One of the strangest, and yet clearest memories from my early childhood took place in the kitchen of my family’s tiny half-dilapidated apartment. I was two or three at the time, and I was very fond of drinking milk.

When my parents and I sat for dinner, there was always a 1L milk package placed on the table. In the middle of eating, I often suddenly craved for a glass of milk. I would look at the milk package, stretch my hands in that direction and scream,

“Milk! Milk!”

Then my parents would always tell me to calm down and say

“Sweetie, that’s not how you do it. If you want milk, you don’t scream ‘Milk!’ You say, ‘Milk, please.’ Okay?”

I had to do it all over again. With tears in my eyes, I would say “Milk, please,” and my parents would give me a glass of milk.

What was funny about this incident was that it happened many times. No matter how many times my parents told me not to scream for milk but say “Milk, please,” my behaviour didn’t change. And it wasn’t that I forgot about the lesson. Every time I was struck by a sudden craving for milk, I would think to myself that I should calm down and say “Milk, please.” But I just couldn’t calm down. For water, juice, or other items, I could wait, but not for milk. I felt as if my entire life were dependent on it.

Before I knew it, I would be screaming again with my both hands in the air

“Milk! Milk!”

And the lesson had to take place all over again.