Geez! What Do You Want NOW????

Parents know that sometimes, kids have no idea what they want. They ask for food when they’re actually thirsty. They get weird and whiny when they’re tired, confused, uncomfortable or bored. They ask for toys almost reflexively, even when they know the answer is going to be no, even when I told you before we went into the store that I’m not buying you anything!!!

cowboy bootsOf course we all outgrow all that.


I find that when I am craving “stuff,” which could take the form of elaborate cowboy boots, a kick-ass hat, baubles and bangles, food, drink or even sex, sometimes it’s because I don’t KNOW what I really want. I haven’t given myself over to the discomfort of quieting long enough to question my spirit.

Why do I want that thing/that person/that cookie/ margarita/experience? How do I think I will feel once I get it? Is that thing/person/cookie/margarita/experience the best or only way to get to that feeling?

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How to “Fixit” for Your Inner Four-Year-Old

Something didn’t go the way I wanted today. Someone isn’t doing what I want them to do today. And the weather is totally misbehaving and out of my control. My inner four-year-old is stamping her foot and is totally pissed off. And that’s okay.

maggie mcreynolds blog, tantrumsI’m kinda letting her have her say at the moment, because it’s interesting and a little entertaining—she’s cute when she’s mad. She wants things when she wants them, the way she wants them, and at the exact time she wants them! She is hollering and her cheeks are red and she is still trying to control things by pouting (the lip thing sometimes works, you know), wishing (lack of magic lamp issue aside), and doggedly trying to put the “broken” things back together with kindergarten scissors and that thick, weird paste some of the kids used to eat in school.

My grown-up knows that at some point, she will tire of this effort and will thrust it at me and say, “Fixit.” What she really means isn’t that she expects me to change other people’s behavior, or magically alter the weather, or wave a magic wand and make the pants that arrived in the wrong size (too big) suddenly be the right one.

She wants me to fix her feelings, she wants me to fix it by helping her figure out how to feel better, and how to go with it when things and people and weather aren’t going the way she expected or the way she wanted them to.

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Love, Actually

When I was a kid, the quintessential holiday movie was It’s a Wonderful Life. That, or that weird Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer stop-animation thingie with the electric razor-riding Santa. I never could figure out what Norelco had to do with anything, but I was busy being freaked out by the Abominable Snow Monster.

These days, it seems, everybody’s watching Love, Actually, a 2003 Christmas bon bon at once sweet, tender, joyful and heart-breaking. Guys, if you want your woman to go all misty-eyed, kiss on you lots and fall in love with you all over again, you will sit down with her and watch this movie. Trust me.

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