Sunday, May 3, 2009
The Pleasure of Choice
Last night Manny got to stay up past the girls and eat fish tacos, black beans and crispy tips asparagus (thanks Sarah! check out www.inpraiseofleftovers.com- an inspired food blog and my new favorite website). My mom and Mike are here and I was so proud of Manny. He sat so patiently and ate so well that I almost couldn't wait for him to pronounce the magic words, "all done" so I could jump up and fix him a mug of this fabulous ice cream from Eat Local with a chocolate hazelnut biscotti, courtesy of Grandma Jan. Manny opened his mouth to speak. I readied myself to whisk his plate away, but instead of "all done", he said, "make poo-poo" in a really strained and whiny voice. So we proceeded to have a long discourse about how this business was all going to go down, but we weren't making any progress. So finally I say, "Here are your choices. You can either have ice cream or make a poo-poo. What do you want to do? Do you want ice cream or do you want to make a poo-poo?" Manny chose ice cream. The rest of us were cracking up. Sam kept fishing for the perfect one-liner. By then, the ice cream was done and Sam was on to, "hey baby. Do you want to take a shower or make a poo-poo?" This, of course, was Manny's next choice. He had trouble deciding that one too so I sent him off to play and sure enough, within a minute he was back in the kitchen, an odd color of green (which is what happens when the urge converges, so to speak), and I was encouraging him in a gentle, but firm and assured voice, "Good job. You can do it. That's right. Good work Manny." The completely trusting and half-agonized look on his face was more than I could stand and pretty soon, both my mom and I had our heads on the table laughing. There are a lot of difficult choices in life. I am glad that I am preparing Manny to be able to negotiate these situations by giving him daily opportunities to practice decision making skills. What a pleasure it is when either choice makes you feel better and everyone is pleased with you.