What Counts the Most?

May 12, 2015

Robert had a busy Saturday.  He studied in the morning: fractions, identifying problems, natural resources (What the earth give us?) Later, we all went for a walk to Castle Island in Boston.  We all walked around Pleasure Bay.  As the path led between the bay and the ocean, we all could feel strong,  freezing wind overmatching our spring jackets. There was no time to stop, look, and talk.  We just hurried to escape the cold we subjected ourselves to as we were  fooled by bright sun and a very few clouds we saw at the parking lot.   So there was no explicit teaching there.

In the evening dad took Robert to see the movie Avengers. That was another attempt to have Robert watch more age appropriate features.  Well, Robert was a little scared and in the most scary moment requested to go to the bathroom more for a short break from the tension than for any other reason.  Nonetheless, he overcame his fears, and seemed interested in the action.  At least as interested as his dad was.

On the way home, they stopped at the grocery store to buy a few items.

The most important development of the day (a week, a month, a year) happened between the trip to the Castle Island and the drive to the movie and it had everything to do with an eggplant.

No, on Saturday, Robert didn’t participate with preparing his meal.  He was too tired for that. I made breaded slices of eggplant with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and many herbs.  Robert began to eat.  I rushed with a napkin, not really believing that it would prevent Robert’s shirt and jeans from being covered with tomato sauce.  Based on past experiences, I knew that it was a lost battle.  Yes, Robert would use the napkin.  But he would use his pants and shirts also.

And that was a problem because Robert hated to change his clothes in the middle of the day.  He had done it in the past when being told, “If you don’t put clean shirt and pants on, you cannot go with us.” That meant no walk in the park, no bike, no restaurant, and no movie.  So Robert would change,but he didn’t like it and demonstrated his displeasure with loud vocalizations, dramatic gestures, and moving back and forth between the drawer with clean clothes and me hoping that I would give up. I never did, but I didn’t like that either.

So this time, as I was handing Robert a napkin I wanted to prepare him for the need to change his clothes after eating.

Giving Robert  ahead warning could later lessen his resistance to change.

“Remember that you need to change your clothes if they get dirty”, I said this as a reminder and left Robert with his eggplant.  Well, 20 minutes later, the eggplant and the sauce were gone, all the dishes were already rinsed in the sink, and Robert’s shirt and pants didn’t have one tomato stain.  Nothing.


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