October 12, 2007

Theft of joy.

Today Michal had a total meltdown. This was an I'm-so-sad-I-think-I-just-might-die meltdown. And her soulful sobbing went on for at least 20 minutes.

So why you may be asking yourself was the poor child crying? She was crying her eyes out because Kenna flushed HER pee-pee. Yep. The ultimate sibling insult. The complete and utter theft of joy. While Michal was still perched on the potty Kenna sidled around her and in one swift motion grabbed the handle and flushed. It was over before I even realized what had happend.

Michal was instantly inconsolable. "But I wanted to flush Michal's pee-pee. I didn't want Kenna to flush my pee-pee."

I tried being understanding. I tried offering up Kenna's next potty flush in exchange for the stolen one. I tried telling her that I was sure she'd go pee-pee again and could flush the potty then. That one must have resonated with her -- at least a little -- because she declared she was going to go pee-pee again at that very moment. She asked me for a cup of water and sat on that potty drinking gulps between sobs. After 10 minutes or so of trying she came out of the bathroom -- panties around her ankles -- still sobbing and still telling me that she did not want Kenna to flush her pee-pee.

Out of desperation, I filled a glass with water, grabbed a yellow magic marker, dropped it in the glass, waited a minute and then went and dumped it in the potty. It actually looked more chartreusse than yellow but desperate times call for desperate measures. I then called out, "Oh look Michal. Your pee-pee is still here. Kenna didn't flush it after all." Michal ran into the bathroom, flushed the potty and immediately started sobbing again. "But I didn't want Kenna to flush my pee-pee." So much for my bright idea.

Undaunted, I offered up Hi-5. Once it began Michal, draped across my lap, just wailed louder to make sure that Kenna and I both knew she was still completely miserable even with the much-loved Hi-5 on the TV. I actually had to turn the volume up so Kenna could hear it.

In my final attempt at restoring peace, I offered her a chocolate brownie Clif Bar. She was up and off that couch in a nanosecond, opening the pantry and looking for the box. As soon as I handed her the bar, there was instant quiet. The sobbing was over, replaced by happy chewing.

So, the lesson for today is that chocolate overcomes all manners of sadness, even when your sister flushes your pee-pee.

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