Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Frustration Files

"See, Dad, you need to connect the fusillade grommet to the axle defibrillator."

Lately, rather than just destroying the towers of blocks that J and I have built for him (we have a Fraggle/Dozer relationship), he has been sticking his toes into the waters of building for himself.

This is exciting, particularly for J. His child has a similar interest in building things! Engineering may be hereditary!

Unfortunately, it seems as though low frustration tolerance is also hereditary. LO does not quite have the motor skills necessary to create in real life the tower of blocks that he imagines in all its completed glory in his head. So as he tries and fails yet again to add the fifth block to the tower, he starts swearing, jumping up and down in anger, and generally being a big pain in the patoot to be around.

Actually, that's more of a description of how I react to inanimate objects which are thwarting me. LO just screams.

What's really troubling about this is that his low frustration tolerance does not mean that he throws the blocks over his shoulder to move on to the next toy. Oh, no. He screams and cries and continues to try to build his tower while screaming and crying.

Does this sound familiar to anyone who knows me well or who has ever met me for more than five minutes?

So right now, I'd like to issue a public apology to LO and any caretakers, friends, playmates, teachers, parents of friends, girlfriends, traffic cops and passing strangers whom this might affect: I'm so sorry that I somehow managed to pass on both my ridiculous tenacity AND my low frustration tolerance. Because those two traits together would never be annoying to a third party whatsoever.

Further, many thanks to everyone in my life up to this point who has refrained from braining me with anything handy when I started up on my "I refuse to give up on this thing that is making me crazy and foul-mouthed!" I get it now.

But even with all that, LO, I'm really proud of you. Want to make a Lego house together? I'll give us each some noise-cancelling headphones for when the inevitable occurs.

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