Finding My Place At Finding Ninee

our land bannerThis land is your land, this land is my land, from California, to the New York Island… oh come on, you do it too whenever you see me lauding my praises about the latest post on Finding Ninee’s “Our Land” series.  Right?

What is this thing of which I speak?  Our Land is “a place where empathy and wonder rule”. It all started with a post that Kristi wrote about how her son perceives the world.  I enjoy reading these posts each and every week, and am so excited to be able to contribute.  Today’s post is one I wrote about being the parent of a child who neither fits in with the mainstream crowd nor the special needs community because of the nature of his disability.  I tell you about this with a warning-this is not a funny post, but it is one that I really needed to write sooner or later.  Being an online writer and blogger has not only connected me to many funny people, but also to parents who otherwise might not have a place to connect.

But you know what else is really cool about coming to play at Kristi’s place??????  This:

my land kittyYeah, Kristi is the cat’s meow, she drew me a kitty singing the song!  Oh yeahhhhh!

So what are you waiting for?  Please join me in what I promise will be my last less than funny post for quite some time!  Click the kitteh above to find my post!  Please check out posts by other bloggers who have also contributed.  There is a pretty wide range of topics there to choose from.  You will not be disappointed.

And the Mother of the Year Award Goes To….Not Me!

*Sob* You just don’t *sob* know how much this *snort* means to me! *Sniff* I’d like to thank the *Snort* little people for this *Sob* Mom of the Year Award…

HA HA HA.  The above picture?  Not me.  I don’t look like Gwyneth Paltrow-I’ve actually eaten food that isn’t supernatural organic and casts a shadow.  And I certainly won’t be receiving any sort of mothering awards any time soon.

I do believe I have pointed out the scary reality of being an ADD parent of an ADD child.  Or just me being a parent in general is a pretty scary thing.  I really try.  I do.  But more often than not I miss things.  Things that I probably shouldn’t miss.  The fact that I am largely the brains of the operation here really freaks me out sometimes.

There are so many instances where I miss stuff.  Take the other night.  We had my son’s open house for school.  Remarkably, we got out of the house, all four of us, and arrived not at the last minute but with time to spare.  As we exited the car, I noticed my son’s shoes were untied, and on the wrong feet.  As he sat down to swap shoes and then tie them, I noticed he was also missing socks.  And his pants were presentable but definitely had paint from Art, his special for that day.  His glasses were probably all smeared up too, but I didn’t think to check, seeing as that I was so horrified by what else I had already missed regarding his appearance.  And here we were going up to the school behind impeccably dressed children and their even more well dressed parents.

Once again, I lose the Mom of the Year award.  Not even close to runner up.  Might I also mention that my daughter had a light layer of glitter glue all over her shirt.  I was thankful that I at least remembered to brush her hair and get her a headband to put in it.  She was wearing it like Rambo, but at least she had something in her hair.

Having one that doesn’t notice the things and one that fights everything is a losing battle.  Sometimes I don’t know why I even try.

I’m trying to teach them the basics of picking out their clothes.  The Professor often will try to leave the house dressed in Christmas colors-usually a green shirt and red pants.  Why any child has that many pairs of red pants is beyond me.  He gets very aggravated with me when I ask him to please pick out a different (insert clothing item here).  He also is famous for somehow finding pants in his room that are way too big.  He will walk around the house, grabbing his pants and hiking them up to his chin every three steps until I ask him to go find something that fits.  In addition he somehow gets his sister’s pants mixed in with his and tries to wear them-he doesn’t notice that they are five inches too short.  These things, thankfully, I tend to notice.  He does, however, go to school at least twice a week wearing his pants backwards.  He has a love affair with athletic pants, so this isn’t very noticeable.

Sometimes he gets away with stuff that, well, I should notice. One time we went down to the state capital to do some shopping.  We had just come out of a store when I noticed him hiking up his jeans.  That was because they weren’t buttoned.  It was also because they were on backwards.  We asked him if he noticed something very wrong about his clothing.  He just looked at us and shrugged.

