As a mother it is so hard to see any child suffer, but when it’s your own, it rips your heart out. I just can’t stand how hard things are for my little boy because of his ADHD. He does and feels everything to the tenth degree. To simply say he is a “hyper” kid does not cut it. He is HYPER-EVERYTHING, …hyper active, hyper energetic, hyper sensitive, hyper emotional, hyper talkative, hyper anxious, hyper impulsive, hyper focused, hyper-everything. While he keeps on going like the energizer bunny everyone around him gets drained of energy just watching him. ADHD does not just effect the person who has it but everyone in his life.
My child wakes up hyper energetic. He jumps around the house like a jumping bean from the moment he opens his eyes in the morning until he finally closes them at night. We have to give him Melatonin at night to help him fall asleep. The mornings and the late afternoon/evenings are the most difficult times of day for me. I have to remind myself to keep up with him and the special accommodations that we have to make for his disability. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to have to constantly keep oneself in check. For him, it’s hard to say what the most difficult time of the day is, because he is in school and I don’t see what goes on during the day. But I do hear about it occasionally. I say occasionally, because as talkative as he is, he isn’t very informative when it comes to talking about his day. I get updates at the end of the week from his teacher in a communication journal and then there is the occasional phone call from the school reporting on some kind of behavioral issue. I would have to say that he has the most difficult time in the morning but I am afraid that the reality is his difficulties don’t stop there.
I’ve been having anxiety attacks for a while now and just in the past 2 weeks, I have had terribly painful acid reflux (or an ulcer) and I think it has weakened me quite a bit. That is why this past 2 weeks has been especially tough on both of us, my emotional and mental defences have been down. The difficulties of dealing with some of Leon’s behaviors especially in the mornings have left me completely drained, and somewhat defeated and I believe he senses that. It fuels him on, not because he wants to get my goat but because I am not there (as a whole person) to help direct him.
Last week was filled with breakdowns followed by tears, not mine, but his. And that hurts me immensely. Why must his life be so difficult? Why must he be so hyper-everything. Why has God challenged him/us in this way? Lately, just getting him ready and out the door to catch the bus on time in the mornings has been a huge battle. One I have had to fight on my own, because Ron is on his way to work by 8am. Leon has been very defiant and strong willed as of late, more so than usual. I just don’t know what to do with him.
The Monday before last there was huge drama over him bringing a rock from his collection of rocks (random pieces that catch his eye when we are out) to school. I am pretty sure that it is not a good idea for anyone to bring rocks to school, but I am positive it isn’t a good idea for Super Hyper-Boy to take any. When I explained that rocks were not allowed in school he yelled “FINE!” and stormed off to his room. He emerged wrapped up in his jacket. I knew something was amiss. I asked him to give me a hug, and he leaned into me with a shoulder. I told him to use his arms, when he did, out fell the huge rock he was trying to smuggle out from under his coat. I confiscated the rock and the yelling began, his not mine, not yet anyway. I told him to go to his room until he changed his attitude. After some tears he emerged from his room again with an apology. I go to hug him and he backs away slightly. Hmmmm. I get closer and I hug him, I also put my hands in his bulging pockets and pull out two rocks. Again I confiscate them and explain that rocks are not allowed in school. He insists they are with tears flowing from his eyes, he tells me he just wants to show them to his class for science. I tell him to get permission from his teacher first and then I will allow it. He doesn’t hear me. Not at all. he is way to hyper focused on taking these rocks today and no other day. I am now frustrated, the tone in my voice is not a nice one. It’s time to go to the bus stop so I order him to get his things (shoes, backpack) while I get my shoes on. We walk out the front door and I look him in the eye and I say “You didn’t try to sneak any more rocks out now, did you?”. The way he said no led me to believe he was lying, so I checked his coat pockets again – nothing. Then I checked his jeans, there were rocks in all four pockets. He LIED to me. Now I was yelling, “How many times do I have to tell you you can’t bring them to school?” “That’s it now you have lost your entire rock collection, I am taking them all away” More tears, lots of tears, the kind that won’t stop till they stop on there own. Ugh! I feel so defeated, he has to get on the bus, what am I supposed to do with him. Now he is hyper focused on just getting to bring something, anything. He begged me to let him go back in and get a small toy, something for Stitch (his stuffed animal that goes to school with him) to play with. I knew that if I didn’t give in the tears would not stop. So I did.
