The Boy vs. The Choice

The antibiotics are in my system now. And they’re working hard. I do feel a bit better today. I’m still exhausted and hacking mercilessly, but I’m no longer actively begging to be taken out back and put out of my misery. And my fever finally broke. So I think we’re heading in the right direction.

But because I still feel pretty crappy, I have zero patience. The Boy has become relentless is his “I’m bored!” “I’m hungry!” “I want to do something fun!” His incessant baying for me to entertain him constantly has been wearing on my nerves quite a bit lately, but now that I’m sick I have lost even the smallest mote of tolerance I once had. He is one of the smartest and most creative boys his age I’ve ever known and this unending dependence upon me to give him things to do has been intact since his birth for the most part. The only real change has been in the complexity of what keeps him entertained for any given amount of time. It used to only take breastfeeding or dangling keys in front of his face to quiet him down. Now it takes some complicated obstacle course of activity to garner his attention for more than 30 seconds.

And it’s not that he can’t focus. He has an intent, and at times intense, ability to focus. When he wants to. And that right there is the key – when he wants to. Which is true for all of us to some extent I suppose, but the only other person whose entire existence is so completely dependent on choice that I’ve ever seen is my husband. The Boy has to choose to focus, to engage, to pay attention, to be entertained. Once that choice is made he’s good to go and can play or work or whatever for hours. But without that choice being made, it’s an endless volley of irritating questions that pushes me to the very edge of sanity.

Perhaps instead of trying to put him off or redirect him to something else, I should focus more on getting him to make choices. Maybe that will save both of our sanity.

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