Sunday, September 19, 2010

Emmy wished on a dragon scale...

"Play Dragon Tales game, please?"

"I'm sorry honey, Dragon Tales isn't on tv anymore, and the games aren't on the computer anymore."

"Play a game of Dragon Tales, please?"

Dragon Tales was a somewhat obnoxious cartoon that ended production in 2005 but was carried on PBS Kids through last year, along with a bunch of related online games.  

"You're asking very nicely, but I keep telling you, there are no more Dragon Tales games on the computer."

Ryan is getting frustrated and desperate.

"Play Dragon Tales game, Ord In The Dark?" (In his mind, making a more specific request for an unobtainable item makes it more likely to be found.)

I offer, "You can play another kind of game.  Is there something else you would like?"

Ryan's response was immediate: "A cupcake."

This child does not typically request cake.  And the last time I made cupcakes was for Stu's birthday, in early August.  I had made one of those new Duncan Hines gluten free mixes for Ryan's sake, and then picked up a real cake for in case that GF crap sucked.  The cupcakes were surprisingly edible, and I put most of them in the freezer.

I thawed out a cupcake for Ryan.

"Put ice cream on it?" he insisted.  Again, a very unusual request.  I decided to go along with him to encourage his use of language.  He saw me start to scoop out some mint chocolate chip and he screeched, "NO!!!"

I was thrilled.  And confused.

We figured out he really meant icing.  I found a couple of tubes of brightly-colored cake decorating gel, and Ryan went to work.  Swirls of purple and teal sugar were everywhere.  He worked slowly, methodically.

Stu asked, "Are you going to eat any of that cupcake?"

And Ryan whined, "No!"

 Um, wow.  Who is this child?

"Get another cupcake?" he asked.  Ah - the first cupcake could not be eaten because it had icing on it.  I gave him another cupcake.  He started to decorate it; I reminded him of his distaste for icing; he stopped.

Then Ryan ran off to play, without having a single bite of either cupcake.

The heavily-iced cupcake was delicious.

ADDENDUM: Over an hour after writing and publishing this post, I realized that Ryan was not actually asking for a cupcake.  Instead, he was further specifying what game he wanted to play: in the "Ord In The Dark" game, the player uses a "flashlight" to see part of a picture, then has to determine what the rest of the picture must be of.  The game only had three pictures that cycled over and over, and one of them was a cupcake (technically a Dragonberry Muffin).  So Ryan had no interest in eating the real-world cupcake because that's not what he was asking for in the first place.  Mystery solved.


  1. Again, I marvel at your parenting, and your insight into your child. The early childhood educator in me is wondering - if making a more specific request the unobtainable thing more likely to be found, then does specifically 'reenacting' or coming close to doing so satisfy the need? Thus no meltdown?

  2. I love it when you can solve a good mystery!

  3. this is awesome. I haven't visited in a while, and he's really taking off! (and, I sympathize. We really loved Dragon tales. like LOVED)


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