April 27, 2007

No, Dadeee, I Want a Cone!

Crabby recently returned from a pleasant walk in her neighborhood. As she was strolling by various shops she heard a commotion--the sound of child crying, and screaming, and wailing.

The little girl was perhaps five years old. Fortunately, this wasn't the heart-wrenching cry of a child in real pain; it was the tantrum of a little girl who wasn't getting her way. She was yelling "No, Daddy, I want a cone!" Over and over and over again, ever vowel elongated.

Her father, a patient looking man, was holding a very large serving of bright yellow ice cream from The Fancy Expensive Ice Cream Place and holding out two spoons.

"But honey, there's plenty," he said, offering the container to the screaming child, "you can just share this one with Justin."

Justin was quite a bit smaller that Tantrum Girl, and it was a huge serving of ice cream. She'd get more than if she'd gotten her own single cone.

"Noooooooo! Daddy, I want a cone!"

Five minutes later, having reached her turn-around point, Crabby went by again and the girl was still screaming, and any ice cream that wasn't being eaten by her little brother was quickly melting. She wasn't going to get any at all if she didn't get over herself soon.

And Crabby thought: what a brat. (This instinctive reaction is one of the major reason Crabby has no little Crablets of her own.) This poor man was only trying to give his daughter a treat, and here she was screaming bloody murder because she had to share a little of it with her brother and it didn't come in a cone.

It seemed like a damn good analogy, too, one Crabby could use for a blog post. As adults, so often we complain about not having "the perfect thing" we fantasized about instead of feeling grateful for all we have.

After all, Crabby is a believer in Positive Psychology, and other sensible Cognitive/Behavioral theories that Talia can explain way better over at her fine blog. The general idea: how you think about things affects how you feel about them. Learn to think differently, and you'll feel better.

But then Crabby remembered what it's like to be five years old. To hear that you're going to get ice cream and to look forward to it all day long and have this perfect picture of what it's going to be like in your head and to feel all happy about it.

And then dumb dad screws it up and gives you a Not Ice Cream Cone, that isn't even your own, and you feel crushed and miserable. Crabby is pretty sure that at that age, she would have had a tantrum too. Eventually one learns to get over one's self a little sooner, at least before all the ice cream melts.

But we never get over ourselves completely, or at least Crabby doesn't. And perhaps this is one of the reasons for her blog: a place to say, just before digging into the ice cream that's left in the cup you have to share with your brother: But no, Daddy! I wanted a cone!

And you know what? Once you've had your tantrum, sometimes the ice cream tastes even better.

Many, many thanks to all those of you who have joined Crabby here this week. She may be posting lightly through the weekend, or she may not. Instead she might just frolic in the comments sections of the posts that are already here, if anyone stops by to visit.

Y'all have a great weekend, now, hear?


  1. You're a wise woman, Crabby! Here in New Zealand, it is six o'clock in the morning, I can hear the sound of rain outside, and I'm thinking 'don't want to go and pump gas all day'.

    And there is a world out there that would love to have my job and the income it brings in. I feel better about it already.

  2. Hi Dawn,
    You went awfully fast from gripey to grateful--I'm impressed. I usually need to whine a lot more than that!

  3. Gratitude takes a while with some.
    The secret is once you learn to be grateful for what you've got you get more and you enjoy all your current stuff that much more, too.

    Umm, about that banner photo of cupcakes at the top of your blog...really, really makes me want cupcakes.

  4. I second Leah. Those cupcakes at the top of your blog look sooooooo yummy... :)

    Have a great weekend, Crabby!

  5. Hi girls!

    Yeah, about those cupcakes--they drive me crazy too, but i'm kind of attached to them. I was going to try to find some wholesome looking picture of people doing something good for themselves like most health and fitness sites have, but then I decided, screw it. Gotta have the cupcakes.

