Like a Piece of Pumpkin Pie

I had a two hour standoff with my five-year-old this morning. It took him two hours to nicely ask for something to eat or drink. He didn’t get breakfast until almost twenty after ten.

It’s not that he was being rude and demanding. He just wasn’t willing to use his words, which he’s perfectly capable of doing. He has physical disabilities, but no speech disability! (There’s a story to that, but for another time.)

Nathaniel in Walker
From the summer of 2015

To help me keep from caving when he came close, asking with a nice tone but refusing to add please, or saying please but refusing to ask, I watched a show I had recorded on the DVR. It’s about adults going undercover into high school. I don’t know if I’ll keep watching it, but I do find culture and interactions fascinating. I’d like to tell a lot of those kids about how they could homeschool and be saved from so much of that grief.

So I successfully distracted myself, and it was a big victory. He has asked a handful of nice questions since and is peacefully napping now. It takes it out of you, though. Standoffs are emotionally draining.

This is our youngest and the least trained. His disabilities multiply the affect of being the baby in the family. There’s always someone around to make him happy and do anything for him. I can’t be with him constantly to make sure others aren’t reinforcing his bad habits. He knows how to put on a pitiful face and use a pitiful voice to get people to fall all over him to get him what he wants. I have to buckle down, but I haven’t made the effort with him all day, all the time to make sure that happens. His oldest brother may be the biggest push over. “But he wanted it…” It’s hard to tell his brothers to not be sweet to him, even if it’s for his own good! And so, little guy gets away with it, too much. So where to draw the line? I don’t know. I want them to be sweet, but not too sweet, like a piece of pumpkin pie.

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