I Want to Stop…I Stopped

By Andy and Leah
little kid eating chicken fingers

I Want to Stop…I Stopped

In our house, one of our usual breakfasts is a family favorite we call “bread eggs”. Invented by Andy’s grandma to stretch a dollar and feed six small children, it’s basically toasted bread chopped up and scrambled with eggs. Our two-and-a-half year old daughter, Maggie, loves it.

This particular morning, though, we were having oatmeal. As we heated it up with blueberries and frozen mango, we explained what we were making and she smiled, exclaimed “yum” and returned to playing. Then we set the bowl of purple-tinged oats down on the table. She paused in her playing, got to her feet, inspected the oatmeal and frowned.

“I want bread eggs,” she said. We looked at each other. We had a full day ahead and there really wasn’t time to make a brand new breakfast. Silently, we agreed not to comply with the impulsive request and explained that oatmeal was what was on the menu – maybe we could have bread eggs for lunch. Her face flushed and the tears came.

“I want bread eggs. I want bread eggs. I want brreaddd egggggggsssss!”

As the tantrum began to escalate, we exchanged a smile and a shrug. Without saying anything, one of us – we don’t remember exactly who – turned to Maggie and said calmly, “We’re having oatmeal, so you can stop.”

And all of sudden, in the midst of her tears and protests, she said, clear as day, “I want to stop…I stopped.”

And she did. Instantly, the tears ceased, she wiped her eyes, climbed up into her highchair and started eating her breakfast. We looked to each other, to Maggie and back again. Did that just happen? We were stunned and amazed. Then we realized we had just witnessed Instantaneous Transformation in action. She had gone from being in a full-blown upset one moment, to dropping it and enjoying her life (and her oatmeal) the next.

It was a powerful demonstration of what was possible for us – for all of us. As grown ups, life hardly ever shows up the way we prefer. And when we don’t get what we want, it’s so easy to collapse into a temper tantrum that things aren’t fair, that it shouldn’t be that way, that this person hurt our feelings, that we want brreaddd egggggssssss! These complaints may not be as tearful and loud as a toddler’s (although sometimes they are). Often they’re in the privacy of our thoughts. In either case, indulging in those pity parties sends happiness out the window, along with productivity, satisfaction, well-being – our ability to enjoy ourselves and others.

As Maggie happily finished her oatmeal that morning, we realized what a gift she had just given us. She’d shown us so clearly that if we want to, we can drop our disagreements in an instant. We can embrace how our lives are actually showing up in each moment, rather than getting lost in what we’d prefer.

Over the years, we’ve experienced this empowering, instantaneous shift many, many times thanks to Ariel and Shya Kane’s Living Made Easy seminars, their Being Here podcasts, books and videos, and our lives continue to expand in powerful and unexpected ways. But that day at the breakfast table, we saw with fresh eyes what it takes to have a drama-free life. If a toddler could do it, so could we. What a tasty possibility.

 

little kid eating chicken fingers

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???? Thank you for sharing! Such a wonderful example of saying yes to life!

Just love it! Thanks for sharing ????

Awesome!

Such a sweet and inspiring story. It put a big smile on my face, she’s an inspiration, for sure.

I am just smiling and so inspired by this blog. Thanks so much for reminding me about new possibilities. Love it!

Thanks for the lively humorous demonstration of temper tantrum cessation. So simple. I find myself wanting over complicate it.

I love, love, love your story. Little Maggie is such a mensch! I’ve got to try those bread eggs now! They look yummy.

Thanks so much, all, for the kind comments on our blog post — and thanks, Ariel & Shya, for the opportunity to share it here!

Last edited 1 month ago by Andy & Leah

Wonderful, both the content and the way in which this beautiful moment was reproduced. Thank you so much for sharing, Leah.