Monday, January 03, 2005


When watching kids, I get an anthropological view into the past, as well as a utopian view of the future. The trick is knowing what you are seeing at any given time. Through kids, I'm learning that a major function of human intellect is rationalization: That is, making up reasons to justify what you were going to do anyway, and then making up new reasons to justify doing the opposite, when desired.

My son tells my daughter: "You can't look at that." It's his toy.

He takes it away from her and starts looking at one of her birthdays presents. I point this out to him.

"No," he says, "It's because birthday presents are not as special as Christmas presents." He has a birthday of his own coming up soon. I ask him if, when his birthday comes, she can look at his toys.

"No, because..."

And so it goes. Rationalization. These are normal, healthy kids, and possessiveness is just a phase we all go through. He often impresses me with his willingness to share, and with his generosity. It would be abnormal if he never became possessive.

It's only in the last two months that I have noticed the "mine" tropism emerging as a constant theme. For her part, sometimes she'll insist on "mine" and sometimes she'll just give it to him. Utopia and history, all in a morning.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by