Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Breaking Point

Littletree was having a moment of overwhelm today – she lost the tiny magic key that she found in the forest, and it was just the last straw for her in an overwhelming situation.

She got really angry, and really frustrated, and said she wanted to scream and hit something. She chose to go into her bedroom and scream into a pillow and punch the mattress. I went into her room to offer her some support, and she told me she just really wants to break something.

I suggested she just feel into that, but that physically breaking something might not be productive. Then she got inspired, and asked if she could break sticks – the skewers we use for kebabs.

So I got her the packet of kebab skewers out of the kitchen and lay in bed with her while she snapped them. Half a dozen skewers later, she started talking about writing a program that would function like a to-do list, but with time stamps and check boxes, and with features like alarms and reminders.

Within five minutes we were out of the room, and talking about all sorts of stuff, happy again… and all it took was a few wooden skewers.



  1. most excellent, both of you!
    when my uncle was a little 'un, 4 or 5 years old, my nan took him with her while visiting a friend. now this is way back in the 'seen and not heard' days. Friend politely asked little boy how he was, and he answered, i want to break something! i think he was just testing it out, to see what reaction he'd get. but Friend didn't skip a beat. she just calmly said ok, let's find you something. she went out to the shed, found a wooden box and a hammer, and let him go for it. still a favourite family story.
    then there was the time i spent nearly an hour going through the whole kitchen, dividing every single breakable item into two groups - those with any material or sentimental value, and those without. the latter group gave me a whole afternoon and evening of anger management therapy in the cement backyard.
    the writer SARK tells us that she buys plates and crockery at garage sales specifically for the purpose of smashing them when the urge arises.

  2. Can she make it an app? I'll buy that :)

  3. Love that! My oldest used to tear up a phone book when she was frustrated and angry. I should get her a new one now at 13. We had a rough evening yesterday.

  4. Two days ago I was very frustrated, because I've lost my tennismatch. So I smashed my racket.

    Your way is better and a lot cheaper;-)


  5. Ah so..welcome to China. Ah..sit down, wonewy twaveller. The year 1900 has not seen many like you for some time. Here, west your feet and smoke from this pipe..ah, so. do you know of Wichawd Willhelm? Wichawd Buwton? let me cast an owacle for you. Wonewy twaveller...cast this owacle and then we can eat. Thwow these sticks down and I will build a hexagwam for you. These bwoken bamboo sticks. They were a gift from Master Little Tree. She was twavelling as a he, from the future. In a Flux Capacitor APP, which had time stamp and checked boxes and alarms and reminders. She had buisness with the Bwitish Empiwe..anyway. She gave me these sticks. Ah so!


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)