Monday, November 25, 2013

We Are Not French


Have you seen the article swimming around Facebook about how French children don't have ADHD, because, you know, French people are better parents, yada, yada, yada.

I would link to it, but I still haven't figured out how to have two screens open on my almost year old Macbook.   Manual?  What's that?   If you are confused, google it.  You know, if you are even reading this rant.


Only- Facebook Friend, who I truly only know through Facebook, posted the article this morning along with a lot of other posts that let us know what a great mother she is now that she has a six month old and has truly mastered the art of parenting.  Good for her.  Such optimism.  STFU.  Please.

I wrote a pretty hastily put together reply that went something like this:

Until you walk in my shoes, don't judge.

 I told her I agreed many children in the US are misdiagnosed and overmedicated without looking into other underlying causes of the behavior.   As a teacher, I have filled out numerous forms from different doctors and stated my opinion in black sharpie about how I don't believe Brian, Jason, Adam, Peyton, Morgan, or Chris have anything other than a busy personality/loud voice/zest for life and have had said opinion not even matter when Brian, Jason, Adam, Peyton, Morgan, and Chris all came back the next week sleeping at their desks until the meds wore off mid-afternoon.   I get that argument.  What I don't get is how now ADHD is a fake illness that would mysteriously go away if I'd only stand up and actually be a good parent.


I invite any of these people, writing any of these "articles" to come to my house any given day and see our non-ADHD.

As I typed to my Only-Facebook friend, I let her know that since I was hoarding because at the end of the year there will be a shortage of them  giving my child a break from the morning override pill and still waiting for the takes-2-hours-to-kick-in patch to, well, kick in, that I was watching my almost teenager attempt to run up the wall, fall back on his back, and then laugh maniacally until he got up and tried it again.  When he wasn't doing that he was mumbling the MF words under his breath while also laughing maniacally slamming himself into the couch,  oh, and then there was the moment I went out in the pouring rain and got us all a dozen doughnuts, went to the bathroom, came back and there were no more doughnuts.  Oh yes.  While the others slept and I was out of the room for one minute he ate a dozen doughnuts.  He knows not to do that.   In two hours, he wouldn't have done that.  At that point, there is no impulse control.  He wanted a dozen doughnuts, he ate a dozen doughnuts.    As I was cleaning up that mess, he picked his lips until they bled and wiped the blood all over my favorite blanket.   Ruined it.  He also knows not to do that.   Now he is sequestered in his room at my request screaming about what a horrible parent I am and how he can't wait for me to die.  Ironic, no?

Please don't tell me my child has learned that this behavior is acceptable.  Not only has it never, ever been, but he was punished for this particular behavior this morning.   Go figure, I disciplined my child.  I took away his DS and put him in his room.  When he started destroying the things in his room and then kicking marks into the door, I put him outside.   In the cold and rain.  His therapist recommended this because unless he runs out onto the highway, he is probably less likely to hurt himself (or us) out there.   He stood there kicking our glass door until he realized his 12 minutes wouldn't start until he stopped because that is the way it has always been.

You know no matter how you deal with your children anymore, it's wrong to someone.

My neighbors and my mother believe we should put on the kid gloves when dealing with Jacob because HIS BRAIN there is SOMETHING WRONG!  OMG!  Baby him!  Love him!  Ignore that!   HE HAS THE ADD!  He can't HHHEEELLLPPP it.  I disagree.   I figure the police won't care if he has THE ADD when they find him destroying some property somewhere just because he feels like it and his meds haven't started working or, which is what I am sure will happen when I am not there to enforce it,  he will just not take it.

I detest giving my child medications.   I worry each day that I am ruining his liver, his kidneys, shoot, maybe even his brain, but if you want to see what will happen if I don't,  come here every morning between 6-7:30.  You may want some medication yourself after that.   If I didn't teach preschool I would probably take up drinking.  Yes.  That early.

Jacob's official diagnosis is severe ADHD.  He has some Aspergers tendencies but they won't add that to his "stuff".   He goes to school at 9 am and until I told the teachers he had "this", they didn't know.  Of course, I listed it on all seven first-day papers, but like everyone else, the probably figured, Ah, bad parenting when they read it.   One day he decided to peel his patch off and spit his pill onto the floor just to make me mad, even though, I wasn't mad because I didn't know anything about it until the emails started coming in.  Those teachers thought he was under the influence of drugs.  LOL.   That's what happens when he ISN'T on drugs.   Does this make them a bad teacher because they can't handle him?  No.  He has ADHD.  For reals.  What do you know.

Stupid articles saying that French parents are superior because they have routines, discipline more, and feed their kids better is very demeaning to American parents.     Don't lump me into the American bad parent just because my child has ADHD.   I am not a super parent, and I don't try to be.  I don't have the time or energy for that, but I do the best I can with the hand I've been dealt.   Someone, though, will read this article, hear about Jacob's ADHD, and naturally assume, well, I don't work hard enough and I am lazy with my kids because this author stated that I don't discipline, so therefore, she's a bad mother, so I and my kids will need to distance myself from them, because, that's a bad family right there.  OR, and I already get so much of this, let me tell you what you should be doing to make it all better.  If you just do THIS, then all of your problems would go away.  I will help you to be a good mother, because, OMG, you aren't doing so hot.

