I know of to wash away whatever the day previously threw at you. Coincidentally, immediately being subjected to high pitched, dog whistle style whining about the lack of squishiness in the ‘dried’ apricot being consumed can jolt you back into a dark place of confusion.
My attempts to handle this situation as I would have in the adult world fell short. “Why do we need to whine about this?” “Lets just have a conversation, in a normal speaking tone about the problem at hand.” “Lets discuss what it means to be a ‘dried’ fruit and then go from there.” “There is no need to over-react, I am sure we can find a logical solution.”
What seemed like a calm & tension defusing means for handling ‘squishy gate’ only led to more fevered squeals and fake cries and found me elbow deep in a 5 pound bag of apricots, fondling each one until I found two that would measure high enough on the squishy meter to stave off any more of these whining assaults.
How had I lost this battle so quickly? How had they smashed through my nerves of steel & broken down my resolve without even breaking a sweat? These three year olds had successfully unarmed me in a matter of minutes. I felt weak & ashamed in my defeat and yet found myself thankful for the silence and smiles that resulted in my take down.
In my defense, there is a small chance that my willpower had been weakened by stress & hunger & exhaustion. But perhaps, these toddlers have found the flaws in my armor & learned how to exploit my exposed weakness. Perhaps the toddler populous as a whole, have mastered the art of negotiation in a way that grown ups will never understand yet will always fall victim to.
Just imagine how much we adults could accomplish if we could perfect our foot stomp followed by dramatically throwing ourselves on the floor whilst long pitching our vowels into commanding phrases like “its nooooo faaaaaiiiir”. The world is likely not ready for this tactic to be used during annual performance reviews at work, but see if I don’t give it a try next time hubby tries to pick the movie.