Dramatic Children

Mrs. Cornell blames my children’s dramatic proclivities on me, and while I protest that such is not the case, deep down I know she’s got my number. All of my children are capable of dramatic overkill, and they come by it so effortlessly that you know that there’s some genetic predisposition involved. My kids all look like her and act like me. There’s a downside to this, certainly, but overall it’s actually a decent trade-off. If they all looked like me, they might end up suing by the time they hit puberty.

What it means, though, is that every setback is a major trauma, accompanied by much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Case in point: last night young Cornelius was called upon to do his chore to clear the table, and a complete meltdown ensued. It continued, on and off, through the weekly Monday night Family Home Evening activities, until he was finally sent to bed before dessert was served. This sent his personal protest volume up to 11, and finally he began screeching that he needed something to eat.

Mrs. Cornell went in to offer him something to keep him from starving, but thought better of it as he started to pour on the histrionics.

“Can’t I have something?” he howled. “Anything? A CRUST? Nay, a CRUMB?” (Okay, he didn’t say “nay,” but everything else is a direct quote.) Mrs. Cornell then realized that he’d probably make it through the night without wasting away, and she refused to relent. Remarkably, he awoke happy and refreshed to start a new dramatic day.

I think it’s my theatrical background that has lowered my threshold for real-life drama. Actors so often thrive on the larger-than-life that they have to manufacture some epic circumstances when real life isn’t providing an adequate supply. They’re quick to take offense and sure that doom is inevitable when the milk spills, but the sun rises the next day, and life continues regardless of whether they’ve received the requisite amount of attention and/or applause.

I’ve found that avoiding drama whenever possible is a much healthier way to live.

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