The backstory on this is that Middle LOVES to eat. He is desperate for every meal. He will eat as many snacks as we let him. He will not let us have leftovers if he has a choice. He will eat and eat and eat. He does not miss meals.
Also, Middle-One's therapy goals are to (1) Listen, and (2) Ask. That's it... listen... and ask. Listening includes following directions and obeying and asking is about asking for what he wants and needs rather than directing manipulating and controlling.
This week he seemed hell-bent on (1) ignoring) and (2) being the boss.
Saturday evening, after working hard all day (both in the house and with Middle's opposition) we were preparing to eat burritos and strawberry shortcake for dinner while watching a movie in the living room. (the dining room is the last holdout in operation room-move).
So we have announced that dinner is ready and I am getting the plates out and preparing to serve the meal when Middle-One races to the living room and pulls the vacuum cleaner out and begins to vacuum.
We all stopped in our tracks, shared looks of shock and bewilderment and headed toward the sound. Finding Middle vacuuming I asked (with obvious wisdom and therapeutic insight)
"WHAT are you doing?"
"Vacuuming... it is my chore"
"We are about to eat"
"I know, that's why I am vacuuming. I wanted to make it nice in here"
"You should have vacuumed earlier Middle, it's not time now"
"Well I'm just going to do it quick"
"No, middle, put the vacuum away"
He gets irritated and grumbles about me not letting him do anything and not wanting him to do his chores.
I realized I didn't behave in a therapeutic way so I go back and say...
"Since it is so important to you we will pause the movie after we eat and let you vacuum."
More grumbling about how I should just let him vacuum and how now I'm going to make people wait.
So we all returned to the dining room to fix our plates and I looked up to ask Middle if he wanted one or two burritos. He wasn't there. I asked...
"Where is Middle"
"Oh... he's gone to get a shower"