I look at my son and wonder, how much of this will become his story? Will the words “he looks like a child who doesn’t get it” be ringing in his ears when he’s 35? How much of this 4 year old evaluation will become the story he tells himself, the person he sees himself as as an adult?
“She’s smart enough, she’ll get by.” Those were the words the psychologist told my parents when I was in fourth grade. Not “she will have problems with organization” or “friendships are and will be hard for her, help her with them” — the individual features of a person weren’t recognized. It was a full evaluation, and in full, I had the skills to get through school.
And I did. But I never understood why I had to study and work so much harder than my peers. I didn’t understand-as I do now-that I could not handle working during school, but it would take all I had to make it through. That there were reasons that, although I was as smart as the people in the top of the class, I lacked what it took to make the same grades.
And now my child. My firstborn. Could recite the alphabet at 18 months but has to be reminded to put his fork down when he picks up his cup. Wants to play with his classmates but doesn’t know how.
And I hurt for him. I hurt that he will be relegated to special ed preschool. I hurt that he is smart enough to know he is different. I hurt in my feeling that management of this won’t make it go away–he won’t grow out of it, and it can’t be taught away. I hurt for the struggle I see him facing. I hurt for myself, with the thought that if I had received early intervention I may not struggle as much.
We got Picasso’s official Evaluation Report in the mail today. Especially after the team meeting, the report contains nothing new. Still, it is a shock to the system to see other people put into writing what I have known about my 4 year old for the last few centuries.
Now, if something obviously physical was the problem — say, walking, for example — I would not be conflicted about this report. But his [new] problems are in the social/emotional/behavior area. He does not socialize well. Inattention and distractibility cause problems with him functioning in the classroom. (Yes I know, if he doesn’t have ADHD, he has something that shares many of the same symptoms, even if it is only sleep apnea.)
How to deal with this is a puzzle. I’m pretty sure they can teach children social skills, and he needs that. But how do you teach a child how to pay attention? How do you get his *!%#* attention to teach him anything?
And of course, the guilt comes into play. How can you be a modern parent without heaps of guilt? I am trying not to think that, if I had been a better parent, he would be able to socialize better with his peers. If I got down on the floor and played with him more, he would have better play skills. (Who knew that play was even a skill?) If I had just …
And my thoughts are interrupted with a Picasso, stop tormenting the cat. Picasso. PICASSO!!! [walk over there and remove the cat, wondering how to get this child to hear my voice] Why don’t we play a game to work on your play skills. No, Candyland is not all about the monkeys. 5 minutes later he’s still focused on the gumdrop forest and doesn’t even notice there are cards. How many times have we played this game?
I guess maybe ADHD is hereditary.
Just to make it clear, I do still think of myself as an early morning person, who gets up and has quiet prayer time before everyone else wakes up. I just haven’t been doing it recently.
The last week has been insane. My parents visited–that always feels like an inspection. I’m afraid I didn’t measure up to my mom’s expectations this time. There was Easter and all of the holiday do-ings that go along with that, and today I was a working mother. Yes, I work as a mother, but I got to put on a suit and carry a briefcase today. I enjoy my work, but it is stressful at times, adding to the insanity of this week. I get to do that again on Thursday as well. I am gradually getting back into being a professional. But that will make life still crazier!
So tomorrow I hope to get up at 5 and do my Bible reading and prayer, before my day gets started. And maybe a little work, too.
I did well at getting up early, but the last few days I’ve been sleeping in. Until 6AM, even. I’ve missed my early morning quiet time and Bible reading. Maybe if I make it public I’ll do better at getting up early tomorrow. I certainly need some peace after today–the hilight of my day was making Cassatt drop the toilet paper. Wet toilet paper. And not water, either … oh yeah. But that’s another story altogether, one that I’d rather forget. My plan for now is:
- Go to bed early tonight. And sleep.
- Get up before the kids. Enjoy the kind of peace I felt tonight when I let a woman with two kids go in front of me at Target, because mine weren’t with me. A good peace.
- Bible reading for tomorrow, while I enjoy some coffee.
- Get some laundry in before DH goes to work/we leave for MOPS.
- Empty the dishwasher.
Simple, doable … and I really do love my kids. They’re great, usually. Most days just aren’t as bad as today was.
So the last few days I’ve been going to bed early and getting up early. And by early, it’s almost 9pm now and past my bedtime. (Everyone is staying up late here tonight.) I seem to be doing better in the mornings as well, and through the day after that quiet time.
My plan for tomorrow morning:
- Make coffee tonight to brew starting at 5am.
- Throw in a load of laundry (again, have it all ready to go tonight)
- Do my Bible reading (I’m still plodding through Romans)
- Eat some breakfast.
I’ve been letting this blog go for a few days–I’ve been busy with many things! I got a bunch of clothes ready for a consignment sale (I get to shop tonight! Yay!) and have been busy cleaning my house. I won a House Party for Debbie Macomber, so I am busy getting that ready! I am anxiously awaiting my package of books from them, which should come in the next week. If I neglect my blog, I will be busy reading!
This morning I have been cleaning off my desk. I’ll think it’s clean, and then all of a sudden 3 days later, it is a huge mess again. I need to work some cleaning maintenance into my schedule. That is a hard habit to start, years into my adulthood. Something to instill in my children as well!
I’m getting frustrated with Romans because it is starting to read like a law school textbook. Now, I got through law school, and can read cases, but they are a lot of work to understand. I’m not sure I have the patience to work that hard on something I want to read as opposed to something I have to read! Not to mention that my ADHD seems to be acting up, which makes focusing much harder.
How are you doing? What are you working on these days?
At least not yet. And I don’t think I’ll have time to read it tonight, too much else to do. I did well with my list yesterday, so here is a list for tonight:
- Plan my to-do list for tomorrow (don’t you like that this is first?)
- Fold laundry and sort laundry
- Brown ground beef for tomorrow’s dinner
- Prepare for tomorrow’s ADHD meeting
- Read part of Romans 2
- Prepare for devotion Thursday
- Fix my consignment tags
- and THEN read Chapter 2.
2 hours till bedtime … at least I can get a chunk done of my list.