There’s a funny thing we often say when we’re trying to get the Bear to do something. He’s been able to spell his name aloud for a while, and he’s able to write it down on a piece of paper (although he writes the letters in order, he doesn’t always put them beside each other on the page). He can sing his ABC’s or It’s Raining, It’s Pouring and do the little motions our sweet Agnes taught him.


But give him an audience — a grandma or grandpa on Skype, an uncle he hasn’t seen for a while, a family friend he’s meeting for the first time — and he is usually not interested in displaying what we think are some of his wonderful achievements. He’s not about to perform, and the first thing one of us usually says in comment is:

He’s nobody’s monkey.

In contrast, I’ve been thinking a bit about the expectations this Mama Bear sets for herself. You might have them too — thoughts about what kind of spouse, parent, friend or employee you have to be? Because you say so?

Turns out I’m my own monkey, trying to clang the tiny cymbals and turn the handle on the box at the same time.

I (finally) became aware of one of those expectations the other day, and I thought it might be worthwhile bringing it your attention, too. Is the fairness expectation turning your handle?

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