Crying “Wolf”

Header image – “The Boy Who Cried Wolf“, by Francis Barlow

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Robbindsale.

I’ve just come from a semi-annual Care Conference with two of the people in charge of my mom’s care at her assisted living residence. This is sort of like parent-teacher conferences, except in reverse – YOU are learning about your PARENT. You find out which medications are working and which aren’t, what other services might be needed, and any concerns on our part or theirs are addressed. You are given a written update, and may have to sign permission slips which will be appropriately filed. “Are we all on the same page?” is one underlying question, and “Do either of us know anything the other doesn’t know that would be helpful?”

The concern I voiced was “What would it take for my mom to get an assisted walk every day?” We resolved that to the best of our ability. Then they had one for me – a new behavior my mom has done just once so far:  testing the system. She apparently called out to one of the cleaning people for help, telling them she had fallen and needed a nurse or caregiver. When the caregiver showed up several minutes later, they learned that she had indeed not fallen, but just wanted to see how long it would be before someone would come to help her.

Oh, boy. We’re going to “watch and wait”, see if this happens again. What is behind it – some sort of desire for attention? If it does happen again, she and I will have a little talk about:  if you create false emergencies, then when you really DO have an emergency maybe no one would believe you… She is still lucid enough to understand that she shouldn’t be doing this.

All in all, I am pleased with where she is – she loves the physical space, the resident dog and cats, and she now has pretty good relationships with the staff. There is just this one little glitch.

Have you ever “cried wolf”, or known someone else who did?

49 thoughts on “Crying “Wolf””

  1. I’ve been accused of speaking up when I shouldn’t. That is somewhat like “crying wolf”. I do sometimes have something to say that I think is important and speak up about it when I should keep it to myself. When you have something to say that others may not want to hear you need to wait for the best time to say it or hold back from saying it entirely. Barbara, perhaps your mother had a reason to believe that she needed to test the speed of response. She might have know that doing that testing would not be well received. However, maybe she could not resist doing it just like I can’t resist speaking up when I shouldn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard, I agree, to wait for the right time to say some things – if you say something all the time, people may stop listening (or not start).

      In my mom’s case, I think she’s losing track of time perception, and she realizes it on some level.. I’m hoping it was a one-time test.


  2. Rise and Holler for Help, Baboons!

    Like Jim, I am in the speaking up camp, which really irritates others. Recently at an Arizona athletic gym, I finally spoke up about the dialogue of another person using the equipment next to me. He was a guy of about 80 years, parked on a bicycle directly in the sight-line of Fox-so-called-News, (or Fairly Unbalanced). After about three weeks of trying to avoid being in the vicinity of this guy, I discovered he was pretty unavoidable due to his outspoken opinions stated at top volume. He also seemed to be at the gym ALL MORNING.

    “Obama, the Muslim,”
    “That Bitch Hillary”
    “Those Ragheads”

    After a day of revolting hate speech even worse than that listed above, I talked with the gym owner. He seemed to feel helpless about it. He could not manage to grab the remote control and change the channel of the TV or the guy with the mouth. So I let him know I would change gyms if he didn’t do something. I could see in his eyes that he really wanted me to get outa his office.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. you didnft just tell the nazi to shut up or go back to the the riech? it always makes them arch their back a little then when they speak out again you can call them on it let them know its for real and you werent crying wolf and they will look resentful as they do not make the comments the manager wants to not eb the bad guy so if you volunteer to make it known you are the one who wont put up with it the manager can save face. you just let the doorknob know while you are there you will make his life more miserable than he makes yours,.ask for a refund on the daily equivalent of the membership tarnished and make the managers boss know he didnt step in. theres all sorts of ways to get your heart beating strong in the morning


    2. Why wouldn’t the manager simply tell him to cut the racist talk or find another gym?? For years, my local municipal liquor store had Rush blaring on the radio. I finally told the owner, “Either you cease airing Limbaugh or I won’t be doing business with you anymore”. It worked!


