He’s Trying

From Dictionary.com:

trying [trahy-ing]

adjective
1. extremely annoying, difficult, or the like; straining one’s patience and goodwill to the limit: a trying day; a trying experience.
irritating, irksome, bothersome, vexing.

try [trahy]

verb (used with object), tried, trying.
1. to attempt to do or accomplish: Try it before you say it’s simple.
2. to test the effect or result of (often followed by out): to try a new method; to try a recipe out.
3. to endeavor to evaluate by experiment or experience: to try a new field; to try a new book.
4. to test the quality, value, fitness, accuracy, etc., of: Will you try a spoonful of this and tell me what you think of it?
5. Law. to examine and determine judicially, as a cause; determine judicially the guilt or innocence of (a person).
6. to put to a severe test; subject to strain, as of endurance, patience, affliction, or trouble; tax: to try one’s patience.
7. to attempt to open (a door, window, etc.) in order to find out whether it is locked: Try all the doors before leaving.

Considering the week we’ve had, I find the first listed definition of “trying” interesting and possibly prescient. Does Dictionary.com know my life?

First definition of trying, adjective. Extremely annoying, difficult, or the like; straining one’s patience and goodwill to the limit:

I woke to a loud slam: our refrigerator door. Checking the baby monitor (which keeps me from having to roll out of bed at 6 am if the boy’s just getting a snack), I could tell he was “sneaking” whatever it was. I trotted downstairs. He heard me coming and hightailed it to his room.

“What do you have?”

He produced an egg.

“Why do you have this?” Still bleary-eyed, I thought perhaps he assumed it was hard-boiled. “Do you realize this isn’t cooked?”

“Yes…I wanted to throw it at a tree.”

UGH. He’d behaved well all weekend, so we allowed him general free rein of the picnic junk food. I was surprised at his lack of reaction, thinking maybe his intolerance of sugar had waned…nope. Heeeeere it is.

I replaced the egg and noticed another was missing (I’d just bought the carton).

First definition of try, verb. To attempt to do or accomplish:

I walked into his room and found that he’d had an “accident” and tried to clean it up himself. Yes, junk food is still a bad idea.

Second definition of try, verb. To test the effect or result of:

The good news? He used the appropriate smell-killing enzyme liquid to such excellent effect that his bedding had no smell at all, in spite of the obvious…incident. Efficacy of Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer even on non-urine accident = confirmed.

(Chewy.com is not paying me to advertise.)

Nature's Miracle Urine Destroyer, 1-gal bottle

The bad news? He dumped the entire bottle on it. Ah, well…at least he tried.

Third definition of try, verb. To endeavor to evaluate by experiment or experience:

I gathered his bedding and found the other egg swaddled in his blankets. Hatching a chick? Nope. He just wanted to throw it to see what would happen. My little mad scientist (ok, let’s be real; when he does “science,” I bring the “mad”).

Fourth definition of try, verb. To test the quality, value, fitness, accuracy, etc., of:

I feel the quality of my ability to mother in appropriate ways is often tried and found wanting…Egg Incident #1 (because I’m sure it won’t be the last) is a perfect example. Instead of praising him for attempting to clean up the mess himself (which, in hindsight, was a monumental accomplishment), I freaked out over the ENTIRE BOTTLE dumped on his (thankfully waterproofed) bed and over the egg—a potential mess—swaddled with care in the clean end of his bed.

Fifth definition of try, verb. To determine judicially the guilt or innocence:

Rather than give him props for attempting a clean-up after his incident (which is probably what triggered the need for crazy), I judge-and-juried him for the potential egg mess and for not coming to get me for help with the cleanup. Then, I found that he’d tossed his soiled shorts in with my CLEAN LOAD OF LAUNDRY and started the washer again, which meant I had to run the entire load on “sanitize” and couldn’t dry the load for another two hours. I know it’s my own fault for packing a schedule too tightly, but I had a limited amount of time in which to complete several tasks that day. The last straw (last shorts?) sent me over the edge of my sanity.

