Friday, April 29, 2011

Introducing Change

In my last post I wrote about Puppy being sorry for his actions. And I also wrote about how I had my work cut out for me. Well, today I introduced some change.

One of my older brothers was admitted into the hospital this afternoon. He drove himself to the ER in the morning because he feared another stroke was progressing and naturally wanted to avoid the worst.

After work and after picking up Puppy, we went to visit my brother at the hospital. My sister Margie was also there, having spent the entire day with him through the process of getting admitted and settled into his room. Well, Puppy has this habit of feeling uncomfortable around Margie because he wants her undivided attention. However, he has already been coached to leave her alone. It's been intense at times, but he's getting better.

Anyway...Puppy was having a difficult time being around her and started to show the beginnings of an anxiety attack coming on. He was upset that he was losing control and blurted out a curse word in the middle of something he said, but only I noticed. He looked at me and quickly apologized. Not too much time afterward, we left. All the way to the truck he was telling me how he didn't mean to say the bad word, he was just copying so-and-so. I told him to calm down and we would discuss it in the truck.

I had less than 5 minutes to quickly think of something. And I did. Once we were buckled in, I told him I was disappointed in his behavior and that because he did curse on purpose, I was going to take his wallet for the duration of the ride home. If he did not calm down and think about what he did, I would keep it. But if he complied, he would get the wallet back when we reached home. I was afraid of the reaction I was going to get from him. I had not followed through with taking his wallet lately.

He was so quiet the entire time, sitting with his hands crossed on his lap and just staring at me the whole ride home. I parked in the driveway and turned the engine off. He looked at me with the biggest brown eyes and asked, "How did I behave, mom?" I told him he did very well, but I also asked him to think about what he did. And most importantly explained to him how easily I can ask for his wallet and keep it if he is having unwanted behaviors.

Gosh, I hope he understood. But I realized, too--it was only one time, the first time that I have taken his wallet away from him in such a long, long time. I'm just so glad that we have this incident to fall back on as a lesson. One that was learned, or to be learned, maybe.