Will Your Roaster Be A Boaster?

I have finally achieved my purpose in life. I've come up with a startling and monumental discovery as it concerns personality traits. Yes, indeed -- Mr. Amateur Psychologist has hit the big one!

I've concluded that a method for determining your child's natural disposition lies directly within the kitchen cupboard. Bear with me. I don't mean that box of brown sugar with the 1993 expiration date and the consistency of fused brick. Rather, who would have thought that the root of your child's natural personality could be found within the root of a delicacy originally derived from mallow plant? Yes indeed. My personality-testing tool is found within that soft sweet cuddly confectionery that goes by the name marshmallow.

Don't tell me about Freud, the Rorschach method or the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Pop psychology takes a back seat to a new twist on the modern marshmallow. The key in determining your child's temperament, their creativity, their desire to go for the gusto or go with the flow is directly related to the manner and method by which they roast a marshmallow. My sweet and simple theory.

You don't need to examine gene pools, environmental surroundings or astrological stars! Just look toward the bonfire and recognize the significance of Marshmallow Science. Admittedly, my new theory does fly in the face of my prior philosophy, which had been inaccurately honed in that clueless and oblivious time frame of my life. A time better known as "Before Kids," when I had the boldness to believe that children were born devoid of any personality. I was to be a sculptor and they were but putty in my hands as I molded and shaped everything about them. Guess again, clay brain! Seeing the inherent differences amongst my children, I realize parts of their personality are determined by the time they lay eyes on their first diaper.

Thus my marshmallow theory was born. The pertinent categories are as follows:

Pyrotechnic Preparers - These children stick the marshmallow directly into the flame, rapidly burn it to a crisp, immediately plop the whole thing directly in their mouth and then sprint for the nearest drinking fountain.

No pussyfooting around. The whole process is usually completed in about 1.6 combustible seconds. Speed prevails over substance as they create their little marshmallow inferno. Also appearance and taste take a back seat to quantity as they simultaneously place a multitude of marshmallows on their stick. They consume life with abandon, are carefree active high-energy individuals with a zest for living and enjoy all gastric pleasures.

Their bumper sticker will read, "I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian."

Time Taking Tanners - These children are deliberate, methodical, and indefatigable. They will slowly, cautiously and circumspectly tan the entire marshmallow to the same perfect and delicate shade while driving the Pyrotechnic Preparers nuts.

They're very meticulous, orderly and cautious with, of course, only one marshmallow per stick. They don't overdo things or take a whole lot of chances.

Their bumper sticker will read, "I intend to live forever -- so far, so good."

Are We There Yet? - These children attempt to be slow and deliberate, but ultimately wind up burning the marshmallow as impatience prevails over methodical roasting.

However, they roll with the punches, and view a slightly burnt marshmallow that's fallen to the ground and sprinkled with sand particles as being better than no marshmallow at all. Hey, a little natural fiber is good for you. They're a bit more impulsive, spontaneous and accepting of change.

Their bumper sticker will read, "No matter where I go in life, I'm there."

Hesitant Heaters - These children can go various ways but are never sure exactly what they want. Should I burn? Should I slightly tan? Do I even like marshmallows?

They are somewhat indecisive and have difficulty with commitment. They usually marry later in life and change careers a few times. No matter how their marshmallow turns out, they are pretty certain they wanted it to be another way.

Their bumper sticker will read, "I used to think I was indecisive. Now, I'm not so sure."

Give Me S'mores - It's never quite enough for these children. They're always looking for just a wee bit extra. The roasted marshmallow alone isn't sufficient, as they insist on chocolate and graham crackers as well.

Their bumper sticker reads, "Why be difficult, when, with a little effort, you can be impossible."

Thus is the art of studying the marshmallow roaster in determining human nature. And when I get my Nobel Prize in Science for this miraculous psychological discovery, or at least an endorsement deal with a marshmallow manufacturer, well you read it here first.