It starts with the quivering lip. Blubbering sounds emerge from her mouth. The eyes fill up with fat, glossy tears. Then, the sobbing starts…first quietly, then loudly. A crisis has developed in the toddler-girl’s life and she is not afraid to let you, and the extended neighbourhood (or the mall, or the customers at the grocery store, or the patrons at the library) know about her troubles.
People ask me:
What is the crisis?
I am here to educate those people. I am here to educate them that they are asking the wrong question.
The correct question is:
What isn’t a crisis?
Because clearly, my tiny girl has a very hard existence. Since everything appears to be a crisis.
Latest crisis has to do with a flower.
Yes. A flower. A pretty, very long-stemmed, pink flower. A flower she received as a gift from a very nice farmer at the farmers’ market. Where we were buying fresh, locally grown, pesticide-free strawberries.
She expressed absolute delight with this flower. Held it very carefully in her hand while skipping along next to me all the way to the car.
At one point I suggested that perhaps she should not wave the flower around quite as hard as it may break the stem. She stopped, but only periodically, and then did what many toddlers do when asked to do, or stop doing, something specific.
She waved the flower extra hard around the parking lot.
(Yes, I KNOW about reverse psychology. Just give me a moment here.)
By the time I had her strapped into her car seat, the long stem has broken in half. Oh, the tears. The yelling. The demands to return and get a new flower…I just waited for the dramatics storm to pass and then, during a moment of peace, said:
Sonja, remember when I suggested you shouldn’t wave the flower around?
This comment of course resulted in further tears and drama.
While I’m driving along, she picked up the flower again and started signing. And waving the flower around…
We all know what happened to the flower.
The resulting crisis was not the most pleasant accompaniment to my driving home in Friday afternoon traffic.
But all is well that ends well. Because of course mommy has a clever solution for the now still salvageable, albeit shorter, flower…