Is Your Head in the Arm Hole of Your Dress?

There is something morally instructive about watching a preschooler melt down. It was the morning of my __th birthday yesterday. Kids still had to be dressed and fed and shipped to school on time.

My daughter, who is almost 5, was screaming on the stairs instead of coming to breakfast. Upon inspection, I realized that her head was through the arm hole of the sleeveless dress she had chosen to wear to school. I offered to help her. She screamed louder and lurched away from me. Her pride was more hurt than her neck at the thought of accepting help. She was not yet really wearing the Anna (the character from Frozen) dress because of the snafu of the sleeves. She stomped around screaming for minutes, refusing all offers of help or comfort from me.

Adults do this kind of thing all the time, although it looks different. People do the stupidest things and then dig in instead of accepting help and reversing course.

My daughter is exceptionally brilliant and kind. She is loved by everyone she meets. Even she has these moments, because we all do. That is some behavioral economics for you.

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