Every now and then I get the impression that children’s minds are more advanced than we know. Occasionally it seems like all of the studies of formative years and the development of certain aspects of the brain and personality are deeply flawed. I say this, because my kids routinely make a highly precise and soul skewering decision to burn down the ship with them standing at the helm.
It’s one of the more sociopathic tendencies almost all children seem to harbor. A path of mutually assured destruction that is usually reserved for the most irrational and psychotic of the world’s dictators. We’ve all dealt with it in some form. It’s the unwinnable argument.
“We want dessert.”
“You just had breakfast. You’re not getting dessert”
“But we WANT dessert”
“We’ve had this argument every day for 7 years. I have never once relented. Why do you think I will today?”
“BUT WE WANT DESSERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
And then your home devolves into total chaos and full-scale anarchy. The battle erupts all around you and you are bombarded with kicking, screaming writhing demons of Hades, who only recently were your darling children. You see, this isn’t an argument that only THEY lose, because you are going to lose too. These are the moments that kids callously toss empathy and logic to the side in favor of turmoil and revolution. They aren’t getting their way, and they have chosen to take you down with them. They knew from the beginning of the battle that they wouldn’t win. They have NEVER won this argument. But they ensure that you will lose too. You lose your patience, and if you’re like me, you sometimes lose a little piece of your sanity.
“You want THESE delicious fudgecicles that I bought and also love??!!!! Well now we will ALL watch them melt inside the microwave!!!! Now sit there and stare at the microwave while your pops melt into a sea of our collective tears”
In these moments it’s almost as if their delicate little psyches were constructed by Dr. Strangelove as a last resort tactic. But in this instance they weren’t given the internal board room to diplomatically prevent use of this weapon. Instead they wield it like a pirate flag, proudly displaying the ruin they can rain down upon you should you test their resolve even slightly. And there we stand, the proverbial Slim Pickins, ready to ride the bomb to the bottom.
Nobody wins in these situations. For now though, we just have to keep fighting the good fight. Laying down the laws that we know are best from them and dealing with the aftermath as they summon their best Kim Jong Un and hit that self destruct button.