that kid

September 9, 2009

For her birthday, Maddy received all kinds of gifts. One friend gave Maddy her second best gift, a bunch of Reeses Peanut Butter cups and M&Ms.

This is her desk more than a week after her birthday:

maddy candy

Kim and I agree, if someone had given US that stuff for a present, it would have been immediately consumed like something on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. But this is Maddy’s desk a week later.

I once read of a study of kids and their instant gratification reflex. The kid sat at a table, on which there was a marshmallow. The doctor explained that if the kid did NOT eat the marshmallow, he/she would receive an entire bag of marshmallows. And then the doctor would leave the room for five minutes.

They identified three types of kids. First kind would sit very still, never moving until the doctor came back. Second kind would nibble at the edges of the marshmallow, hoping to still get the bag. And the third kind of kid had the marshmallow in his mouth before the doctor was even finished explaining the rules.

I am that third kid. Apparently Maddy is the first kind of kid.

And so, she is also this very happy kid:

maddy car

15 Responses to “that kid”

  1. Tim D Says:

    My boys are the fourth kind who’ve eaten the marshmallow as soon as it is on the table, and the second put there to replace it while the doctor tried to explain the rules, before swiping the bag out of his hands and stuffing the entire contents in their mouths. To them deferred gratification means finishing eating the sweets at the cash till, whilst paying for them, rather than waiting til they get outside.

  2. Cree Says:

    I’m definitely the second kid.

  3. Accident Prone Says:

    Nice wheels! Does this mean she gets to kiss boys now?!

  4. KanyonKris Says:

    dug, sorry to say, she has you at an extreme disadvantage – she can just wait you out, wear you down with her self-control until you crack. As if I’m telling you something you don’t know. Nice car, Maddy.

    Before I had children I envisioned all the good nurturing I’d give them so they’d be better than me. Wow, how wrong-headed was that?!

    Worse for me, my wife is also a gratification delayer. No, not like THAT! She hoards candy, specifically chocolate candy. I try to explain that candy is made to be enjoyed. That it WANTS to be eaten. And of course by that I mean eaten right now. But she likes having a stash, a reserve so if she ever needs it, its there. One day we found a whole bucket of mini snickers stashed in a closet, all of them hard, inedible, dead. Their little lives wasted, purpose unfulfilled. I cried.

  5. dug Says:


    Actually Maddy and Dug are two peas in a pod in pretty much all other areas. I wish she could wear him down til he cracks but you should hear them argue. It’s so painful, the longer it goes the more they each dig in their heels and the more ridiculous their arguments get. Now Ian, the way Dug argues with him is another story, maybe for another post.


    • KanyonKris Says:

      OK, so dug is only at a disadvantage where yummy food is concerned.

      Kim, sorry to hear about your back pain. I’ve been there, that’s no fun. I hope you’re feeling better.

  6. Doug Says:

    Both of my kids are much like your daughter. On Halloween they would score huge piles of candy. Then what do they do?? Wait for my wife and I to eat all of it. Neither one of them really eats much of the stuff at all and if we do not eat it it just goes bad.

    On the hoarding topic. The first house I ever bought had an unfinished basement. About 2 years after we had bought the house I was finishing the basement and found multiple boxes of Girl Scout Cookies stashed above landing to the stairs on top of the sheetrock. For years to come we found different “stashes” of stuff. Some even in the attic with all the insulation

    • KanyonKris Says:

      I’m not sure why, but finding food the previous owners stashed is creepy. An interesting emergency food storage system. Any problem with ants?

      • Doug Says:

        Amazingly no. They were stashed above ground so it was never a problem. Gross but never a problem. They were so dried out I am not sure ants would eat them.

  7. Jo Says:

    If Maddy were my kid she would probably be my favorite.
    Kris is greatly exaggerating any stash that may be at our house. Besides, I don’t exactly hide it and I share it 99% of the time- so it isn’t even a stash really.

  8. Mathias Says:

    I’m taking part of this viral. I just turned the marshmallow part and made it a facebook note for people to answer which type of kid they were.

  9. savvymama Says:

    And what a great kid she is! (I think I was a nr. 1,
    not sure now, especially if I had that pkg. of
    Reeses on my desk!)

  10. Eber Says:

    sadly…I am kid number 4. the kid who sneaks in when the dr. leaves and eats the other kid’s marshmallow then sneaks back out. leaving the other kid alone to explain.

    only with treats – I just can’t help myself.

  11. ABS Says:

    Two recent mentions of the marshmallow experiment:

    The New Yorker:

    And a funny video:

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