There’s nothing like realizing how your life (especially if your are 35 + years) can parallel juvenile literature, or is it the other way around? (In this case I’m talking beginner reading books)
Over the years of reading books with my children I have had such realizations several times, and they mainly have come from one of my favorites, the Frog and Toad stories by Arnold Lobel.
And over the years I have come to realize that I am Toad. Or at least, Toad and I have a lot in common. My oldest is almost 15 years old, and I still love these stories.
Well, my latest recollection of one of these stories happened recently and I just had to share. I have been frustrated about avoiding certain things in my diet, you know, like cookies, cakes, chocolate (I should call them the 3 C’s.) It is so difficult sometimes to pass these things up. As I was pondering my so called “will power” or the lack thereof, this particular story came to mind.
“Cookies” by Arnold Lobel
From Frog and Toad Together
Toad baked some cookies. “These cookies smell very good,” said Toad. He ate one. “And they taste even better,” he said. Toad ran to Frog’s house. “Frog, Frog,” cried Toad, “taste these cookies that I have made.”
Frog ate one of the cookies. “These are the best cookies I have ever eaten!” said Frog.
Frog and Toad ate many cookies, one after another. “You know, Toad,” said Frog, with his mouth full, “I think we should stop eating. We will soon be sick.”
“You are right,” said Toad. “Let us eat one last cookie, and then we will stop.” Frog and Toad ate one last cookie. There were many cookies left in the bowl.
“Frog,” said Toad, “let us eat one very last cookie, and then we will stop.” Frog and Toad at one very last cookie.
“We must stop eating!” cried Toad as he ate another.
“Yes,” said Frog, reaching for a cookie, “we need will power.”
“What is will power?” asked Toad.
“Will power is trying hard not to do something that you really want to do,” said Frog.
“You mean like trying not to eat all of these cookies?” asked Toad.
“Right,” said Frog.
Frog put the cookies in a box. “There,” he said. “Now we will not eat any more cookies.”
“But we can open the box,” said Toad.
“That is true,” said Frog.
Frog tied some string around the box. “There,” he said. “Now we will not eat any more cookies.”
“But we can cut the string and open the box,” said Toad.
“But we can climb the ladder and take the box down from the shelf and cut the string and open the box,” said Toad.
“That is true,” said Frog.
Frog climbed the ladder and took the box down from the shelf. He cut the string and opened the box. Frog took the box outside. He shouted in a loud voice, “HEY BIRDS, HERE ARE COOKIES!”
Birds came from everywhere. They picked up all the cookies in their beaks and flew away.
“Now we have no more cookies to eat,” said Toad sadly. “Not even one.”
“Yes,” said Frog, but we have lots and lots of will power.”
“You may keep it all, Frog,” said Toad. “I am going home now to bake a cake.”
So are you Frog or Toad? 😉
How many of you, like me tell ourselves, “just one last cookie” and then it’s “just one very last cookie?” And soon you’re screaming, “I need to stop eating these cookies” as you are still stuffing cookies in your mouth?
Or have gone out of your way to hide whatever you desire out of reach, or maybe in the freezer or garage? Or in a moment of strength you are actually able to throw away your desired treat in the trash, or down the disposal (a better choice as you can still rummage through the trash to reclaim your treasured nemesis!) And as soon as you do, you experience almost immediate remorse and/or rebellion, and say “Screw it, I’m baking a cake!”
It’s a constant battle in which I have invested a lot of time over the years trying to overcome, and trying to keep that will power going strong.
Then it dawned on me as I was writing this post. All I need to do is not bake (buy or steal) the dang cookies or the cakes to begin with, then all the other “drama” that follows with the will power and trying to hide the temptation, etc won’t even be an issue, Right?
Wish me luck!!
**Don’t be surprised to see more Frog and Toad references in the future, as I have several stories I can relate to, and why not share my idiosyncrasies on the world wide web with any poor soul who stumbles across my little blog and decides to read it 🙂