Monday, October 22, 2007


I've frequently observed Andrew and his two year old friends hording toys and such to the point where they don't actually get to play with them because they are too busy making sure no one else takes them. This seems to me to be normal human nature and certainly one of the problems with the love of money is that the desire not to lose it causes us to miss out on many joys.

Over the weekend, though, I saw something new to me which I'm sure is also human nature, but which I've never seen before and which I guess we all grow out of. We were at Bruster's and Andrew took about one bite of his ice cream cone and pronounced himself done. He goes through stages on ice cream; sometimes he devours it, and sometimes he just licks it a couple times. Anyway, having decided he was done he handed it to me. I gave it to mommy and she asked him if he wanted to throw it away and then took a bite. He said yes, but complained at her, "Don't eat it!"

So in this case he didn't want the ice cream cone anymore. He was perfectly willing to throw it away (and did in short order) with the full understanding that things which go into the trash do not come back out, but it was unacceptable to him that someone else enjoy his refuse.

Before this instance I had always presumed that he (and all other two year olds I've met) fill their arms with toys because they might want to play with those toys, much like the fabled monkey who will not pull his hand from a trap because he wants the bait within it. This instance calls that interpretation into question, though. Maybe the motivation is even more base than that; perhaps it's simply a desire not to see others benefit from his things.

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