August 7, 2015

I haven’t written for quite a while. Moreover, I haven’t been studying with Robert regularly.  There were, they still remain,  many distractions.  We painted some of the rooms. One room was painted on each of the four weekends. We had four different guests, each  staying at least a week. Robert was sick.  I was sick.  Maybe because of  that and a few additional demands put on our family life I couldn’t refocus on Robert.  I couldn’t find energy for an evening study hour. Besides, it was very hot and a constant noise from the running air conditioner didn’t help either. The two-hour long power outage was another unusual event, not without consequences.

For me, and I believe for Robert, the most important lesson of that time was to  adjust to changes or to  learn how to survive  with the slightest possible alterations to our lives.


At first, Robert was very much against it. He tried to put the furniture back by the walls.  He kept taking ladder back to the garage. But at some point he resigned himself to the inevitability of painting and started helping. He must have understood that his help would hasten the return to normalcy. He was the happiest and most helpful when he was finally allowed to put all the pieces of the furniture in their “normal” places.


Although guests usually alter family’s life by changing schedules, routines, r contents of the meals, Robert was rather unmoved by those changes.  There was, however, problem with laundry.  Robert feels responsible for washing everything that needs to be washed in our home. He washed also some garments of one of the guest.  He wanted to wash clothes of another guest, even if they were not in the laundry hamper. so he dared to go to the guest room and examined the clothes.  He wanted to wash them, but the owner protested. So Robert complied and gave them back without washing.

He learned his lesson all too well, and when the next guest put his dirty clothes in the hamper, Robert removed them and carried them back to the guest’s room. However, he complied with the guest’s wish and washed them later. Much later.

The notion that different guests might have different ideas about laundry was a little confusing, but nonetheless, Robert complied.

Power Outage

When the lights went out, Robert immediately assumed that mother could fix electricity easily by going to the fuse box and doing whatever needed to be done. The fact that mother refused to do so, made him really mad. With the light from the candles and flashlight I drew the primitive power plant with wires going in all directions including our neighborhood and our house. I tried to explained that the wires were down somewhere, but Robert didn’t accept my explanation. “Light, light, light” Over and over.  Request for the lights to come back was expressed loudly, dramatically, and frequently over the period of one hour. It got worse when Robert’s dad came home.  The fact that his father couldn’t repair the light was incomprehensible to Robert. He became more angry with our “stubbornness” . “Light, light, light” Hundred times, thousand times. Loudly, dramatically, non stopping.

Robert’s dad wanted to take him to the McDonald.  I was against, as I remember the time when I believed that such distraction would help.  It didn’t.  Although Robert allowed me to buy him fries and a coke, he, nonetheless, didn’t stop calling for light loudly and desperately between sips of his coke and bites of his fries.

The only other ideas was to try to follow with the evening routine any way.  I brought the flashlight to the bathroom and turned the water in the tub. Robert reluctantly took the hint.  He washed and dried himself quickly. We turned on a movie on Ipad, Robert calmed down and joined us to watch the movie.  He calmed down a lot.  Not that he had forgotten about missing lights.  But the frequency, loudness, and drama all went down.  He was almost ready to go to his bed and sleep, when the light came back.  Robert ran through the house turning all the lights out and then went to sleep.


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