Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Parenting raises unique challenges.

We've all heard this. Parenting raises unique challenges that test your problem-solving abilities as well as your patience. But I never really appreciated exactly how unique some of these problems might be, and how little prior experiences prepare you for them.

Right now, Maddy is apoplectic. She's flung herself onto the floor and is sobbing. Big heaving, wrenching sobs. And why? Because I had the temerity to serve her cookie dust in a cup. Yes, you heard that right. Cookie dust. In a cup. She dug out two cookies that had been in a ziploc in her bookbag, and forgotten about. Week after week, they became progressively more pulverized by the day to day activities of a preschooler, until the baggie held no individual pieces greater than a grain of sand. Well, the chocolate chips seemed to hold their structural integrity. I suppose that shows resilience. So...way to go chocolate chips?

At any rate, Maddy found the long-lost bag and immediately wanted to eat the "cookies." I looked at the bag, looked at her, and tentatively suggested, "shall I put it in a bowl and give you a spoon?" Yes, she nodded, that would work for her. She giggled. It was funny. Cookies in a bowl! With a spoon, no less! Hilarious! Crazy! Whimsical! Mommy, you're so silly! I then grabbed a cup instead and said, "how about I just give you a cup and you can pour it in your mouth? Maddy stopped, mid-happy-dance. No. That would be unacceptable. What are you thinking, Mommy? How ridiculous. Well, I'd already started pouring, but intending to still give her a spoon, when she went off the deep end.

I DON'T WANT THEM IN A CUP!!!!!! She started crying big great heaving sobs, and sunk to the ground, as if the very thought of cookies in a cup was so egregiously against the laws of nature that it had sucked the strength to stand from her being.

I was gobsmacked. Where did that come from? And why the polar opposite reaction? I just don't get my own kids sometimes. And this, after I suffered the indignity of pouring cookies into a cup. I have no idea how to proceed from here. Oddly, I feel a little disappointed in myself, like somehow any good parent should have known that cookies in a cup is a gigantic no-no and I should have anticipated this problem and skirted it. (How? Maybe offered her mac and cheese in a hat?) For now, I'll let the poor cookies sit in the cup. They've gone through so much.

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