August 22, 2015
A few days ago our girl poured herself a glass of milk, and she (accidentally) poured way too much. Since this only happens, like, twelve times a day, it came as no surprise. (What DOES come as a surprise is the fact that I keep letting her pour her own drinks, like I’m some kind of a glutton for drink-related drama. Also, I love spending money on milk and orange juice that we get to just dump down the drain after it sits in a cup on the counter for five hours.) Anyway, she normally drinks a small amount out of one of these adorable little Ikea cups:
This time she filled one of these bad boys up to the tippy-top (these pint glasses were once available at Target, and let’s just pause to appreciate the fact that she wanted to use a superhero cup in the first place):
She said “whoops, sorry” (for the twelfth time that day) and we said “hey, that’s okay” (for the twelfth time), but this time we also told her she had to drink it all. Well. For the reaction we got, you’d have thought we’d told her she had to glue a thousand marbles to the wall. (And HOW would you glue marbles to a wall?? Exactly. This task was just as impossible.) She was enraged, indignant, overwhelmed by our unfairness. It wasn’t her fault–it was an accident–no one could possibly be expected to drink that much milk. She thought she should be allowed to save it for later. We pointed out that any time she saves a drink for later, later never comes. She then told us that we ought to MAKE her drink it later. Cute. We said “no, we’re making you drink it now.” Then we got to look at this for awhile:
She finally gulped the milk down, which turned out to be not a big deal at all. But then she announced, accusingly, that she had to go to the bathroom. And as she flounced out of the room, she turned around and spluttered “This would never have happened if YOU hadn’t made me drink all that milk!” Did you catch that? “This” = her having to go to the bathroom. And it would NEVER HAVE HAPPENED. So we said “Well, that would be terrible. We’re so glad you drank that milk so your body won’t shrivel up and die from lack of liquid.”
At the risk of sounding prejudiced against my gender here, I’m just going to go ahead and say that we girls are more emotional than our male counterparts. We are. Generally speaking, anyhow. I feel like a pretty logical person–WAIT. Ha! I actually just wrote the words “I FEEL like a pretty logical person.” Ahem. I CONSIDER myself to be a pretty logical person, but I live in a household of boys, and it is clear on a daily basis that I am more emotional than they are. (Except Jack-Jack. Toddler emotion trumps female emotion every time. And maybe the baby…’cause he’s a baby.) So I get it, girl. Really, I do. I splutter a fair amount of emotion-driven nonsense myself. But logic is foreign in the landscape of her reasoning, and I think my tongue is getting mangled from how often I have to bite it.
Did you know that the human brain doesn’t finish developing until we’re 25 years old? And the last section of the brain to fully develop is the logic and reasoning center? When you add trauma into the mix, the logic centers of the brain get stifled, and the emotional centers work overtime. Looking at this very simplistically, then, it makes sense that her gut response to things is reactionary. That she sees a logical consequence–“you poured the milk, you drink it”–as an act of meanness. That she’s convinced her mosquito bites itch more than ours do, that she thinks her stubbed toes hurt more than other people’s stubbed toes, that she’s certain that the person who ate the last of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal has it out for her. Really, there’s plenty of science that explains a lot about our adorable, emotional, ridiculous girl. Just don’t try explaining any of it to her–she’s too busy thinking that the milk she drinks now makes her have to go to the bathroom five seconds later.