Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Adaptation at Work

Observe two siblings. The firstborn likes nearly all sweets. Chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, candy canes, mint ice cream. She will eat anything unhealthy for her first three years alone except for strawberries. Not chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry-flavored drinks or candies. Nothing.

During her third year, her younger sister is born. After the time it takes to wean her, the new sister shows a similar great love of sweets. Chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter cause her to exhibit great excitement. It all sounds familiar.

But her older sibling intervenes, stealing her treats whenever the parents are not directly watching. Though the parents attempt to counter-intervene, mass candy theft continues for four months. The younger sibling exhibits great distress.

At the four month mark, treat theft declines rapidly. Observe that the younger sibling no longer asks for candy bars or caramel apples. The parents are happy she has shown an interest in fruit, but she is not omnivorous. She is only consuming strawberries. Strawberries by the carton, strawberry milk, strawberry cake for dessert, chocolate-covered strawberries for her birthday, and every day's lunch has a strawberry fruit roll-up.

Treat theft is at zero, while treat consumption is on the rise. That, my friends, is adaptation at work.


  1. we'll see how the first born adopts to diabetes and severe tooth decay

  2. And that is why I'm the only one in my family who likes banana laffy taffy, green apple jolly ranchers, and the plain hershey bars from the big mixed mini bags. Awesome job, John! :)

  3. If the parents are more adept at stopping the outright treat theft, the older sibling may be the one to adapt - to using persuasion on the younger sibling to convince her that she doesn't actually like certain treats as much as she thought she did. Bargaining may also come into play, although the first trade of two chocolate bars for one candy cane is enough to rapidly begin the eradication of naivete.

  4. I'm with Michael on this one. Someone needs kick the parents upside the head and buy those kids some veggies! But you gotta give it to the little one. She's a smart strawberry flavored cookie.


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