Monday, July 18, 2016

Quiet in the library, please

Today we took everybody to the library as a reward for finally really cleaning their bedrooms.

I sat just outside the play area with Eve while the other Littles played and the Middles and Olders found books to read (32 in all, plus a movie).

Seated across from me was a mother knitting. Her 18-mo. old was also playing in the play area.

I know his name because she must have said it over a hundred times in the forty minutes that we were there. "Matthew (name changed to protect the ... I don't know ... something), can you get the egg? Get the other part of the egg, Matthew. Matthew, do they want to see your egg? Show the other children your egg, Matthew! No, Matthew! Please, Matthew, let's not go outside the play area. Oh, Matthew. OK. Listen, Matthew. You may play in the play area, or you may sit in one of these chairs here at this table outside the play area. OK, Matthew? Matthew! Matthew! Matthew, please come back here. Let's not run in the library, Matthew! Matthew!"

Over and over and over. It will come as no surprise to anyone (excepting, apparently, his mother) that Matthew was quick to do exactly what his mother did not want him to do, almost as if he hadn't heard her.

And why not? This is what she had trained him to do. The nonstop talking, the saying of his name over and over and over...

His defense mechanisms kicked in and he tuned her out.

I was, I will admit, jealous.

Salem, this is a random picture of you, Salem. Do you want to look at the picture, Salem? Salem, why don't you look at the picture? Salem, are you ignoring me, Salem?

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