  3. When I’m online I seem to constantly get messages like “Safari cannot verify the certificate of this website” or “This link is not authorized by Yahoo” or “This message may not have been sent by so-and-so – report phishing” and so forth.
    The cumulative effect of all these messages is that I no longer pay much attention to them, as they typically pop up on some obviously innocuous site like the public library, and seem to be utterly meaningless. If there is ever a real wolf there, I’ll get bitten, I’m sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Barb, I seriously think your mom is a bit scared. As a super independent person myself, I know I am not going to take diminished independence well.

    When I was 18, I had general anesthesia to get 4 impacted wisdom teeth out. I was not allowed to go to the bathroom alone afterwards. I get twitchy when my car is plowed in, even if I don’t really want or need to go someplace.

    I’m going to be extremely inconvenient when I get old.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Have I ever complained or asked for help when I shouldn’t have? Almost surely the answer is no. And I suppose that is good. Have I ever complained or asked for help when I should have? The only honest answer is “almost never.” And that is obviously not good. When the waitress puts burned toast in front of me, I eat it. And leave a tip. I’m hopelessly Midwestern.

    The best I can say about this is that I’m working on it.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I am a speaker upper most times, but mainly with people I know. In the gymn episode Jacque mentioned, I would have just stopped going to the gymn, as I am timid about causing a fuss. (Not that Jacque caused a fuss. She had a perfect right to speak up). I will always ask for help when it comes to computers. My family tells me I don’the ask for help often enough, especially if I am sick. I hate having other people take care of me. I will be a difficult nursing home patient if it comes to that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. you and i handle things a bit differently, i would not ask for help but i would not tolerate the nincompoop screwing up the karma for all in the gym. thiose interactions do get my blood flowing but i cant help myself. my kids often wish they had a different place to be when i am in an animated discussion. my older daughter gets it. and my familyty gets it too when it comes to needoing something. the internet bill showed up for the new house at 279 dollars a month. i called to discover there was not a misunderstanding it was intentional. it took and hour and the biosses bosses boss toget it righted but internet is now 53 dollars as it should be. it is a good lesson and while it isnt fun to do battle with the twits who dont care about the world and what crap they leave behind them it is worth mopping up as we go. its a little tiring when you are 2 hours into your day and the issues you have dealt with are things that should have been done before the day got started. i feel sorry for the twits i come in contact with on those days. they look like im going away when i start and then roll their eyes when they realize im not. the gut callering hillary a bitch can deal with it however he wants but he will be aware its an issue.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I was especially relieved this week to give my typed Lesson and Carols church bulletin to our church secretary to fit onto the bulletin paper. I haven’t seen it yet but I am told it looks really nice.

    If I know how to do something I prefer to do it myself. If I don’t know how to do something I will shamelessly ask for as much help as I can get.


  8. I’m like Steve in this. Have I ever cried “wolf”? Rarely, if ever. Instead I don’t ask for help when I should. If I was the only person in charge of cooking a complicated meal for 50 people, then heck I would do my darndest to cook it all by myself – until it all went up in flames. Then I might – or might not – ask for help in putting out the fire. I’m glad to say that I am getting better at this as I get older, so I may never cry “wolf” but I am much more likely to ask for help than I used to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I hope most other baboons do not get to learn what I have learned about losing the ability to function for myself. I never asked for help, then RA and other afflictions reduced me to someone who needed 20 minutes to pull on a pair of socks. Suddenly I needed help to do all sorts of things I used to do without thinking: getting dressed, picking something off the floor, opening a jar of pasta sauce, carrying things and shopping for groceries.

    When RA ambushed me I could suddenly not afford to be too proud to be helped. But gee, it sure didn’t feel natural. Drugs now limit RA enough that I can function fairly well.