The Princess loves wild prints, especially two different ones together.  A flowered shirt and rainbow striped pants, for example.  And the color matching thing is lost on her to a point as well.  She manages to find the green flowered pants and the red shirt.  And then there’s the pink.  If she wears pink, it has to be ALL PINK.  Often three different shades of pink that really clash.  And the shoes must not match the outfit in any way whatsoever.  Someone gave us a pair of dark pink slip on shoes that look like ballet flats.  I made the mistake of putting these in with the rest of the shoes.  She only wants to wear those.  Nothing else.  Sometimes I can persuade her to put on her pepto-bismol pink sandals, which she thinks go with EVERYTHING.

The other fight we have is her hair.  She has long hair.  This is partly because it is like mine.  The shorter it is, the harder it is to manage. I’m not kidding.  When I cut my hair short, I look like some sort of mutated Little Orphan Annie, only it’s not curly, it’s just wavy and very thick.  Occasionally I make the mistake of thinking I will like it short.  Then I regret it.  I’m currently growing it out until I’m like Rapunzel.  Princess too has the hair, and she WANTS to be Rapunzel.  But unlike Rapunzel, she will not brush her hair.  She often looks like a little orphan girl, partly because she doesn’t like her hair brushed, partly because I forget until we’re out.   We do ponytails, when I can catch her.  But nothing stays in her hair either.  Nothing.  Barrettes just slide right out.  The only thing I have found that really works are the little clips they sell at Hobby Lobby.  I have made her some pretty hair things. She thinks they are so beautiful that she takes them in her room and hides them.

I’m lucky if I remember to brush my own hair, let alone hers.  Heck, if I remember to put a bra on, it’s a good day.

This hasn’t happened, yet…

The guys in the family at least are a bit lower maintenance.  Short hair, wearing baseball hats.  It’s all good.  One less thing to remember.  In our house, that’s a very good thing.

So if you see two somewhat unkempt but very cute children wandering around with two unkempt and not as cute parents, it might be our family.  Just remember that I try.  Sometimes that’s all I can do.

The ADD Leading the ADD: Is There Hope for the Future?

You know, this house is full of ADD people.  Many days I really think it’s the proverbial blind leading the blind.  I’m surprised we all get out of bed in the morning and get out of our house with clothes on, let alone function like normal people.

Case in point-lunchboxes.  It’s bad enough that the Professor is severely ADD.  What’s worse is that his Mom is right there with him.  On Friday he came home without his lunchbox.  I did not notice this.  I went all weekend and didn’t notice this.  On Monday we looked at the menu and decided that he would do his one day of hot lunch that day since it was chicken strips.  It was then that he informed me that he never brought his lunchbox home.  We talked about it, and he agreed that he would make sure to bring it home.

That afternoon he comes home and tells me that he still forgot to bring his lunchbox home, as well as his take home folder.  Ok.  Late last night I emailed his teacher and asked her to please remind him to put his lunchbox back in his backpack.  This morning I threw together his lunch in a Target sack-a peanut butter sandwich, raisins, and almonds.  Lunch of champions, I tell ya.  I open up his backpack to stick it in and find HIS LUNCHBOX.  Why did he tell me he forgot it?  And why did I believe him?

After he left I saw I had a new email. It was from his teacher, it said “I put it in his backpack yesterday, did it not come home?”  Ah.  That explained it.  He had no idea it was in there.  I’m sure she told him.  I’m sure he forgot since he didn’t put it in there himself.  I sheepishly fired an email back telling her that I did not physically check it.

This IS the child whose backpack I didn’t check for awhile because we have always had him put anything important in a folder.  After several reminders, he knows to bring us the folder.  And to put his lunchbox on the counter.  One day last year I noticed his backpack was getting pretty bulky.  I opened it and pulled out five sweatshirts.

There are a lot of things that happen that are purely my fault around here, simply for me not thinking to double check on stuff that he does.  One of the jobs we have him do around the house is take the frozen groceries down into the basement and put them in the big freezer.  That’s not complicated.  I assumed that he could do it by himself.  However, one time he left the freezer door standing wide open.  Overnight.  Thank goodness it was pretty much just bread in there.  I don’t know why I’m worried, I think that freezer has a force field around it.  This is the freezer that you bet I’ll climb in if we are ever attacked.  It survived the basement flood.  It floated in several feet of water, and somehow continued to work.

