The fourth brother in the grandkid gang was snotty, crying, dirty, and done. I pointed at it and told my daughter, “Take that one home, wash it, pat it, and put it to bed.”
The third brother in the gang felt that I had dissed his littlest brother. He began to mutter. His face closed like a fist.
I tried to interpret his three-year old muttering.
“Heather,” I said to my daughter, “what’s he saying?”
She listened for a while.
With more optimism and hope than knowledge she reported, “He’s saying, ‘I’ll love you forever.’”
Zac’s face now resembled angry granite.
“Heather, look at his face. I don’t think he’s saying, ‘I’ll love you forever.’”
She sighed and then reported, “He’s saying, ‘I’ll scratch you all over.’”
Ah ha! That was more like it.
This incident typifies what I like to call the Wishful Thinking Syndrome. It was wishful thinking that Zac was waving a fond goodbye to his old YaYa with charming declarations of undying devotion.
There’s a lot of Wishful Thinking Syndrome going around I’ve noticed.
It’s wishful thinking that professors who are busy trying to sell their books will be available to help you sell yours.
It’s wishful thinking that low self esteem, broken hearts, damaged egos, and sociopathic behavior can be fixed with quick cash.
It’s wishful thinking that food without butter, salt, fat, and sugar is going to be as good as food with butter, salt, fat, and sugar.
It’s wishful thinking that bread and circuses are going to work forever. (See history of the Roman Empire)
It’s wishful thinking to believe that hot flashes will make you grow taller after age fifty or before age fifty.
It’s wishful . . . well, you get the picture.
Wishful thinking is a direct result of the modern notions that human beings deserve trophies for breathing, that buying a Wraptastic will change your life, and that everything billed as ‘based on a true story’ is true.
Get real. The three-year old kid is not telling you he’s going to love you forever—this time. This time he’s threatening to claw you with grubby fingernails. Sigh. It happens.
The news isn’t all bad, however.
It is my hopeful wishful belief that for every busted thought-wish, there are those rare and dazzling moments when our wishful thoughts actually reflect reality and the kid is saying that he’s going to love you forever and the purchase of a Wraptastic does, in fact, change your life. But those moments are both rare and dazzling, which makes reality way better than wishful thinking—sort of like having a unicorn to ride to the free puppy store.
Linda (Scratch Resistant) Zern