Isn’t it humbling, when your child’s behaviour is annoying you into a straight jacket? And then the horror of reality slowly sets in – they are just like you.
I am writing this, knowing that my admission may result in years of pain if my husband found out, but the experience forced me to acknowledge that one of my ‘quirks’ is not very easy to live with. So this is for Brian whose had to deal with me for the past sixteen years, and must continue to do so, till death do us part. 😉
Our daughter is very creative, with an imagination that is boundless. She becomes so absorbed with her thoughts, and the ‘movie’ playing in her mind, that the rest of the world fades away. She has amazing focus, but it’s very specific. When doing a task of one kind or another, she will focus so acutely that no other stimulus will compute.
Therefore, if she is walking into a room with her coat in her hand, but she is thinking about the doll she wants to play with, the coat will end up on the floor, under the bed, or in the toy box, and she will have no recollection of how it got there.
If she is working on a project, or watching a show, and you ask her a question, she will respond appropriately, but will never have actually heard you.
I have asked her to pick up her socks, and watched her step right over them because whatever thoughts had been running through her mind were not complete. So she automatically started to respond, but without any purpose.
I thought I’d lose my mind once or twice, until it slowly dawned on me, that she…is me…and I’ve been guilty of the same thing. My husband has walked into a room while I’ve been writing, and asked me a question. I’ve answered automatically, and then realize a few minutes later, that I had no idea what he’d asked.
I’m also the one who will not notice the water on the bathroom floor while I’m in there, only for my husband to step in it during his next visit. And I’m the one leaving my shoes out, and he’s the one tripping all over them.
Once, he actually accused me of trying to kill him! I swear I wasn’t.
I have always excused my sporadic lack of awareness by using the creative stereotype. And I truly feel that it definitely has a lot to do with who I am. My mind is a constant tumble of thoughts.
However, my eyes have been opened to how frustrating living with someone like me can be. So now I strive to have more patience with my daughter, because it’s kind of my fault, while at the same time, trying to teach her to come outside of her head when necessary. And I make a focused effort, to pay more attention to the big picture, on a day to day basis. For example, I know that if I’m in the middle of something, I have to stop, and the person wanting my attention needs to give me a moment to stop and look at them, before they share anything – only then will I really hear them.
Let me tell you. It’s hard work, but worth it, if it eases some of the frustrations for my husband that a life with me – and our daughter – can bring!