“Bailey” “Bailey” I utter his name at several more times. No response. The night before I had implored him to please answer me when I call his name. It isn’t as though he doesn’t hear me. He just chooses not to respond. By now, I am past the point of irritation. Finally, he screams, “I hear you.” He is annoyed. I am frustrated. This is our dance.
When he comes upstairs, I am very short with him. “I called you so many times that I lost count.” The smart ass that he is shares, “It was nine times. You screamed my names nine times.” That makes me even more insane. When I lose my shit, there is no disguising it. I know, he has Down syndrome. But, I also know he understands exactly what he is doing.
I remember when he was a toddler and we were working on what forms of discipline would work best for him. Brian was blinded by his disability feeling that because he had Down syndrome, he should have no consequences for his actions. Everyone needs to be responsible for their actions. We wouldn’t be doing him any favors by allowing him a free pass.
So, while losing my shit over him not answering me, I raised my voice. Some might interpret that as screaming. I might have cussed like a sailor – nothing out of the ordinary – and hoped that he would choose to simply answer me instead of being a hostage to my motivational speech aka bitching. His only response was, “Okay, I hear you. Can I go make my breakfast now?” Sigh…..
When dinner was ready that night, I called him to dinner. And a miracle occurred. He responded immediately. In fact, over the course of the last few days, his willingness to respond has improved and I no longer get irritated by the sound of my voice saying the same thing over and over again. Sometimes he just needs a little empowerment speech to receive the message and I am only happy to oblige.