Chances are you’ve heard of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
Cute book, and the concept is a fun one for any child to read. And so it goes, the lives we live and the chain of events that are created from one tiny act. Parents really do LIVE that book title. Day in and day out. How would the book read if you translated it to real life? Here’s my version:
If you give your son a piece of candy, you can bet your other son will say, “Hey, I want one too, please.”
And once you’ve given your OTHER son a piece of candy, your first son with the sugary stuff in hand will say, “Hey, his piece is bigger than mine!”
You will explain that the candy was divided fair and square and no more whining, which will be followed by your first son quieting down because he realizes you mean business, but not so quiet that he won’t…
Ask for a SECOND piece.
You spend the next minute or so saying no to seconds because it will ruin his appetite, and another “yes, it will” when he argues that very logical point.
You can bet son #2, who was only half-listening while watching an episode of Good Luck Charlie, will hear the request for seconds and say, “May I have another piece too, please?”
And you again repeat the speech about dinner being almost ready, while swearing you’re having deja vu and wondering where along the way you lost your sanity.
You will ask both boys to throw their candy wrappers in the trash, but your request will be interrupted by the doorbell.
You will be greeted by neighborhood kids asking if the boys can play, though you nicely explain they cannot until after dinner and homework has been completed.
At dinner, the youngest son will observe that his rectangle of meatloaf isn’t the exact scientific dimensions as his brothers, and you will explain while beating your head against the wall that the portions are fairly close and to be grateful because some kids are getting Taco Bell.
The oldest will comment that he’s the favorite since his slice is larger. The youngest will say the kids getting Taco Bell are lucky. And you will bite your tongue.
And if you’re me, you’ll read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie with your second-grader at bedtime and think…
This is my LIFE.