Setback

July 9, 2015

Yesterday, Robert and I were studying together: reading maps, counting perimeters of regular polygons, talking about problem presented in the picture and its possible antecedents, simple analogies, reading a tall tale Pecos Bill and answering questions, and reading a short paragraph supported by four pictures about working as a dining room assistance. Everything was rather uneventful and sort of boring.  It was boring because I (I!) was tired and had difficulties concentrating. We were almost finished when the door bell rang and family’s friends came in.

“Robert, we will take a break”, I said.  Robert didn’t mind. “You can watch IPAD”, I continued.  Then I made a mistake.  I excused myself for a minute and went to replace  my overused  robe with more appropriate attire.  My friends and I went outside to look at the flowers in the yard which I tried unsuccessfully so far, change into a meadow.

Robert protested. He stopped at the door calling. “Mom, mom, mom” . It was a desperate call and nothing I could say or do, would stop it.  Maybe there was something which could defuse those loud, never-ending calls, “Mom, mom, mom”, but I didn’t know what it was.

I didn’t know, because that had never happened before.

Sometimes, when I worked in the yard for too long, Robert would call for me, but usually he didn’t insist when I stated that I had to finish my work.

This time, he was more than persistent. He was desperate, as if the world was falling apart because of my walk outside.

I wanted to continue walking, but at some point the energy dissipated from me completely. The friends left and I returned home.

I thought Robert would calm down.  But he didn’t.  He was agitated about something.  Nonetheless, I asked him to finish two remaining worksheets and Robert complied.  But when we were done, Robert ran to my bedroom and brought back the old robe.  He wanted me to put it back on.

Only then I realized that what made Robert furious  was not the arrival of our friends.  It was not the fact that I went  outside.  It was not the fact that we took an unplanned break from our hour of study.  What made Robert frantically anxious was the fact that I changed my clothes in the way that broke all Robert’s rules governing time and clothes.

Robert changes from pajama to his day clothes in the morning and from day clothes to pajama in the evening. That is all the changing allowed. In special circumstances – dirty clothes or inappropriate clothes  precludes him from going out, Robert makes TEMPORARY adjustments for the occasion. Upon returning home however, he quickly switches to his previous attire even if it is time for a bath and a bed.

Although, I was sure that Robert didn’t mind my, rather chaotic, dressing patterns, obviously that was not the case. Since I was already wearing my comfortable, overused robe which meant unwinding and getting ready for lazy evening, Robert considered my change of clothes to be an anathema to the unspoken rules governing (to my surprise) our family life.

Just a couples weeks earlier, Robert had problems with his dad suddenly changing the pattern of clothes he wore after work.

Well, when I realized that Robert kept extending his dressing rules to his father and now me, I gave Robert a lecture on or personal freedoms.  That freedom include wearing whatever, wherever, and whenever we want.   I reminded him, what I had told him a couple of weeks ago, that each of that decides for himself or herself what we want to wear. Well, to the point.

I repeated this and similar statement  a few times, but I am not sure if Robert was convinced.

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