The Cookie Principle by Robert Currie

A young girl explains the world to her newborn brother.

    I’m your 5-year-old sister, Lori, and you're my baby brother, Alex. Since you're only 2 weeks old, I'm going to 'splain life, ‘cause it's not easy for you. I know. I was young once, too.

    Grown-ups can't make up their minds. First they want one thing and then another. I know what I want. I want a cookie, but Mommy said, "No, how about a banana?" She said a cookie will ruin my appetite for supper. I don't want supper. Supper ruins my appetite for a cookie. And I don't want a banana. I want a cookie.

    You see, grown-ups are always trying to get us to do stuff we don't want to do. If there's a TV show I want to watch, Mommy tries to get me to color or play a game. By the time I get to be a grown-up, I won't know what I want anymore.

    But kids know what they want. Do we want to go to bed? No. Do we want a cookie? Yes. When was the last time somebody asked kids if they wanted to do something and the kids said, "We don't know"?

    I kinda feel sorry for Mommy and Daddy. They can't help it. They're grown-ups. They can't decide whether to leave the toilet seat up or down. Daddy wants it up. Mommy wants it down. They were talking real loud about it today. I asked them why they were arguing. Daddy said they weren't arguing. He said they were discussing. After they were done, I snuck in the bathroom. I put the toilet seat back up so I could hear them discuss it again.

    Mommy can't decide what to fix for dinner. I told her to fix cookies. She said no. In the morning, she can't decide what to wear. Daddy asked her what she wants to do Saturday. She said she doesn't know.

    Daddy is just as bad. Each night he grows whiskers, but in the morning he changes his mind and shaves them off. Then he sits in his chair with his 'mote control and changes channels all the time. Daddy's been a grown-up for too long; he doesn't know what to watch. I bet when he was a kid he wanted a cookie real bad but his parents made him eat different foods like bananas and stuff.

    He doesn't even know which job he should do. He is thinking about changing jobs, but it's hard for him to decide. So Daddy listened to a tape. The man on the tape said people who are 'cessful figure out what they want and go after it. It that case, I'm going to be real 'cessful 'cause I really want a cookie.

    When the tape was over, Mommy was nice. She talked real sweet to Daddy and asked him which job really wanted. Daddy was sad. He shook his head and said he didn't know. So Mommy hugged him. I hugged him, too, and I gave him a cookie. 

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