Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Want

Little man is two-and-a-half years old and has reached the stage of "I want." This goes on all day for all things. I want TV on. I want (to avoid copyright infringements) Rickey Rouse Club House. I want cookie. I want apple juice. I want call Nana (or Grandma, Granddad, Dada, whoever). I want go outside. I want go park. I want that. I want light on (this is at bedtime). And if I don't jump and fulfill his want the screaming starts. This goes on all day for all things. This is particularly annoying when I'm in the shower and he comes into the bathroom and starts screaming because he wants to go outside and I want to rinse the shampoo out of my hair first. The screaming brings the tears and the runny nose and "I want tissue." As a mom, you learn to pick your battles. Fine, we can go outside. No, you can't have a cookie. Fine, let's call Nana. No, it is bedtime and light is out. And sometimes I just have to let him scream it out. What? I can't hear you over the baby!

He doesn't understand that there are things that I want too, and I feel like screaming about them. I want the dogs to stop shedding. I want groceries to be less expensive. I want parking spaces to be wider so I can get my son out of the back seat of my 2-door car more easily. I want gas to be cheaper. I want humanity to return to the concepts of personal responsibility. I want people to employ the power of common sense more often. Alas, adults just don't go around screaming about their disappointments (most of the time) and we cope and move on.
Little Man will get so worked up in his tantrum that he forgets what it was he wanted in the first place. Perhaps all he wants is to know that Mommy is there for him. What I have learned from my Little Man is that it is not necessarily the wanting of some thing but it is the wanting of something that upsets him. And perhaps labeling the thing as a cookie or juice or Rickey Rouse is the only way he can express his longing for something that is inexpressible for him.

But don't we all have those feelings? That feeling of frustration, or nostalgia, or melancholia, or boredom or even cabin fever. Isn't it really that we are longing for something and perhaps we don't even know what? Do we substitute some thing to fulfill or stifle that want? Do we eat? Drink? Watch TV? Surf the net? How do we, as adults, scream it out?
When I start the revisions on my novel I want to take a long look at what my characters "want" and what they may really be longing for and how they scream it out. That will certainly make them more interesting.

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