Sunday, August 18, 2013

And then I scream...

I've long compared Mom's regression to a baby's progression.  Most days, mom's basic behaviors are about on par with a toddler's.  She has tunnel vision and can't see or hear anything out of that tunnel.  She doesn't like the food.  She is cranky when she doesn't get her way.  Everything else is better than what she has. 

But I started wondering...  What if, when we had toddlers, none of the accepted methods of teaching, coaching and disciplining worked?  We could no longer tap a hand reaching out to a hot stove.  A time out would be met with defiance and the inability to sit still.  Distraction and redirection only works for mere moments.  And what if, that toddler was as big as you are and ready to fight?  About everything.  Add to the desire to fight, the fact that the toddler is an adult and instinctively does not believe that you have the right to discipline, coach or teach.  What then? 

How do you get a 79 year old woman to recognize that climbing a chair and reaching into a moving ceiling fan, is not okay?  And, how many times do you have to talk her out of getting on that chair before you just let her do it?  That last question was facetious, but seriously, what do you do?  Distracting didn't work.  Simply ordering her to stop was met with more nastiness.  Removing the chairs was not an option.  Placing something out of her sight only makes her more determined.  She can't remember her name but she remembers that she wants to do something.  And she wanted the fan. She was obsessed with that fan.  I turned off the fan, that upset her more.  "He" told her that it had to be on. 

I finally did what I always do when she won't listen.  I screamed at her.  I told her to get down and leave it alone.  It worked after repeating it three times.  Loudly.  I don't want to yell.  But, that just seems to be the only thing that gets through.  I ask politely most times.  I try to redirect and distract.  I ask again.  And then I ask louder.  And then I yell. And then I scream.

I know there must be another way.  There has to be.   No one deserves to be yelled at like that.  And the guilt continues. 

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