patterns – breaking free from them


Posted by appa | Posted in habits, story | Posted on 25-05-2009

If we look at our adult life, we find that we’re engrossed on a daily basis on a variety of patterns – routines – like brushing teeth to excercising to eating and working and so on. Of course this might be an inevitable part of a common man’s life, but once they start becoming mechanical and lifeless, we tend to start being unmindful during these times (its as if this time of our life has been ‘written off’ and we were not alive during these times at all, no different from a wound up toy.

So its key to put life into every moment of our life, so that routines are not mechanical routines any more. It helps to introduce some randomness.

In Abhinav’s case, for the past week or so, he’s started suddenly getting into this really cranky routine of hating to remove his clothes for a path.  He keeps insisting that he wants to wear ‘adhe baTTe’ (same clothes) – nothing to do with any particular favoritism of a particular set but every day its the same drama. He just starts crying and creating a scene and tears start streaming down his face and oh man its unbeleivable – one might imagine we’re like cruel fellows whipping him with a stick or something. And past couple of days he’s gone a step further, after his bath he insists he wears the same clothes, and even if they’ve gotten soaking wet  – we end up squeezing them dry as much as possible and putting them on, so he’s in this damp t-shirt, and we went to the terrace so it dries off faster in the sun!

So today it was just the beginning of the same scene again, when we could identify that this was becomming too much of a repetition. So once the pattern was recognized, it was easy to solve.

He asked “spider kathe heLu” (tell me a spider’s story) so I started with a spider which was walking around, and it started building its web… (my wrist was the spider) And in the process it then crawled on to Abhinav’s shirt and dirtied it – and Abhinav had to remove it… (and I started removing his tshirt). He was ok but suddenly looked at his mom and got back into the pattern and started crying again. So I put it back on, but this time took him out of sight of her, in front of the washing machine. There I continued with the story – spider kakka maaDbuDtu (spider did kakka) and then Abhinav puts his clothes into the washing machne. Now he was more than willing to cooperate easily and I could remove his tshirt. And then I involved Vijetha in the story as well – then he asked his mom to put in some soap water… and I handed him over to Vijetha telling her – now you put soap into the machine. The thing is that now he’s distracted and involved in the story, he dosen’t realise he’s now ready for his bath!

So this story-telling with role-playing is one out-of-box approach we found useful for avoiding cranky situations! 🙂

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