To me, stories of Sasquatch seem more believable. Because not a single one of my children is that way. They are, to a one, stubborn and opinionated and not-to-be-swayed in any matter, large or small.
(I'm pretty sure they get it from their dad, genetically speaking.)
Here's an example. It might seem funny to you. I'm still working to find the humor.
There is a child in Ainsley's pre-school class who is allergic to peanuts. So the entire classroom is a nut-free zone. Okay, fine, I get it. But Ainsley doesn't. The only food that is acceptable for lunch time consumption, in her opinion, is peanut butter and jelly.
I tried, when school started, to talk up the cheese sandwiches. "All the kids in PK2 eat cheese," I told her enthusiastically, and "Now you can be just like Shay - he loves cheese sandwiches!"
She was skeptical. But for the first week, she went along with it, and she ate the cheese sandwich.
The second week, she didn't complain. But she didn't eat the sandwich, either. It came back every night, unwrapped, uneaten, shriveled up in the bottom of the Hello Kitty lunch pail.
The third week, she mounted a protest. "I want peanut butter," she'd wail every morning when looking in her lunch box. And every morning I explained, to no avail, why she couldn't have it.
Yesterday morning, she peered into the depths of the Hello Kitty lunch box, extracted the sandwich and put it back in the refrigerator. "I only eat peanut butter," she announced.
Intense diplomatic negotiations ensued, during which both sides presented the facts as they saw them, and the sandwich made it back into the lunch box.
Ten minutes later, she put the sandwich on the counter. "I don't want this," she repeated. But again, I convinced her that cheese is yummy! And gives you strong bones! And all the big kids eat it!
She reluctantly put the sandwich back in her lunch box. I patted myself on the back for avoiding a meltdown, kissed her goodbye and put her on the bus for school.
Flash forward a couple of hours. I'm happily working away at my desk in the Embassy when my email lights up.
It's a message from Ainsley's teacher, Miss Nadia.
And it's titled: Ainsley's Lunchbox.
"Good morning," it begins. "Ainsley's lunchbox was empty this morning. She only had a chocolate milk. We took her to the cafeteria and bought her a sandwich. Please make sure she always has something to eat for snack and lunch because..."
The message went on from there, but I couldn't read further because I was preoccupied with slamming my head repeatedly into my desk.
Apparently my stubborn little angelbaby decided to mount a hunger strike and tossed her lunch out the window of the bus in protest against the inhumane rules of PK2 lunch hour.
You hold that precious little bundle in the hospital and tears come to your eyes at the miracle that is 5 toes and 5 fingers and one squashy small nose.
And you have no idea that one day that small creature will have the ability to humiliate you and bring you to tears over the contents of a sparkly pink lunch box.
We talked last night, Ainsley and I, and we agreed that maybe she can have her peanut butter sandwich for breakfast from now on if she'll bring the cheese sandwich to lunch. I didn't tell her she has to eat the cheese sandwich - god knows I can't win that battle - but at least if she brings it, the teacher can't accuse me of neglect.
And this morning I went to the store to stock up on yogurt cups and foil-wrapped cheese triangles and string cheese in the vague hope that this will entice her to eat something that I pack in there.
Meanwhile, I cling to the hope that some day, when she is the CEO of a major company, or the dictator of a small island country, this stubbornness of hers will serve her well.