My two-year-old son hates the car ride home from day care. He screams most of the twenty minutes drive. So my wife and I usually bring treats--juice boxes, graham crackers, pop tarts--to calm the savage beast. We usually wait until he starts fussing before we give in, but some days, after dealing with hundreds of students ourselves (we're both teachers), we give in early.
Last Thursday, my wife was driving when my son started screaming, pounding his feet against the back of my seat. I immediately reached inside my wife's lunch box and found a couple of pieces of chocolate. I leaned around my seat and handed it to him.
Quieting instantly, he grabbed the chocolate, tossed it in his mouth, but no sooner had I turned to face forward than he started wailing again. I turned, expecting him to have spit the chocolate out as he sometimes does; but no, he was still eating it. The chocolate was melting on his tongue and he wanted another piece.
Even before he finished the first one!
Inwardly I chuckled. This is the quintessential human condition. We're never satisfied with the food we have in our mouths; we're always looking to our next fix. Dukkha, the sense of dis-ease that fills most people's lives. If only we could drop our judgments and just accept the present moment as it is, rather than making ourselves miserable by pining for more damn "chocolate."
It's amazing the things you can learn from a two-year-old.