Right now, I’m hiding in the tv-room. It’s actually a computer room, not a tv room. We no longer subscribe to cable, nor own a tv. Despite this, a neighbor has announced our house “unholy” because of the rumored presence of a television set, which reportedly featured *gasp* “The Little Mermaid.” Distressed by the screening of immodest fish, she has forbidden her children from coming over to play. So they bleat pitifully on my doorstep asking for my children to come out, since their idiot mother won’t let them cross our threshold. But it’s all a rumor, I don’t own a television! Forgive me, I’m a little sensitive.
Anyway, why I’m hiding: A hallmark moment going on in the kitchen. Husband is helping First Daughter and Second Daughter with their homework. At the same time. Because school starts again tomorrow, after a long holiday break, and of course homework should be done at the last possible minute. But don’t worry – my ADHD husband is here to the rescue. I shouldn’t tease, I know I would be no better, which is why I ran away to the not-tv-room. At least he has some courage and is doing the parental duty.
Flammable matches have been brought out to assist with counting, because we have misplaced the counting chips. First Daughter is greatly stressed with how boring her homework is. She doesn’t know what 6×7 is, she won’t know it in five minutes, so why does she have to answer the stupid question anyway. “Why can’t I have a calculator?” she whines for the umpteenth time. “BECAUSE I SAID SO!” replied the courageous parental unit. Meanwhile Second Daughter is dutifully counting out matches, and quite proud of herself that she can count as high as 50, which has absolutely nothing to do with the math question she was trying to solve.
“Don’t TALK TO ME!” screams First Daughter.
“You had two vacation weeks to do the assignment,” replies husband.
“I SAID DON’T TELL ME ABOUT IT!” screams First Daughter.
Husband has joined me in the not-tv-room. “I need chocolate,” he says.
Back to school. Such relief from a wild and crazy summer. We traveled overseas to two countries (the US and Canada), several different states, braved Disney World, Universal Studios, wonderful loving relatives and grossly insensitive relatives. Relatives so bad that my soul felt like it was getting ripped apart. So traumatic and terrible that I cried in First Daughter’s arms on many nights. After we returned home to Israel, it took a few weeks to recover and spiritually put myself together.
I need to make some decisions about what we are exposed to, our tender extra-ordinary family. It’s been important for me to teach my children to be honest and express their feelings, It’s been important for me to teach my children not to put up with bullies. These lessons need to be consistent, and I will have to teach by example.
School is such a relief from an undefined and chaotic summer. School has assignments and achievements, a regular schedule, school uniforms. Every morning you have a reason to get up, teachers to impress, friends to talk with. Sometimes an ADHD child gets over-efficient and tries to impress the teacher and talk with friends simultaneously. But problems aside, it’s so wonderful to have definition to your day.
There are rumors that the school is even going to provide special needs services this year – something they were unsure of last year. Despite the fact that they are obligated by law to do so. “We’ll see after the holidays,” was the standard reply, but the rumor mill has been circulating that the art therapist will return to the school, and I’m choosing to be hopeful.
“I need you to sign this,” says First Daughter, and hands me several papers entirely in Hebrew.
“What does it say?” I ask.
“It’s my homework, you have to sign that I did it.. Eema, it was so much! I had to write a million words, and then hundreds of math problems – what do they want from us?!?”
Why do I have to sign a homework paper, attesting to the fact that the child did the homework, when the completed page should be a sign enough… shouldn’t it? Is it just me who finds that a bit odd? I’m swimming in forms I need to sign for the three girls, all different, and none of them stapled together. It’s just easier to sign away, rather than deal with logic. I sign the papers.
“Thank you. I love you,” says First Daughter.
“Love you too kid.”