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bluewillowtree now that the 5th has slipped into the 6th, I can grab a moment to post and wish you a happy birthday. I hope it was filled with very yummy food, plenty of good cheer, and a gathering of those who hold you most dear. I trust that there were judiciously applied gifts of absorbing literature, wonderful music, and comic glee (and maybe even a figurine or two).

As for the lateness of my greetings, it is all your fault for not being born on the 7th, so that I would get that extra hour to prepare! Although, truth be told, that's one of my sisters' birthday, and she would not be the one to want to share, so I guess you get to keep yours after all.

Here we are all hoping that the 6th will see the dawn of a new era, and a Whirlwind of Less Destruction. I guess I should have been able to deduce this, but I was unprepared for the fact that when you have a kid on meds, and they are a growing child, eventually the same dosage (which is weight based) will be insufficient to give the same symptom relief. With an ADHD kid the results can leave the parent (and all others that work with the child) with the sense that an exorcism is necessary. Posthaste. We have been having a rather wild ride.

We went to a family wedding out of state last weekend. It was a no kids event. When we got back to the babysitter who was taking care of the Whirlwind and two second cousins, we seriously considered insisting on giving her a ride home. She looked too wiped out to be entirely safe driving.

In this household there is usually a parent awake and able to provide supervision from 6:45 a.m. (my husband) until 3:00 or 4:00 in the a.m. of the following morning (me). So the Whirlwind has been sneaking down after 4:00 to get into things. We're pretty energetic, but providing round-the-clock waking supervision is beyond even us.

Her counselor, who is helping her with some of her behavioral issues, finally got to see the full glory of the Whirlwind in full Tazmanian Devil mode yesterday. She has an active ADHD kid of her own, and has worked with many, many others in her career. At the end she looked shell-shocked and told me "You hang in there! You're a great mother! She's just....[lonnnng pause. crickets chirp.]...difficult.

I picked her up from school today to take her to the doctor's appointment to get her meds changed, and her teacher (a wonderful, compassionate, loving woman with an ADHD kid of her own, and 30 years of classroom experience) looked exhausted and relieved.

I've had to say the following to two different parents this week: "I hate to intrude into your life like this, but my kid tried to buy your kid's friendship with the money that she collected for UNICEF. We have made her donate her birthday money to UNICEF, but could you please talk to your kid, and send that money back?"

On the up side, I haven't committed egregious child abuse, UNICEF is getting more than the kid originally collected, Middle Daughter came back from France a far more cheerful and willing child than she left us, and the pediatrician assures us that the patch we picked up at the pharmacy will put the Whirlwind back on an even keel.

bluewillowtree you are a delightful, inquisitive friend, a good listener, a thoughtful reader, and an all around good egg. May the 6th be also the start of a glorious new year for you, filled with newly wedded bliss, wine, song, feasting, and celebration.

And you know what that calls for? Obviously:

Anassa kata, kalo kale Ia ia ia Nike Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr! bluewillowtree!


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2010 06:54 am (UTC)

I've never lived around ADHD people but I have watched from a distance how they can behave. I believe I'd crack under the pressure. I'm amazed at anyone who manage. One of my coworkers has three boys, two of which with ADHD. You're wonderful to keep waking supervision into the very wee hours of the day. Make sure you get enough sleep and store up your energy so you can take care of those kids. :)
Nov. 6th, 2010 07:25 am (UTC)
I am convinced that ADHD is simply another way of being human, one that is eminently suited to "life in the wild", but not at all suited to the modern educational setting.

If we were a small band of humans living on the tundra, my daughter would be the first one to notice the sabretooth tiger on the outskirts of the camp, and while everyone else was still flat-footed, she would have come up with a plan and organized everyone to carry it out. Those skills just don't carry over into sitting still and staying quiet in spelling class, or concentrating deeply on the way that dependent clauses are shown when diagramming a sentence.

She really is a great kid, warm, loving, kind, extremely bright, and with more joie de vivre than anyone else most people have met. She has a boundless energy that her contemporaries will envy her by the time they are my age.

She just has no impulse control, and has led me into more embarrassing situations than all the other three combined. If she were my first I probably would have cracked by now. I would have been convinced that I was just doing it all wrong. She is my fourth. I thank God for that, so that people who know the family have seen the others and know that I am capable of raising mature well-behaved mannerly age-appropriate children. And as for those who don't know, and who judge me without knowing, and just assume that I'm a bad, lazy, incompetent parent, that's just ignorance, and I can dismiss that.

Still, when I see someone struggling with their kid at the grocery store, I'm a lot more inclined to sympathize and a lot less inclined to judge than I once was.
Nov. 6th, 2010 07:33 am (UTC)
She sounds like a wonderful person and it's clear you love her very much. :) I'm glad she's got you around to raise her and help her.
Nov. 7th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm glad she didn't end up with a family that is very rigid in their expectations and has no sense of humor. It would be the ruination of her.

Still more scary is the possibility that she might have stayed with her birthmom, who is developmentally disabled and functions at about a sixth grade (12 year old) level. The Whirlwind would have ended up in charge of the household, and that would have been a disaster. She still gets to see her birthmom (we have lunch with her about once a month) so the connection can be there, but she can have parents who can keep ahead of her and make her toe the line.
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)

Hope the altered meds take effect quickly. It all sounds exhausting!
Nov. 7th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
Actually we put on the first patch (the new and improved increased dosage) on the Whirlwind today, and the behavior was much improved. If she can tolerate this delivery system long term it should make things a great deal better, because the release of drugs into her system is constant over the course of the day, so she isn't calm in the morning and increasingly wild as the day goes on. I was pleased with how quickly we seemed to get our cheerful, helpful kid back.

Not that she won't always have some issues, but taking the edge off the worst of it allows for the proper ratio of praise to exaspiration, which is good for the poor kid's self-esteem.
Nov. 7th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
Oh that's good to hear! :) I hope it works for her. I know there's no cure, but making things manageable for you and her is much better for all of you.
Nov. 9th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! *glows*

I'm sorry to hear that it was such a challenging week with the Whirlwind. I'm glad to read that the new meds are helping, and I hope they will make even more of a positive difference as she adjusts to them. *hugs*
Nov. 9th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
Thanks. They are indeed working beautifully.

Oddly enough, without the meds, or with insufficient meds, it often seems like she understands what is right and what is wrong intellectually, but not viscerally. She doesn't show genuine remorse for what she did. With the right meds, she once again understands right and wrong both intellectually and viscerally. She does something wrong, and shows genuine remorse, and a heart-felt apology. Sunday night I was out running errands and my husband got busy cooking and forgot to remove the patch on time, and the poor Whirlwind dissolved into a gooey puddle of tearful and twitching guilt and self-loathing. She was blaming herself for small sins all out of proportion with their severity. I got home, took a look at the situation, remembered that the package insert listed psychological disturbances of various kinds, including depression as side effects, and asked if the patch was still on. Ooops! It was. We took it off, and within half an hour she was back to being her sunny self.

It kind of makes me wonder how much of our consciences is pure biochemistry.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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