It’s been a while since I’ve blogged – a while for me anyway. I think once a month blogging is perfectly reasonable, although depending on the intensity of my emotional state, I might NEED to blog once a week, or every couple of days. :S And after these passionate bursts, I resume my knitting, and voila! Some young boy not related to me has a fabulous new kippah!
I love fiber arts. I love jumping into the gorgeous colors and textured materials, knotting and sewing, until the final product emerges. It’s pretty rare for the completed piece to have any resemblance to the concept I started with. I love art by surprise, as opposed to art by design. I realize this puts a big cramp in any artistic reputation I might be trying to develop, but at least I’m enjoying myself. Part of me also feels that I deserve the final piece more this way – if I had intricately planned and accounted for every stitch and mark, my ego and capabilities would be all tied up in the art, strangling its beauty. I wouldn’t be able to look at the piece without constantly dissecting from every angle. With art by surprise, as opposed to art by design, I recognize that I’m detached enough to truly enjoy and appreciate the beauty.
As most of the knitting yarn in my house is in bunches of knots or half-finished kippot that are cupping way too much to be worn by anyone other than the coneheads, it’s back to blogging for me. To my ADHD family and life, which I’ve been trying to run from for the past few weeks.
Our life isn’t perfect. Our life is also not an equally balanced scale, between the good and the bad. For every problem I’ve encountered, I’ve tried to find something positive. Example: Sure my daughter might have ADHD, but hey her vocabulary is AMAZING! That sort of thing. However, these past few weeks have shattered quite a few of my illusions.
My daughter is smart. She loves learning, reading, and making art. Except that the truth is her grades are very poor, and her reading and art is taking a back-seat lately to Sponge-Bob Square-pants, Dudu Aharon and Eyal DeLoco (please don’t ask about those last two, I’m disgusted enough by Sponge-Bob.) A good day at school is simply one where she doesn’t get in trouble for talking, pushing, or forgetting her homework. During her tantrums, the depth of her self-centeredness scares me. Part of this is a normal part of pre-teen behavior, and part of it isn’t. Part of this is down to a less-than-perfect school situation, and part of this is my daughter’s fault. Part of this is my fault, maybe most of it. I’m parenting without a road-map here, and lately I feel just stuck. I can deal with life’s challenges, but aren’t I entitled to a convenient plot device to just reassure me that we are all on our way to our happy endings?
Oldest daughter also might be showing signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I’m not a doctor, and I do know I need to get her evaluated in order to really say that. But it’s pretty rare that a diagnosed ADHD child is blessed enough to ONLY suffer from ADHD. Usually there is some accompanying learning disability, or other impairment that also has to be treated. And there have been too many fights over the schedule of drinking straw color distributions: black and then red, next green, and finally purple. She’s taken to trimming her fingernails by pulling and peeling, she now has the hands of a nail-biter. All of her ponytail holders have been meticulously arranged in small plastic baggies, and random coins found in drawers have also been arranged with plastic baggies (we seem to run out of plastic baggies pretty quickly in this house). There are lists and lists, with red pen, blue pen, highlighter markings, and none of them are part of a greater organizational method.
One of my favorite baby stories of hers: At age three, I surprised her by offering her corn flakes one morning, instead of Cheerios. Startled, she replied, “Eema, I have a plan. Today, corn flakes. Tomorrow Cheerios. And the next day – corn flakes, and after that Cheerios.” I thought that it was so sophisticated for a three-year-old to be planning like that. This sweet baby story now turns my stomach – the guilt that I should have realized earlier that something could be wrong. The shame that I told this story to lots of people, intending to bring a smile to their faces. Did my friends and family find it strange, but just chose to smile and not say anything?
I have been plotting ways to get past the school’s “no nail polish” policy, in an effort to help her hands. Meanwhile, I still haven’t made the appointment with the psychiatrist. I’m not in denial, I think, but I am hoping that we could just get a break here…chasing small problems seem less overwhelming than tackling the greater picture. I’m positive my daughter feels the same way, and that’s why she chooses drinking straws and paper lists as weapons for her battles.
There are times when you run out of distractions, and there are times when you can’t just sit back and wait for things to work out for the best. Sometimes the art project has to be thrown out, because no matter how excited you were by the colors, no matter how good your intent, you can’t correct your mistakes. At these times, coming to the crossroads, all you are left with is a decision that has to be made.
Oldest daughter, shining star, the genius’s genius, is now in remedial math. I’m bribing her with a brand new wrist-watch if she starts bringing home good grades. She is now very excited about attending these remedial sessions, and aside from the promised watch, is really feeling a sense of accomplishment – which is something severely lacking in her general school experience. “Eema, over half of my class stays after school for extra help, it’s so much fun!” Well, at least she’s enjoying herself, if nothing else.
Oldest daughter has her best friend over right now, and they are playing happily. “Yeah, I have something called ADHD,” she explains. “I have to take a pill each morning, with a full glass of water. It’s a little gross, but not really a big deal. Quoting Kim Possible, she elaborates “So not the drama.”