Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mastermind And Pin Cushions

I've mentioned that Fiddle is a bit of an anxious kid. It's just the way he's made. He's working on changing it and learning how to cope with his need for perfection and how he gets frustrated and freaks out when things don't go how he would like them to go.

But these things are baby steps. Changing things about yourself takes time. Lots of time. Grown-ups have just as much trouble, ask anyone who's tried to quit smoking, stay on a diet or give up a bad habit. It's a struggle.

Last week Fiddle, Faddle and I played Mastermind. Do you remember Mastermind? You set up colored pegs in a secret order, hidden by a little screen and then your opponent guesses. There are big colored pegs and small red and white pegs that are used to give people a hint as to whether they have part of the code right or not. These pegs go into two little divided bins that are a attached to the game itself.

After we played a few rounds we decided to pack it in. I asked Fiddle if he would put the game away please. I then wandered off to do some dishes. Because the kitchen is not in sight of the living room I missed the early stages of the freakout. It was only when I heard the wordless shriek of rage and frustration and the cry of 'I can't dooooo iiiiiiiit!' did I realize that Fiddle was in trouble.

Ditching the dishes I came out to check what the problem was and found Fiddle in tears. He could not get the colored pegs to stay in their respective bins and close the lid. Something kept moving and jamming the lid and the pegs would get all mixed up.

Do you see that there are like seven pegs out of place? This is enough to make him lose it. What other ten-year-old out there is worrying about this? Most would jam the lid shut or just shove it into the box without even managing to get the lid shut.

I calmly explained that it was ok if some of the pegs got mixed up. I pointed out that sometimes I have trouble getting the lid closed to the bins and that it just takes some time and effort. I reminded him that he's always allowed to ask for help and that he can take a break and come back to something that is frustrating him, as long as he does indeed come back. (He has some issues with quitting.) All to virtually no avail. Once my man Fiddle is in freakout mode, there is no stopping it.

He retreated to the comfy chair.

After Tee came to pick up the boys I myself collapsed on the comfy chair. Turning my head I spotted my pin cushion. You know, the kind that is like a red tomato divided into sections by green strings wrapped around the orb? I see that while in the comfy chair recovering from his freakout Fiddle has taken all of the pins and organized them by color in each section.

That is Fiddle to a tee.


Liz said...

Ok, in all honestly, Mastermind looks too complicated for me. But then again, I have no attention span for games. :) Stumbled onto your blog this afternoon, very cool.

Jess in MA said...

Liz, Hahaha, Mastermind is truly tricky! Thanks for the visit!