One Sunday as my wife was playing the piano at church, I was taking care of our two daughters.  Mercedes, the older of the two, was having an absolute fit and just wanted to play outside.  After I got my dad to take my younger daughter I took Mercedes out to the car since she was being so loud anyway. 


After she calmed down I tried talking with her and gave her two choices, “Mercedes, you have two choices, you can stay in the car OR you can go back inside.”

This actually helped her calm down even more as she immediately stuttered, “I have 3…I have 3…I have 3 choices.” she said as she put up 3 fingers to herself and counted them with the index finger of her other hand, “Stay in the car…” she touched one finger, “go back inside,” she carefully touched the second finger, then she excitedly touched the third finger “OR go play on the grass!”  When her mom came out to the car Mercedes still had three fingers up and seemed to walk back into the church carefully guarding her hand that held her three choices.

While it is difficult to get my daughter to do almost anything when her mind is set, this is something I absolutely love about her!  Her mind simply does not care about choices or constraints that she does not desire, while she did concede that the other choices existed, without effort she came up with a possible third choice.

Mercedes has replied to this choice situation many times, each reply has been brilliant, “Make it a different choice daddy!”, “That is not a choice!” or “How about a different question?”

There is so much I take from this every time it happens.  How many choices do I have?  What do I really want?  What am I missing by being so focused on the few choices that others impose on me?