Tuesday, May 1, 2012


This is the third time (today!) that I've tried to write an entry about ADHD. That's kind of telling, isn't it? I was diagnosed in middle school but the writing was on the wall long before that - and any parent who has an elementary aged kid with a similar diagnosis will probably recognize the following:

"Mommy," I chirped at bedtime, sometime in elementary school. "Last week in health class we talked about how drugs are BAD!"

"I see," she said, tucking me in.

"And I said I know drugs are bad, because [insert name of distant relative I had never actually ever met] is in jail." And my mother blanched as she realized that is exactly why she was getting the side eye from the teacher at her last parent volunteer day.


"Mrs. R," the second grade teacher said at conferences, "We've never actually had to tell a student to stop reading before. But Kimberly is sneaking novels during math hour and not actually doing any math..."

Or how about the six million fights between my brother and I that were probably my fault (though I maintain he was quite the pot stirrer in his day) but that evolved over absolutely nothing whatsoever, but were the end of the world to me?

Yeah, for me, Ritalin was a godsend. But something happens when you become an adult and learn your own coping mechanisms sometimes, and that something is that every so often, your ADHD becomes a hell of an asset and you don't need the medication anymore. As a reporter? It was great. There was one week where I turned in something like 16 different stories and that was great, because I never, ever got bored. I copy edited things for fun, because spot-the-errors is like a big, fun word puzzle (and when they put me in charge of the interns, it was kind of like shooting fish in a barrel, but I digress). I enjoyed gathering police reports, then going to a school to cover a play, then covering a meeting on budgets until 2 a.m. and writing everything up for 9 the next day (because, much to my editors' annoyance, I write best under the gun and deadline morning is perfect for that kind of pressure cooker).

Then I worked for a bank and had the fastest call time EVER. Of course, I repeatedly got called in for things I would miss in the call (proper goodbye with nine million sales pitches because I hate sales pitches and so do the people calling in, for instance), but still.

And now, as a stay at home mom?

Mixed results.

For instance, I am great at coming up with stuff on the fly and can be flexible. So we planned to go to the zoo but it's raining, let's go see Grandma for lunch! You want to do play doh for six hours? Go for it! Let's build a big fort out of sheets! I can also get really in the groove and have this place spotless in record time (that doesn't happen too often but dammit I am capable).

And then it can be not so great. To wit:

Staying up far too late because it's finally quiet and the book is that good, because something in my brain makes me forget that yes, the kids wake up before seven every day. Every. Day. That book will exist tomorrow. You don't need to read it all  now. (But I do, says the math class dodging girl and the woman who used to surf the Net at work in between interviews.)

Or when I forget to do laundry for far too long and the two year old winds up borrowing the four year old's underwear and walks around hitching them up like a bagman all day.

Or today. Yesterday, we toured a preschool in hopes of finding Mary a more full time place for next fall. It's a great school. I liked it, Mary liked it. Today I called the head teacher and told her we would be dropping off the application packet and deposit check first thing Wednesday morning. And now? Now I can't find the application packet.

It's in a big, red folder.

I just got it 12 hours ago. 

This house is not that big.

The only thing I did upon arriving home was put that packet down and now I can't find it.

They are holding the spot for Mary until Friday only. I know I can just get another packet if I want to, but I don't want to, because then I look like an idiot and also, that's just a guarantee I'll find the first damned packet as soon as I get  home.

I should stop writing and go look for that thing.

I really should.

Ten bucks says I do.

But not before we build a fort and have a snack.

Two out of three ain't bad.

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