There are times when I’ll look over at my daughters and take in that they’re “getting it”. That they are in the moment and fully comprehending what is being said or taking place. And then there are the times when sadly, no matter how many times you’ve laid out the same instruction, there is just no connection taking place. These repetitious behaviors have me equating banging my head into a brick wall. And in their condition, there is no getting better.
One such infuriating diatribe involves breakfast cereal, one of their favorite foods. In any typical household the cereal would sit accessible in a cupboard, pantry or as they often depict on TV on top of the fridge. Time and time again, if I leave it free and clear for their little hands to grab, a box will deplete in like two days.
My remedy is to store the cereal boxes up in my closet not quite behind lock and key. This, though an overall pain in the keester for everyone, works wonders as a way to ration the amount consumed. Each night I or they bring down the kind they want, pour an appropriate amount in a bowl and leave it for the morning. Then they or myself carry the boxes back up to my room and case closed.
I know what you’re thinking. Are they grabbing handfuls when I’m not around or looking? One morning I left for work then returned 15 minutes later to see them doing just that. Other than that I regularly check the boxes and overall this system definitely prolongs a boxes life span.
So then after say two or three weeks I give the girls the benefit of the doubt and re-trust them yet again. With the cereal back in the cupboard there is less time wasted before bed in filling bowls and I feel I give them back a boost in confidence. This usually lasts a week, sometimes more until I realize the cereal we have is basically evaporating under my friggin nose.
I recently let the cereal reside in the kitchen and not even 24 hours later I spotted a glass of Trix stashed just barely under the couch. This indicated taking more than the necessary amount plus creating deceit by lying about a hoarded snack for later. Trust broken again and cereal put away upstairs.
The thing is it’s not my trust they’re breaking. It’s that they simply can’t control themselves being around something so heavenly, to them, as cereal. Much like the pills they sometimes try not to take or the cell phone that mysteriously has 14,311 pictures on it (I kid you not, another blog in itself) these offenses keep on happening.
I’ve spoken in anger, out of hurt, on their level and all to discipline but nothing can rectify this. It isn’t disobedience. It’s cognitive malfunction. And it is one frustrating mother to deal with because the only true recourse is for me to summon all possible patience and carry on. Sure, this isn’t behaviour to reward but then again it isn’t behaviour at all.
And on it goes. The ebbs and the flows. You regulate your work status, things seem to be going well and then another “mishap” aka things people with IQ’s under 50 do. This will one day be old hat but for now I’m still in the acceptance phase that this is how things will always be for them and it almost daily breaks my heart.