Sun 25 Sep 2011
So. I have this totally immature thing I do. When I am frustrated by some task or object, I reach a certain point where I yell “AARRRGH!” and then do some angry dismissive gesture, such as throwing my hands in the air, stomping a foot, or even, in my most loosey-goosey phases, flipping the offending object the bird. My one-second tantrum defuses the stress and makes me laugh, and I can move on or try again. I realize it is really unattractive behavior, but it is in the privacy of my own home. It works for me! Or rather, it worked. Past tense.
Now I have a perceptive two-year-old observer in the privacy of my own home. She has witnessed my one-second tantrums once or twice a week for her whole life, and now she enacts them three or four times a day, in response her own frustrations. Of course, yelling AARRGH! and making an angry gesture is completely appropriate behavior for a two-year-old. But boy, was there a sinking feeling in my stomach when I finally recognized that Abi AAARRGH as my own personal immature adult AAARRRGH. Same volume, same duration, same emphasis, same everything. She thinks this is what people are supposed do when they are frustrated! Whoops. Do as I say and not as I do, dear child.