Sixth definition of try, verb. To put to a severe test; subject to strain, as of endurance, patience, affliction, or trouble; tax: to try one’s patience:

In my defense, we haven’t had respite for more than a couple hours in almost a year and I’m completely drained. If the boy isn’t getting into something he finds interesting (which means items broken, a mess to clean up or some other form of work for me), the girl is intentionally tanking her grades or sabotaging the boy.

My endurance is shot, my patience is tried and worn.

I’m exhausted.

So is Hubby.

But, being sapped and weary is no excuse for bad behavior. How can I expect him to do the right thing when he’s spent, if I don’t provide the example?

A few hours after the egg-in-the-bed trick, I apologized.

“You know better than to be wasting food and creating a mess, but I am sorry for overreacting. You did a great job trying to clean up after yourself. You even started the washer correctly. I wish you’d put the clean clothes in the dryer so we’d have room for your bedding, but I know your intent was good. I appreciate the hard work you did to clean up after yourself. I am very sorry for losing my mind and yelling.”

 

Seventh definition of try, verb. To attempt to open (a door, window, etc.) in order to find out whether it is locked:

We do what we can. Some days we fall down. But if we keep trying the locked doors, sometimes we find that they’re open.

He hugged me. 

“It’s okay, Mama. You’ve had a rough month.”

Ah, yes. Rough.

Sometimes, all I can do is laugh. At least he’s aware. That’s progress. And even though his behavior is trying (first definition of verb, adjective), I do believe he is trying (first definition of try, verb) to improve.

And yeah, it’s a waste of food, but maybe not a waste of connection: I think I’m going to schedule an egg-throwing contest.

Outside.

About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'll give it to you straight. Success, failure, truth.

Posted on May 31, 2017, in Adoption, autism, parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. You’ve had a trying time all right!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, bless him! And bless you for being so amazing. I find I have to apologise to my kid every now and then, hwne he’s being a full on teen and caught me on a really bad. I don’t think it’s a bad thing – at least it shows them how to make a good apology!
    Your boy’s definitely going to be a research chemist or an experimental scientist of some kind. Is that a comfort? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, he says he wants to find the cure for cancer, and I take heart in reading all the childhood stories of really great inventors. Almost all of them drove parents and teachers to distraction and/or were kicked out of school, which we haven’t experienced so far…fingers crossed, ha ha…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! Ah, bless his heart for his ambition. Wonderful. And you’re right, many people who grew up to achieve greatness were not easy children. So inquisitive and experimental, that ned to take the world apart and find out how it ticks. We need people like him. 🙂

        Like

    • Oh, my, teen years. GOOD LUCK!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Turned 13 yesterday! Still a sweetheart, though. Came downstairs after he’d gone to bed to hug me and his dad for giving him such a lovely birthday! Got to love that 🙂

        Like

  3. Reblogged this on Survivors Blog Here and commented:
    Welcome back Casey, it’s no fun when you’re not writing. M

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When he hugged you and said “it’s ok Mama, you’ve had a rough month” my heart just melted! Now that is priceless 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, yeah, it took all my impulse control to NOT say, “right, and whyyyyy did I have a rough month?” But he WAS being super sweet, and I didn’t want to ruin the moment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can imagine how you’d lose your mind and I would too. But you did really great with your apologies and connecting with him. Kudos, Mama! And at least you are laughing too. So much to learn…thank you for sharing your story.
    (I agree the egg is such a waste! I’m seeing cakes that need to be baked. :p)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, maybe that would be better…give him a choice to throw or bake! (Haha, knowing him, he’d probably try to negotiate baking half a cake and throwing half the eggs.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can imagine how you’d lose your mind and I would too. But you did really great with your apologies and connecting with him. Kudos, Mama! And at least you are laughing too. So much to learn…thank you for sharing your story.
    (I agree the egg is such a waste! I’m seeing cakes that need to be naked. :p)

    Liked by 1 person

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