Help: My Child Has ADHD!
What happens when a super-organized, neat freak gives birth to a child with severe ADHD?
Well, can you say, World War III”“?
Our first baby girl arrived with a bang. The nurses in the hospital pronounced her “a very smart baby”…I could never figure out how they made that determination based on a newborn, but they were right. She hit every developmental milestone very early. She skipped crawling altogether, paused briefly at walking and then proceeded to run everywhere. She was soon speaking in complete sentences and no-one ever wondered what was on her mind again!
Being an extremely loving and affectionate child did not translate into an obedient child. I (mistakenly) believed she would eventually realize that her parents were in charge and she would stop trying to overthrow the administration. No wonder she loved Pinkey and the Brain! Undeterred by repeated failure, she was sure that THIS would be the day that she would finally take over the world (house).
For my part, I had to accept that the dishes in the play kitchen would not be stacked on the shelves, preferably ordered by size. The doll clothes did not require their own set of drawers so they could be sorted by size and type. The Barbie shoes would NEVER be kept in the adorable pink organizer. And, no, I could not even ensure that the Barbie clothes would not get mixed in with the doll clothes!
As a toddler my daughter wanted to verify day after day that the rules and consequences were the same, but by the time she was five she was becoming more agitated by us “controlling” her (as she put it). She told me that the only reason she had to obey us was because we were bigger, and the only reason she had to live with us was because we had the money. When she started Kindergarten she wanted me to drop her off at the corner so no-one could see that she had parents. I was fully expecting this…but not for another eight years!
I spent my daughter’s school career in the principal’s office. This straight-A student, goody-two- shoes (what does that even mean?) was now being called in on a regular basis to discuss my daughter’s behavior! Horrifying!
So you can see now why I had to give up my quest for “best mom ever”. I tried settling for “good mom”. . . but, no . . . it’s just “mom”.
Now that the child is 19, I can find some humor in her childhood…and gratitude for all she taught me. Not that she’s your average, everyday 19-year old! There will never be anything average about that girl, but I don’t have to spend every minute of every day enforcing every rule. Exhausting!
And really, now I know she rescued me! I know a few of those best-moms-ever, and I don’t see much joy in their eyes. They seem trapped in a world of performance. It turns out I’m glad to be just regular old mom.
My grandma had eleven children. When asked about her parenting success, she answered that she loved them and she prayed for them. I took that advice to heart, and I will say this…my kids don’t doubt that I love them. That makes me smile.