Our daughter Mareesa is 9 months old. She is gifted, beautiful and incredibly
smart (just ask her
Mom and Dad!) She is a crawler – faster than you might think. She
is also our human vacuum. Food crumbs under
the table – she’s got ‘em. Price tags
besides the garbage – she’ll take care of it!
The other night I pulled the dust-bunnies out of her mouth and gave her
a piece of licorice. Red licorice of
course (who would give a child that young black licorice?) She loved it! She sucked it. She gnawed on it
with her two teeth. She rubbed her gums,
jaws and cheeks with it. It was a moment
of great joy! She had found what she longed for! Clearly this child was born to enjoy the ingredients (whatever
they are) in licorice. However, as with
many things in Mareesa’s life the time came to take it out of her mouth. Easier said than done! Her mom started with gentle words, “Here baby, give the licorice to Mommy.” Mareesa ignored her completely. So her mom tried with the hands, a little
prying, a little nudging, a little tugging. Nothing doing – the grip was steel! Our sweet 9 month old had become a tiger protecting her young. “You
will not have my licorice! I will lay down my life for this! On this hill I will sacrifice my life!! Woe to you who try and take what is mine!”
In the end there was no negotiating. The battle required a combined
effort by her parents, one to pull on the licorice, one to force her
hands apart. The licorice was destroyed,
Mareesa was enraged and both her parents suffered physical and hearing damage in the process.
Does anything steal joy faster and more often than refusing to let go?