The Drama of Jelly beans

The Drama of Jelly beans May 13, 2010

My kids love candy. The only candy I keep around the house, is Jelly beans. They are brightly colored, pretty un-messy, and they last forever. They are a nice way to reward good behavior, or just make a bright spot in a sad day. I even enjoy them myself (particularly the black ones).

The rule has always been, that you get to pick your own jelly bean, and that you may only have one. Ms. Action has never had any issues with this. One jelly bean is good enough for her. Usually she picks pink because it is her favorite color, if she grabs more than one on accident, she puts the extras back. If she takes to long to pick out the inevitably pink jelly bean, all I have to do is say that I need to put the tin away now, and she will pick one out right away.
Ms. Drama is a whole other story. Maybe it’s because she is two. Maybe it’s because she is the middle child. Maybe it’s because she has such a dramatic personality. Regardless of the cause, she has a knack for turning most of the little scenes in life into a full blown Broadway musical.
Jelly bean time for Ms. Drama involves a  long thoughtful process of picking up one after another, commenting on it’s color and putting it back in the tin. There is no hurrying this selection, if you attempt to put away the candy, mayhem will ensue.
Usually there is some attempt to smuggle several jelly beans into her other hand. Once reminded of the “one jelly bean rule”, she will put them back, but you have to watch closely, because she may try it again.
This week, she added a new dimension to her jelly bean selection. She wants to change her mind.
Now, this doesn’t sound so bad, except it already takes her a good 5 minutes to discern which color jelly bean she wants. And the longer I stand there holding the tin waiting for her to make up her mind, the bigger chance Ms.Action (whose internal clock runs much faster than the average person’s) will come to the conclusion that this must be a second round of jelly beans, and decide that she wants another one herself.
So when Ms. Drama began tasting each jelly bean and then putting them back in the tin to select a different (and presumably better tasting) jelly bean in its place, I put my foot down.
“Nope, that’s the yummy jelly bean you picked, eat that one” She stared. “No lellow, I want other one!” I put the tin away and replied “I’m sorry, yellow is the one you picked, you can have another one next time.” Silence.
With a shriek Ms. Drama threw her soggy jelly bean on the floor. If she couldn’t have the exact color she wanted, she didn’t want any jelly bean at all. Trying to ignore her, I went about my business cleaning the kitchen. “Other jelly bean!” She stomped after me protesting. When that got no response from me, she ran over to the abandoned jelly bean on the floor and came back to me screaming “No jelly bean! NO JELLY BEAN!” Then she threw it on the floor again. This pattern continued for several minutes, she would try to convince me that she needed a new jelly bean, and when I replied that she already had a jelly bean and that if she didn’t like that one she could throw it in the garbage can, she would throw the rejected jelly bean on the floor in protest.
Finally, as she threw it on the floor for the 10th time, I did the unthinkable, I picked up the yellow candy and popped it into my own mouth. “Yum! This is a good jelly bean!”
Stunned Ms. Drama took in a breath. “My jelly bean! MINE!” Throwing herself on the floor she screamed and screamed. I felt bad about not giving in. I mean, I know how frustrating it can be when the colors of candy aren’t just  right, but I knew that this scenario would replay itself over and over every time we had jelly beans. So I told her I was sad that she didn’t want her jelly bean this time, but maybe she would eat her jelly bean next time. This did not appease her in the least, and for the next 20 minutes I was asking myself why we even have jelly beans. But eventually she was distracted from her loss and read some books with the rest of us.
Today at candy time I was holding my breath. Would the whole thing replay itself? Would we be outlawing jelly beans by the end of this week? The usual selection process went rather smoothly, and after Ms. Drama tasted a pink jelly bean, I closed the tin and put it away. Instant outrage! “No pink one! I need other one!” The jelly bean hit the floor. Only this time, when she picked it up and followed me around with it, I stopped what I was doing and knelt down by her and said “Oh you have a jelly bean for Mama?” and opened my mouth wide so she could put it in.
She jumped back! “No Mama’s candy! MY candy!” She replied. And after looking over the offending pink jelly bean in her hand, she popped it in her mouth and ran away.

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