What is "finished"?

October 3, 2006 at 7:12 pm 3 comments

The magical power of vocabulary. Children pick up new words and their meanings instantly. Good words, bad words, all kinds of interesting words.

But there are some words which they learn to say… but refuse to learn what they mean.

In our house, Iman refuses to learn the meaning of “finished”.

No matter how I try to explain, she just doesn’t understand why things end. For example, a show on TV that she’s really into. When it’s over… I tell her it’s finished, but instead, she says “not finished, I want more”. When we can’t bring it back for her, she throws a tantrum in response.

When I drive through a tunnel, she gets really excited, but when the tunnel is “finished”… same response.

When she’s at the playground… when she’s in the bath… when she’s at a friend’s house, when she’s doing just about anything…

Although the tantrums pass, the concept of “finished” just doesn’t register. I know she’s at the age where “letting go” is really hard, but it’s so difficult to move on with our lives when we have a two year old who wants to hold on to everything.


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Faisal Khan  |  October 4, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    hence the mathematical definition of the word “limits”. Nothing finishes except life perhaps, and that too continues in some way or form.

  • 2. Lorraine  |  October 4, 2006 at 9:26 pm


  • 3. DariushAlavi  |  October 5, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    I think it’s really sweet that she’s so hooked onto endlessness at the moment… and I’m allowed to think it’s sweet because I live thousands of miles away from you and I don’t have to deal with the tantrums.

    But I shouldn’t worry: reality will come crashing into her psyche before too long.


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