    And speaking of gratitude: can I say without being too sappy and sentimental how much I appreciate the three of you coming here and sharing all your witty asides and great observations and keeping me afloat during my pathetic first weeks? I'll put my Crabby hat back on again soon, but for now I have to say I'm feeling quite lucky to have met you all. You're all smart and funny and I don't have to pretend to be interested in your blogs because you all do such a good job of them. Even if I crash and burn on this blogging thing in a few months I'll be wanting to hang out with you all at your respective places.

    I notice that I seem to have completely abandoned the third person this evening. Crabby is very sorry about that.

  6. Yeah, I gripe a lot, but I'm happy. I've got my TV, my PS2, and my dinosaur PC with a DSL connection. What more do I need?

    "No, Daddy, I want a cone!" or similar lines are a regular occurence around here with Aidan...and he's 9! He's learning, though.

    Well, you take a well-deserved break, Crabby. In the meantime, I'm going to see if I can't postpone the Blog Apocalypse for another day. :-D

  7. Hiya Michael!

    I think time with a nine year old is WAY more important than a hypothetical blog apocalypse.

    It's not at all mandatory and I think it's mainly a blog promotion device for the guy who started it. So unless it's something you'd want to write about anyway, just give it a pass.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Don't even think 'crash and burn', Crabby. You're genuinely funny. The world needs you, gal! (And your cupcakes.)

  9. Whatever happened to Children Should Be Seen And Not Heard? When I was a tot, I waited for my ice cream and was grateful for what I got. That gives me license to view today's rampant brattiness through a righteous lens. (Doesn't it?) Americans are becoming like the Italians, totally coddling their children, gallons of ice cream in a cone or a cup or spoon-fed, grow up and live with mamma and babbo until you're in your thirties, cooking and cleaning done for you every day, then when you're ready to marry they'll buy you a house. Hrmph.

  10. In NZ we have a very contentious law going through that will make it illegal for parents to smack their children. Some people argue that good parents will be turned into criminals and other's argue that if it's illegal to hit other people, then you shouldn't be able to do it to your kids.

    Both right, both wrong.

    But kids screaming for an icecream - let me at 'em!

  11. Hi again Dawn & Appleton!

    So glad you both stopped by to make me feel less conspicuously bitchy about disliking the antics of spoiled children.

    Many otherwise smart and sensible parents seem awfully reluctant, these days, to ever admonish their kids about anything. Not how Crabby recalls being raised.

    But not having Crablets of her own, Crabby supposes she doesn't really understand all the dynamics that lead to this behavior.

  12. Crabby childless middle-aged lady here says I too prefer to run the other way when I hear children screaming because the ice cream was presented wrong. Not that I did anything like that as a kid myself. Ahem. Well, since I didn't, I'm entitled to do it as an adult. No?

    A few years ago I discovered that I can no longer eat gluten. This means no cone. No cookies-and-cream flavor ice cream. And damn those ice-cream servers when they automatically stick a thin waffle-cookie into the scoop immediately after I've told them "no cookie please".

    Well, I whimpered and whined and felt sorry for this sad state of affairs for a few months until I started noticing that there were a lot of people in the world who had real allergies. Like they'd die if they breathed some peanut molecules. And lots more unfortunateness that I won't go into because this isn't my blog and I really enjoy this one and I'm making my way from the beginning up to the present but haven't gotten there yet.

    Suffice it to say that I finally came to my senses and realized that there really are some advantages to having to keep wheat at a distance. Like I have a handy excuse when desserts are waved enticingly under my nose. And I've discovered yummy foods which I wouldn't have touched on a dare before this condition reared its "thou shalt not have your ice cream in a cone" ugly head.

    Love your blog. Got here from the Diet Blog.

  13. Judy, welcome!

    Wow, I'm definitely impressed by your glass half-full approach to the gluten allergy. I'd be whining for years, not months, about that one! Good point about the poor peanut allergy people, too, though again it would take me a VERY long time to even think about all the other people much worse off than me.

    However, you do really have a good point about the positives of it--not that I'd like to experience them personally.

    Thanks so much for your visit!


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