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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Important: Please Remember

Buddy has a horrible short-term memory. He has issues with his long-term memory, but that is another story for a different day.

He still forgot 2 things...
Buddy is the kid who forgets his lunch-bag at school for days on end with leftovers inside. He is the kid who wears his indoor shoes home because he forgot to change into is boots at the end of the day. He is the kid who gets home late because he forgot to wear his watch and also to ask someone else for the time. A very common answer to questions in our house is: "You know... mumble, mumble, mumble... I forget."

There are many layers to this one. When it suits him, Buddy can remember the tiniest detail, so we know he is capable. When he isn't engaged Buddy doesn't retain instructions. He has a hard time remembering things if he doesn't see the importance in them. When there is something he is interested in going on Buddy forgets the task at hand. He has a hard time following a list of tasks and will generally forget a step or two. He has also been known on occasion to conveniently forget things when it is to his advantage.

Buddy has also never had to remember things before. He didn't have many personal possessions before we adopted him, and those he had were often traded away or stolen. His days were scheduled for him and all he had to do was follow his group from place to place inside his orphanage. He didn't venture out of the orphanage all that often and if he did there weren't shoes and bags and toys to pack up and remember to bring home. Remembering and personal responsibility are very new concepts to him.

I am a list person, and so is Hubby. We keep shopping lists, chore lists, to-do lists. Hubby has even been known to create documents and spread-sheets of work and home tasks. We enjoy being organized, and ticking our completed projects off our lists. This is not true for Buddy. He finds list making tedious and boring. He hates little more than doing the same thing every day. He loves surprises and appreciates when we shake up our routine and do something different.

Neither personality type is good or bad, right or wrong. I need to remember that although remembering things isn't Buddy's strong suit, he has lots of other admirable qualities that I lack. We will keep working to find ways to help Buddy to remember, but even if Buddy never gets the hang of remembering his lunch-bag, it doesn't mean that he is doomed to fail in the adult world.

I am choosing to celebrate what Buddy can do instead of focus on what he can't.

10 comments:

  1. Keep up celebrating what you can when you can! The lack of memory sometimes stresses me to the max! Luckily, I can finally read the difference between, 1. I am too stressed and have no idea what's going on and therefore am incapable of retrieving any information, and 2. I want to say I can't remember because I don't want to think too hard. Remembering [because I never had to before] is hard.

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    1. Such a good point, Alex. You always give such amazing perspective on things! I just gave Buddy a new remembering-trick to try this morning, so we'll see how that goes.

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  2. I love the last line. :) Choosing to celebrate who our kids are instead of bemoaning who they are not makes life so much easier.

    And, not to be totally UNgreen, but have you considered switching to paper lunch bags and throw away baggies? Or maybe doing hot lunches from the cafeteria? I know if Hannah was leaving her lunch box at school all the time and it was making me crazy, I'd be inclined to skip the lunchbox.

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    1. Thanks! Buddy's school doesn't have a cafeteria, but disposable lunch bags might not be a bad idea ;)!

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  3. Honoring the differences is such a worthy goal -- and sometimes I find it so hard to do. I really like how you've attuned so well to Buddy.

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    1. Thanks, Lori. It is hard sometimes, but I'm making a conscious effort.

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  4. What a fantastic attitude toward your child. He's very to have someone every aspect of him instead of focusing on fixing his flaws. I'm a teacher and I've had plenty of students like Buddy who have trouble remembering certain things. In terms of school work or school, I found that simplicity is key. A brightly colored post it or index card taped to his desk with a list of no more than 3 things he shouldn't forget may help. When he starts improving his memory from that, increase the list by one, and then one after that. It seems trivial and kinda silly at first, but it's worth a try. I hope this helps

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    1. That's a great suggestion, Maria. Thanks for your input!

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  5. My youngest daughter haa the same problem Buddy does when it comes to her memory and it can be quite upsetting to me. I am going to take what you said about celebrating the things she can do instead of focusing on what she can't! Thank you for that as I often forget to do just that with her.
    Thank you for sharing this post on the SHINE Blog Hop!

    Wishing you a fabulous weekend!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus
    Co-host #SHINEbloghop 2/5

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    1. Thanks for co-hosting this week, and for stopping by and reading!

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