Every house needs a Phil. I am reminded of that on a regular basis. This morning it was—“Where is the floor mat I put on the front lawn yesterday?” I didn’t do it, my younger daughter put it there from her car, and it was missing. “Ask Phil…” I told her “Phil knows where everything is.” She asked him but he was moping about not being able to watch TV so I went to his room to negotiate. I found these two notes taped to his door.
I knocked. No answer. I knocked again. Still no answer so I opened the door and went in
“Where is the floor mat?”
“I don’t know. It’s naptime.” He was laying on the floor listening to music and it was 10:30 a.m.
“It is not naptime. Where is the floor mat?” Silence. “Do you want to talk about not being able to watch TV?”
“Since your finger is getting better you will be able to watch TV again BUT you need to help wash the car (after The Price Is Right).”
Phil bites his fingernails. A few days ago infection set in. One finger was swollen and red. It needed to be lanced. We tried two times. As soon as Phil would see the sterilized needle he would yank his hand and hold it tightly to his body. Once there were even tears. We were tired of fighting him and frustrated that we couldn’t overpower his will. Nothing worked. Finally it came out. “No more TV until you let us lance your finger.” So yesterday evening he stayed in his room while the family watched a movie. This morning his finger actually looked better, the swelling and redness down.
“Now where is the floor mat?” I asked him again.
“On the curb.”
And it was.