George is eleven so you’d think after all these years I would have learnt this simple rule. But I still find myself negotiating with him when he is upset rather than just using a distraction and moving on.
It’s 3 AM, George has been up for three hours. If you didn’t know why I called the site 4 Hrs Sleep, you do now. George is playing his favourite game; Wii Sports Resort!
With Wii Sports Resort there are some games he plays himself, bowling being his favourite. There are games he will play with me, like sword fighting and jet skiing. And there are games that I must play and he, for some reason, will not. These include the aeroplane one, basketball and archery.
Now, over the years, I have developed some impressive skills; as George often wishes to play with two, three or four players, all of whom, are me. This is fine for turn-taking games but has posed a challenge with others. I am now, however, an expert at flying two planes simultaneously, completing the tasks and not crashing. Perhaps even more impressive is my ability to man two, two-man, canoes using four Wii controllers at one time!
I’ve digressed into blowing my own trumpet, my apologies. Anyway, on this particular morning excursion to Wuhu Island George wanted to play four-player archery, with me as all four archers. This isn’t that bad as I actually quite like the archery game. However, despite this one being a turn-taking game George wanted to use four controllers. The problem was we only have two nun-chucks. Four controllers would need four nun-chucks.
This was the crux of the disagreement. George insisted I get him two more nun-chucks. I insisted they didn’t exist. We checked where we keep the Wii accessories, they weren’t there. We check my desk, they weren’t there. We checked the box of spare cables, they weren’t there! We checked Mama’s bed, they weren’t there. We checked everywhere as George got more and more stressed. I stayed calm, I’m used to this, but internally it’s frustrating when you know he understands, he just doesn’t want it to be true.
And then, of course, the realisation he is never going to accept we do not have them and I need to distract him. With George distraction take on two main options, the first is new stuff. Existing stuff isn’t enough, however, we obviously don’t often have new things lying around waiting for George to get frustrated over something. The second option is food. We have a fairly unique food situation which I’ll write about separately but for now, the basics are most food is hidden. I went and got George some spaghetti, a sauce and some crusty bread and offered it to him. Thankfully, it worked. He calmed immediately and followed me to the kitchen to prepare his food.
I don’t know why I have such a mental block with distractions. Maybe I want to see him understand me, I want to feel like I made that connection with him. I don’t know. One day I might learn to try a distraction before I empty the contents of several drawers and cabinets throughout the house helping him look for something we both know isn’t there!