When we left the Y this morning, Adrian threw a tantrum about leaving. Because he was still crying and jumping around when we walked into the parking lot, he slipped and fell on the ice. This only made his screaming worse. When we reached the car, the hysteria and cold had combined to fog his glasses, so he couldn’t see to unzip his coat. Because he couldn’t get his big coat off, he couldn’t fit in his car seat straps to buckle up. He finally was just screaming and flailing around in the back seat, jacket half on, glasses askew, face red.
When I finished collecting and buckling up the babies, I helped him untangle himself and buckle up. At first I thought, these are all the natural consequences of his behavior. They will teach him. But then I wondered, does he realize this cascade of badness was caused by his behavior? Or does he think they are just random unfortunate events?
And are we adults much better at recognizing an unfortunate series of events in our life as the result of our own bad behavior?