Thursday, December 11, 2008

Give Me Attention, or Give me DEATH!

Sorry, I know that I've had the word "death" in the last two post titles, I'm not usually a morbid person, but somehow "death" seems to be creeping into my posts.  Let's see if I can explain why... I think we can all sympathize with the fact that kids just love attention.  It never ceases to amaze me what lengths they will go to in order to steal a few moments of attention from an adult, even negative attention.   Well, these kids are no exception.  They ALL love attention, and for the most part they get it.  I'm pretty sure kids would survive knowing that the world doesn't revolve around them, and a little bit of ignoring them goes a LONG way to teaching them that.  It doesn't hurt them when you ignore them, I promise!    

While you, me, and the pediatrician all know that one can NOT die from being ignored, some kids are convinced that they can and WILL die if they are not paid constant attention to.  I have a few of those in my life.  I'd have to say the biggest one is Brian, though.  He can't stand not being the center of everyone's attention.   He goes to great lengths to get ANY form of attention, good or bad, it's all the same to him.  (Case in point: the last post, when he added his own comentary to the blog while my back was turned!)  He not picky, just as long as he has an audience.  He is forever making some sort of noise, telling some corny joke, throwing himself on the floor or against a wall, quoting some movie, or some other generally distracting thing- all in the name of getting our attention.  I know some of you softies out there are thinking, "Awwww!  Poor baby!  He must not get much attention being the 7th kid and all!  He must be STARVING for attention!"  Honestly, people!   Get ahold of yourselves!  He's not neglected, for Pete's sake!  He gets more than his fair share of attention, but it's never enough.  If I didn't know better I'd say that he's addicted to attention. 

The other day I was helping Celine with her school work, and was in the middle of teaching her a new concept, when I feel a tapping on my arm.  I briefly looked over at him,  but just kept working with Celine.  I guess that wasn't the reaction he was looking for, because he began tapping me again, this time he didn't stop tapping.  Have you ever had someone tap you non-stop?  Here I was talking, teaching Celine, when; "taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap"?  It's maddening, but I was determined to not give him the satisfaction of thinking his annoying little tactic worked!  So I ignored him, and continued helping Celine.  Even after I had finished I still didn't acknowledge him.  This apparently was more than he could take.  In a fit of exasperation he exclaimed, 
"Shannon!  Why are you not answering me?!"

 Calmly I answered him, "Well, Brian, I was teaching Celine, and you were interrupting me." 

"But I need your help!"

"And you were interrupting what we were doing.  People who interrupt are ignored."

Well his response was instantaneous.  He didn't miss a heartbeat before he dramatically declared:  "I'd rather DIE than be ignored!"  

"I know, Brian.  Believe me, this much I know."

These types of statements never phase us when it's Brian who is making them.  He's known as the Drama KING around here.  He can never have enough attention, ever.  I think that he thinks that he is still the baby of the family.  Either that or in his mind, found in that gargantuan cranium of his, that he is an only child.  I think he's in for a giant shock when he finally figures out that is SOOOO not true.  I will say that it makes for some pretty hilarious conversations, though.  Hilarious. 

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