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?