Rewiring Our Brains

Yesterday was a long day of driving. Lion remarked several times while driving that he was tired. He also said it several more times after we got home. Neither of us felt like doing anything more than taking showers and watching TV. Just before bed I brought out his cage. He grumbled a bit about no play for a poor Lion. I said I thought he was tired. He said he never told me that. Apparently I was hearing things all day.

We basically just parked the trailer, leveled it, plugged it in and walked away. Normally we bring all the food and laundry into the house, but we were just too done with it. This morning I told Lion that he doesn’t have to bring everything in by himself. He has an interview today and I’m sure he’s got other things to catch up on. I don’t want him to feel the whole burden is on him. He said he’ll do what he can. Let’s see if he listens to what I told him. If he’s exhausted and his back hurts when I get home then a tired, sore Lion doesn’t get played with tonight either.

Yes, that is a bit of a change for me. I just decided that he controls whether we play depending on how well he listens to instructions. Admittedly, when I told him he doesn’t have to do everything it wasn’t a direct order not to do everything. I didn’t want him to feel pressure. I also don’t want him to do too much to the point that he’s very tired or hurts his back. But now I have changed things up a bit. I gave the example of bringing in either the food or the laundry and I will do the rest. I’d like him to do one or the other. If he chooses to do too much, he will pay for it not only by being tired and in pain, but also by not being able to play tonight. The reward for listening is playtime. The punishment for not listening is no playtime. Definite parameters. He should appreciate the black and white of it.

I think that’s probably at least part of the problem. I don’t think in black and white terms. I’m more laid back about plans. Lion normally does the laundry on Monday. Last week he waited until Wednesday so he could make sure we had all the clean clothes we needed for the trip. Good thinking, but it confused me a bit since he’s usually a stickler for details. That may actually be part of the problem with our leak in the trailer. Why was the hose even hooked up the way it was? Because Lion thinks it’s easier to have everything done a certain way so when it’s time to perform a certain task, he can just flip a switch and off we go. I think the hose should only be hooked up when that certain task is ready to be done. We never discussed it (because I just thought of it), but he doesn’t do things the way most people would. He goes above and beyond. “It’s simple,” he’ll say. Perhaps if you have an engineer/computer mind it is. For me it’s just one more valve that needs to be kept track of and with my memory that isn’t always easy.

I have been trying to be more specific for him. It just takes longer. I have to stop partway through the sentence to translate “that cabinet over there” to “the cabinet to the left of the microwave”. Suddenly I sound like I have a stutter. It’ll take some time. I’m trying to rewire my brain. It’s ok though. Lion is trying to rewire his brain to be more submissive.

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