    My favorite memory from the early days of RA is all the help Linda gave me. It was winter, so she couldn’t do her regular job. Early in that period Linda was driving me somewhere. I asked what I could pay her for her help. After pondering that for a moment, she said, “Well, I used to take care of an old tomcat. . . .” She would have said more, but by that time I was laughing too hard to hear her. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  10. i am having trouble with the reverse of crying wolf. i have never acknowledged any problems physical, mental or financial and have always worked it out for myself. i went in thursday and fridays last week and had a couple surgeries one on my head alone on my hand neither a very big deal but the head one hurt and the hand one needed to be looked after a bit. with the move in and box shuffling in full swing i have had to ask for a day or two if the help of people to lift boxes or pull stuff around because the pressure involved wa sagainst the rules for the docs instructions. i often blow ff the instructions for weenies but i am learning to listen so i dont screw it up and the family doiesnt know what to make of it. dad looking after himself??? whats going on here?
    kind of like crying wolf because a mere mortal may need to be careful but not me, not yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, I would like to cry wolf and pretend that I absolutely need to spend the next week at home for my health, as I am getting really distractable and I don’t want to be at work and I want to be at home and get ready for Christmas. Don’t tell anyone if they ask why I am not at work! 😉


  12. I’m getting a cortisone shot in my left thumb next week. (I have ‘trigger thumb’).
    So I’m asking everyone; do those cortisone shots hurt as much as everyone says they do?


  13. well this stuff of not having a new blog topic to launch my day is not a plus. i hope to get the topics flowing more regularly except i dont enjoy answering my own blog. it must be a catholic thing. like you shouldnt enjoy your own stuff. i think jewish mothers chinese mothers and catholic mothers all use guilt and manipulation as the primary means of dealing with the world. my mother used to crack me up as the phone rang and she would go form yelling at us in her wicked witch voice to her barbie doll hellllooooo on the phone. it was a riot. i can hardly hold back when my wife and daughters do the same thing. i know i am treading on thin ice here but i think its a woman thing as opposed to a universal tendency in men it is an insurance agent inclination.
    what do you think? do you talk purty on the phone in a phioney voice or know those who do? cmon be honest

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve heard my lovely– I mean I’ve heard other people in the house do that.

      And your comment about not enjoying your own stuff. I don’t let people applaud from the light booth for the same reason; it sounds like you’re applauding yourself.


  14. Morning all. I can’t think of a time that I’ve ever cried wolf, but who knows what I’ve repressed over the years!

    Nonny and I are off to deliver cookie trays and then to do battle with Verizon. We’ve been crossing things off our to-do list like crazy!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I’m afraid I have to agree with you on this one, tim. I can remember going from snarling at Husband or Son and then cooing to the person on the other end. I imagine some guys might do this, but I haven’t heard any.

    I so enjoy being able to see, with Caller ID, who is calling, so I know whether I need to change the tone… 🙂


    1. opening to anie hall along with the great dialog about the two gus who to the deli and order a sandwich. but the prices are so high and the portions are so small…. thats the way i feel about life. it may be my favorite movie opening ever. alvie singer guit trying because the world is going to end when the sun becomes a supernova so what does it matter. but it will be 5 billion years the shrink says. details is alvies response. i love that movie. annie is my dream woman.


  16. I mostly only cry wolf when my daughter cries wolf to me. “Mom, I’m dying. One horse kicked the shit out of another. The water to the barns froze up. A pipe in the basement apartment burst. Worker’s comp doubled. I owe the hay guy 9K. I only slept 2 hours last night and gonna bomb my nursing final. The mud’s so deep, the horses are getting stuck. My carpal tunnel hurts so much that I have to steer with my palms”.

    I’m not exaggerating at all here!! Every few weeks when I haven’t heard from her for days, I call to say, “How are things going?”. Her multiple crises download then triggers my own anxiety, so I call her brothers to see if there’s any way they can intervene or help her. Her panic inspires mine, in other words. A couple of days later, she’s still alive; still functioning, and has things under control. Lurching from crisis to crisis happens over and over. In the meantime, mom’s a basket case.

    On a very positive note, she graduated from Nursing School last night after two years of holy hell. At 50, she’ll now be able to sell the damn horse farm (100 acres), after 18 years of getting up every morning at 3AM to pick stalls and fill water buckets. At 50, she’s starting her first career. Last night was a mother’s dream come true. She’d been chosen as the class leader and gave a speech which brought the audience to tears. Better yet, she already has a job offer in the toughest area of nursing: the burn unit at HCMC.

    Hopefully, the crying wolf days are coming to a close?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Congratulations, Cb, that’s a huge achievement for her. May this be the beginning of a less frantic and chaotic life for her, her children and for you.


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