Shirley Blaier-Stein Blog

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about the 20% and the 80%

This is from a while ago, but I figured I'll share.

We recently moved to our new house so the past few weeks have been all about packing, carrying, organizing cleaning and unpacking. 

Oh, and Dan was off of school and about to begin his new school in our new town.

In other words, I am so exhausted.

But then the summer school started, and knock on wood it is going well. And I had a few hours by myself. To do errands, but at least with nobody else to take care of.

And then Dan and I went to pick up Gali from daycare. I finally figured out the traffic and which way it is better to take on this 40 minutes drive. We got to the daycare on time for Dan to play in the sandbox and then I decided to take them both for ice cream. We do this sometimes on days that Alex works late. 

We went to our usual place and Dan picked his usual coffee ice cream from the freezer, and then it was time for Gali to pick her flavor from the ice cream stand. The place was really busy so I held Dan’s ice cream container in my hand, but then suddenly I dropped it and it fell straight into the garbage bin. Clumsy mommy!

It was actually no big deal because that garbage bin was next to the coffee stand so it had only coffee cups and used bags of sugar. I was about to quickly pull it out but then Dan collapsed to the floor screaming. His precious ice cream! What have I done!

And then he made such a scene, screaming and holding his head with his fists.

I stood there in the middle of the store with people passing around us. Gali was so shocked that she could not pick a flavor. I didn’t blame her. All I wanted was to get out of there! Now!

But then I remembered that I once heard someone say that in life 20% is what happens to you and 80% is what you choose to do about it.

I leaned down and said, “Dan Stein, quiet now or no ice cream.”

He ignored me at first but then after the fourth time and once I showed him that his ice cream container is in my hand and still clean and ready to eat, he got up and smiled.

Of course there was a huge line to the register. But I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to teach another lesson, about waiting.

“You see all those people, Dan? They are waiting too. Let’s stand right here until it is our turn. Then we pay and go outside to sit on the chair and eat ice cream.”

Dan must have heard about the 20% and 80% rule too, because he waited very patiently.