It is nice to think that the meaning of life is something poetic and metaphysical… like the meaning of life is to question the meaning of life… or the pursuit of understanding a universe that will always slightly be out of reach of understanding… or the mastering of compassion. But what if the purpose of life is as simple as getting what you want?
There are two ways of looking at parenting. One is that your child is a not yet developed being that is operating on a primal level, and nothing they do or say should be taken too seriously because it is like anthropomorphizing an animal’s emotions. Another way of seeing young children is as a pure manifestation of “human nature;” the impulses that we all share, but ultimately learn to manipulate, mask, and control in order to function in society… otherwise known as getting what you want out of life.
My tendency is to believe that the sociopathic tendencies children exhibit aren’t just glitches in the matrix, but real conditions that we all battle throughout our lives. It just becomes more private as we age.
What The Munch cares about more than anything else right now is getting what she wants. There was one instance where her and her cousin Calvin were playing, and Munch wanted to hoard every single ball in the room. She couldn’t even hold all the balls and was trying to use me as an accomplice just so Calvin could have none. When she had all the balls, Calvin cried, when I gave Calvin 1 ball, Munch cried. It was a viscous cycle. But Calvin ended up crying less long, and was less irritating about the whole scene, so eventually we all just succumbed to Munch because she was by far the most dramatic and annoying about getting what she wanted.
You would think she had no idea what she was doing right? That she is barely two and wasn’t cognizant of the pain caused to others. So I asked her that night…
“Munch, did you have fun with Calvin today?”
“Did Calvin have fun with you?”
“Calvin was crying Munch. Why was Calvin crying?”
Do you see what I mean????? She knew Calvin was sad about not having any balls to play with, but she cared more about getting what she wanted then his feelings. And she wanted ALL the balls!
So I learned a lot from this scenario. One thing is that people care about getting what they want a lot more then they let on. And two, the key to getting what you want is acting out the most so people get so aggravated they just give you what you desire so you will stop being so annoying. Unleash your inner toddler. I suggest crying and stomping feet, throwing objects close to you, endlessly repeating what it is you want until the words have no meaning, banging head on floor, crying and yelling some more, allow snot to drip down face and spit to collect in corners of mouth, throw some more stuff, and keep up the momentum of the crying.