Day 811: At Wit’s End

When last I left you, I was enjoying a somewhat uneventful period of time with the natives: there were few skirmishes betwixt the two heathens, they were giving me ample time to complete my necessary tasks and all was reasonably well.  Since that day, in fact, in the hours that followed that post, the tide turned.  It not only turned, but it provided a fucking tidal wave of disagreeable, demonic and destructive behavior.

A fucking tidal wave, you say?  Yes. A fucking tidal wave.  You know the kind – the ones you never see coming – and then WHAM.  It hits you like a brick wall.  Perhaps the reason for the dramatic turn in the native’s behavior was the several days of fair behavior that preceded it.  Perhaps their “good” behavior was merely a ruse for the planned change in their attitudes and behavior.  Perhaps, this is all part of an elaborate plot to undermine mine and the tribal leader’s authority.  Whatever the case may be, the demons have reared their ugly heads once again – methinks until they can be tamed.

As I’ve stated earlier, cleanup of the native’s toys and playthings has become a challenge – sometimes an epic battle – to even get the natives to participate in the clean up activity.  In fact, one week to the day, the day that I noted their fine behavior, save for a few instances of insubordination, there was massive fallout in the tribal abode, of epic proportions.  Here is how it went down.

As per usual, the natives were requested, repeatedly, to pick up their toys and playthings – we’ve found that the best way to get into the minds of the natives is through repetition – at least most of the time.  However, our requests to pick up said toys and playthings was met with both flat-out refusal and civil disobedience.  Tuesday, when requested to pick up anything, responded with a distinctive, “NO!” while running away to her resting chambers, apparently thinking that by escaping the wardens that she would be free from being held to task.  Silly Tuesday!  Wednesday, on the other hand, nonchalantly ignored our requests and pretended as though they were uttered to the wind.  By this point, the tribal leader and myself were growing impatient with and infuriated by the natives and their refusals.  That’s when the fallout began.

The tribal leader had had enough.  She began grabbing bags and filling said bags with those toys and playthings that were scattered about the tribal living area and their resting quarters and informed the natives that the items in said bags would be removed from their possession and given to some other native who would take much better care of them.   This was followed by wailing and lament and carrying on.  However, it was not followed by the appropriate action – that of picking up the remainder of the toys that had not been taken.   Damn.

It was only after repeated attempts to get the natives to START picking up that they actually did so.  And even then, it was half-hearted.  What little they did was enough to spare them the removal and distribution of their toys to other natives, however, they were now charged with the task of getting them back: each one had to be EARNED back, ONE AT A TIME.

So far, only one toy has been earned back from the toy bags that were collected.  And more has been taken away.

Forgive the rant that will now ensue, for it must be said:  What the fuck?  What the hell does it take to get through to these two natives?  I mean, really – we’ve taken things away – and not just toys they don’t care about a lot – favorites – and what do we get?  Nothing.  Fucking crickets.  How much do I need to take out of their possession before it sinks in?  When will it sink in?  Honestly, why must we go through this EVERY FUCKING DAY?  I realize they are young but for the LOVE OF GOD, some of this has to be sinking in… they can remember all the words to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star but can’t remember to pick up their frigging toys?  Tuesday can be obsessive about personal hygiene but cannot for the life of her be slightest bit obsessive about any of her toys?  I am at my wit’s end.  I use to enjoy this, sadly, I am not any more.  I need the slightest spark of obedience from them – just a little bit – to know that I am getting through.

There.  So, where was I?  Oh yes, the toys.  So, they’ve still not earned back many of their toys.  In fact, more have been taken away than what they’ve earned back.  And where do we put the toys that have been confiscated?  Well, I’d like to refer to it as the Penitentiary for Misfit Toys. Not that the toys are misfits, or the natives for that matter, but the way the toys are treated resembles the way the toys are treated from Rudolph.

And shall we discuss the verbal altercations with the natives? Yes, let’s.  Of late, Tuesday, and Wednesday on occasion, like to, shall we say, verbally spar with me and the tribal leader, particularly when asked to perform a specific function, such as pick up.  Now, verbally sparring, or in this case, talking back, with a three-year-old, specifically at the moments she chooses to exercise her free will, goes over like a fart in church.  Actually, I think a fart in church would go over better than this.  Their responses are usually followed by a “WHAT?!?!?” as if we didn’t hear the offensive chatter they just uttered.  Tuesday’s facial expressions change dramatically after saying whatever it is she chooses to respond with by demonstrating that she knows that talking back is going to get her into a shit load of trouble.  And it does.

There are multiple approaches to causing this behavior to stop – my great-grandmother would have chosen the washing-the-mouth-out-with-soap route, however, that tends to be a more stringent method nowadays.  Usually, the offense is usually followed by the punishment of the electronic media box being turned off, the probable source of the bad behavior.  This doesn’t stop the bad behavior, but it does cut back on the root of the problem.

As for today, well, today has been a fanfuckingtabulous day so far.  Tuesday has been sent to her room several times, she has talked back several times and has sparred with her younger sibling on several occasions today.  So far.  For the moment, the natives are playing together, with minimal disputes, however, I have an ear dedicated to their activities so that any altercations don’t escalate.

So, I’m at my wit’s end.  I don’t really know what, when or if I’ll get through to the natives.  I’m sure at some point, they’ll have no other option than to listen to me.  At some point.

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