I have a child with ADHD.   It's more than just getting out of his chair during class or wiggling during criss-cross applesauce time.    It is real.  It is hard.   It is sad.   It is bad enough to deal with it without all of the judgemental "authors" out there trying to make us out to be the bad guys.  I didn't give this to my child.   I didn't make him this way.   There is nothing I can do, that I haven't already tried, that is going to make it go away.  Even the medicines quit working after a while and they don't completely get rid of some of the behaviors.

How hard is it just to accept others?  French, American, Swahili, whatever.  I say if the children are still  alive at the end of the day, it's a good day.  You've done your job.  Good for you.

Monday, November 18, 2013


So NaBloPoMo isn't happening for me.   I had good intentions.  Life just got in the way I guess.  Anybody else feel like life is harder after the kids go to school?  Silly me.  I always figured it would get easier.  I mean, they are gone most of the day.  How could it get busier?  Oh well.  I will miss this one day. 

Elizabeth got her ears pierced.  In August.   We went in April for her birthday and got to the door and she changed her mind.  I really didn't think she'd do it this time, but she sure did.   

Waiting.....waiting......waiting.......Amazing how many people need cheap jewelry at 10 am on a Tuesday morning.

This picture breaks my heart.  I immediately wanted to call abort on the entire mission, but then she'd only have one ear done and the private school handbook has explicit instructions on that being a no-no. They did both ears separately because the other Claire's worker didn't show up.  She didn't want to come back another day so I have to give her props for being brave.   This face was as bad as it got.  There were no tears.   Whew.

Finally!  I look awesome.  

I wasn't able to get my own ears pierced until I was 16.   My parents rule was 18, but then we moved to West Virginia when I was 16 and I was sullen angry teenager missing my previous life so they thought poking holes through my flesh would cheer me up.  It did.   I went back a few months later and got them pierced again and then again a few years after that.  I have three holes in each ear.  I love it, but my parents were (and probably still are) mortified.   I begged to have my ears pierced in first grade.  second grade.  third grade........My dad always said to me:  "When you are an adult, you can do what you want with your ears"  to which I would reply:  "But I really want it now, they are my ears. Whine.  No fair"  and he would say:  "When you have your own children, you can do whatever you want with their ears, but you are my child and I am not doing that to you."   So when I posted these pictures on Facebook my parents went insane.   I still see my dad pulling her hair over her ears when he sees her.  Gah.   He told me I could do what I wanted with my own children.

I have found out that his is sort of like the breastfeeding thing.  People have opinions.  They like to voice them.  Elizabeth still shows off her big girl earrings and some people will loudly wonder why I would do that to her and then others are like, you should have done that when she was a baby.  Formula, breastmilk, public school, private, pierced ears or no, it's always something isn't it?  I am just going to say that what I am doing is the absolute right way.  For us.  Others don't get a say because they don't have the c-section scar.

This was a good day and a sweet memory with my beautiful girl.   Wouldn't change a thing.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


Can I write a post everyday throughout November?

Probably not, since, well, I already missed the first day.



If nothing else, I have pictures.....

Michelangelo and Belle ready for trick-or-treat.

Seriously though.  I HATE Halloween.   I enjoy the costumes and the joy on the children's faces, but the whole begging for candy thing, I just can't get into.  For starters, no one ever says "thank you".  My kids go home if they don't say thank you.  Teach your kid to say thank you.  It won't hurt them.   Don't tell your kid to reach into my bucket and take however much they want.  If you want them to help themselves, buy your own bucket.   This must have been the way the moms of the teenagers down the street were taught because four of them, with five o'clock shadow, showed up at our door carrying the requisite pillowcase and dressed just like they did when they exited the bus a few hours prior did just that to Jacob.  I had to answer a phone call when the doorbell rang and thought I might be able to let Jacob hand the candy out just this once.   Then I heard, "Whoa, dude, come check this out" and then Jacob turned around to me with an empty bucket.  An empty bucket that just 20 seconds earlier held $30 worth of excellent, non-crappy candy.


Of course the hoodlums ran up the street hooting and hollering while the lady with the 18 month old zombie in the stroller just stood there laughing.  When she held out what I am assuming was the zombie's bucket I had to tell her I had nothing for them, our Halloween was heading up the street.  Then she stopped laughing.

Did you happen to see The Middle Wednesday night?  When Frankie and Mike had to hide in their house with the lights off to avoid the doorbell?  That was us the rest of the evening.

I hate Halloween.

It had rained all.  day.  long and I was sure it would be cancelled.  In fact, I was practically giddy thinking I had a good excuse not to have to partake in the festivities.  We could all sit around It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown eating out of our own personal very good candy bag and enjoy each other's company instead of begging for hand outs from people we see once a year.   Then two hours before the rain stopped and the sun came out and I swear I saw a dove with an olive branch signaling the new beginning.   Man, I was bummed.

So we did Halloween.

This was the only picture I got.

And I don't have any leftover Heath bars.