The kid gets it from both sides.  I was diagnosed with ADD in 2003.  My husband has never officially been diagnosed, but he’s a classic case.  Another absent minded professor.  You may recall a previous post where he had every lunch container we owned at work.  He brought home a bag full of them, finally!

I am really dreading The Professor’s eye appointment coming up in a couple of weeks.  He has lazy eye.  He has been wearing glasses for a couple of years to try to correct it, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.  That might have something to do with the fact that he was without glasses on and off over this time.  There for a while we were going in to get his glasses fixed almost weekly.  Medicaid doesn’t exactly give you high quality frames.  My mother finally helped us buy a pair that was considered indestructible.  He broke those too.  At one point he had one pair broken and one pair missing a lens.  After a lot of stress, we were finally able to get the one glasses lens replaced and the other pair of glasses replaced entirely thanks to a very understanding lady at the eye place.  She took one look at the good broken glasses and said, “I’m going to replace those for you.  That shouldn’t happen!”  Now he has two pairs of glasses, and the replacement pair has remained intact.  However he looks right over the top of them.  He was also given an eye patch that he was supposed to wear for an hour a day at his last appointment.  That lasted a little while.  Of course now it’s lost somewhere in the house.  It has been for awhile.  I have looked EVERYWHERE.   I kept thinking that I needed to call the eye doctor and get a new one.  And I kept forgetting.  Now it’s been a couple of months and his appointment is coming up.  I am embarrassed to take him and tell the doctor the truth:  That I do not have a brain.

Glasses and our family are not friends.  I have needed glasses since the 4th grade.  I have a slight astigmatism/nearsightedness and basically need them to read stuff far away.  According to the DMV, I don’t even need them.  This is probably a good thing, since I can’t seem to hold on to a pair.  I calculate that I have lost at least five pairs of prescription sunglasses.  I also lost my favorite glasses.  These were a pair of nifty looking plastic frames that I got as a freebie with my expensive transition lens wire frames I got a couple of years ago.  Transitions are great, but not for driving, because they don’t really darken in your car. I have very light eyes, and get headaches when I don’t wear dark sunglasses.  So I also had a pair of prescription sunglasses for driving, which of course I lost.

I currently use a pair of purple plastic sunglasses that cost $5 at Walmart to drive.  And then I just forget to put my glasses on.  And I wonder why I miss stuff.

My wedding ring is also missing.  Again.  It’s in our house somewhere.  Since it is “pokey” (as my daughter would say) I have to take it off when I sleep so I don’t slice my face open when I sleep.  So I’m sure it’s either in my bedroom because it got knocked off the nightstand, or in the living room taken off when I attempted to take a nap.  I sure hope the dog hasn’t eaten it.  He eats dental floss and dryer lint, why not wedding rings too?  I am glad my husband isn’t easily offended.  Of course he can’t talk-he used to work in a factory where if he wore a wedding ring there would be danger of his finger being torn off.  So every day he would put it in his pocket.  And forget about it.  I would wash his pants and it would come flying out of the dryer.  It became the running joke between us for the duration of his time at that job.  If we had money, I’d ask him to buy me a wedding band for our anniversary, that way I wouldn’t take it off.  I want a Lord of the Rings looking wedding band, but I’m afraid of the side effects.

I’m thinking another great invention for ADD people would be things that you just can’t off.  Glasses, wedding rings, etc.  We sure would lose them a lot less.

The Princess may be our very own Obi-Wan Kenobi.  She may very well be our only hope. She seems to have escaped the curse thus far.  She’s pretty on top of things.  I’m not saying she’s not going to have other issues, but at least she may be able to not be distracted by everything she sees.  I hope she doesn’t “develop” it later on.

Sigh… oh to just be able to pass as normal.  It’s never going to happen.  So bear with me.  I really try.  I really will keep trying when I remember to.  Just don’t hate my kid.  It’s not his fault, it’s all mine.  Don’t worry because I worry about it plenty (anxety, remember?)