Each morning, for the rest of the week was similar in that there was always an outburst of some kind ending in tears and/or frustration. each morning it was something new, things I blame myself for. Like, I left the popcorn seasoning salt out over night on the table near the couch, I should know better. in the morning I walked in the living room to find it sprinkled all over the table and couch. Or the time I forgot to put the permanent marker away and he wrote all over his breakfast tray. Again i should know better. So should he, and he does, but when his impulses take control, all reason flies out the window. The afternoons were no better. He fought me on everything. From doing his homework to going to Karate (Don’t get me started on the Karate thing – twice a week, I have to spend more time arguing and convincing him to go to class than he actually spends in the class), to what was for dinner.
That Thursday I get a call from his teacher informing me that Leon had been having trouble at lunch time for the last few days and therefore he would be having lunch in the principle’s office on the next day. I speak to the principle to get the details and find out that he punched a girl in the back as she was walking away from him because she didn’t let him join “the club” (it was an all girls club mind you) and she did not let him see her magazine. He also kicked a boy in the shins on the day before and he tried to smuggle rocks and dirt that he found outside in the playground into the cafeteria in his pockets. When the lunch aides and teachers tried to get him to get rid of them he became very defiant, yelling and screaming at them. So she had invited him to sit in her office for lunch. Ugh, what am I going to do with this kid?
Friday he got off the bus, head down. I knew he had had another bad day at school. He tells me that the principle told him that if this behavior keeps up he will be sent home for lunch. NO WAY!!! He didn’t like eating in the principle’s office. Well, No Duh! He also told me that he got in trouble for screaming at another boy that wanted his turn at the computer. We talked it over a bit. Then he pulled out his report card. Academically, my kid is amazing, straight A’s (4’s actually) and above grade level. However behaviorally we were looking at 1s and 2s (Ds and Cs). He has shown improvement in alot of areas, but he also went down in a few too. Leon tends to focus on the bad and gets overly sensitive about it. Ron and I make it a point to focus only on the good, but try not to ignore the bad completely. As a reward for all the effort he has put in I allowed him to pick out a toy at the store and then we met up with Daddy and went to see Monsters vs. Aliens. It turned out to be a very nice evening. Leon was very calm and co-operative. No tears and lots of hugs.
The following day, last Saturday, he had a Belt Test to go to. I expected a fight but there was none. He was excited to test for his half orange belt, and to have his Omi (my mom) and his Tante Jenn (my sister) come watch. He did us and himself proud.
Afterwards we all went out to lunch to celebrate his achievement followed by shopping with my mom. Something Leon loves to do because she spoils him. When we got home Leon reminded us of a promise we had made him about getting his belt. All week, to get him out the door to class i promised him that when he got his next belt we could go to the movies. Leon explained that the night before did not count because that movie was for his report card not for getting his belt. It was clear that Leon needed some time with Mommy and Daddy so we agreed and went to another movie. On Sunday, Leon was so good and well behaved. it truly turned out to be a wonderful weekend.
On Monday he got up and got out of the house with only a minimal struggle. Tuesday and Wednesday we butted heads again, add to the usual shinanagans the fact that I was experiancing a surge of hormones at this particular time (if you get my drift). Wednesday I get another call from the school. NOW WHAT? It was the school social worker calling me a t 3:30pm to inform me that Leon got into an argument with a girl at school and threw a ball at her head (hard) during recess and when he returned to class he was so upset with himself that he used two pencils to poke holes in his shirt and rip a huge 10 inch hole into it. He had to turn it around and wear it backwards. The principle just wanted me to know so I would not be shocked when he got off the bus. I hang up the phone and now it was my turn for tears, I just don’t know what to do with him! I just feel so overwhelmed I don’t know what to do. I remind myself to stay calm, no yelling, I have 5 minutes to get right with this before he gets off that bus.
And there it is the bus, I see him coming down the aisle towards the stairs as the little red head from across the street yells out “mommy, Leon pushed me, he pushed me”. Oh just great, now I have to deal with my nutty neighbor (and by nutty I mean Coo coo for cocoa puffs, socially inept, nosey, gotta know everyones business, nutty neighbor, – suffice it to say we don’t get along with her, no one does) He rushes past me and straight in the house yelling I did not , you pushed me. I run after him and catch him before he gets to his room. He pulls away saying, “I have to change my clothes, let me go”. I tell him that I would like to talk to him first and I ask about his day. He doesn’t want to tell me “cuz you’ll get mad at me again”, I slip his coat off him while he is talking and see a huge gaping hole in his tshirt. “wow, what happened here?” I ask. He tells me that ‘P’ made him mad so he threw a ball at her and ripped his shirt. Eh? Turns out ‘P’ (his crush) told him that she did not like him and walked away from him and that’s when he threw the ball at her. I said ” I’m guessing that hurt your feelings when she said that” He said “yeah mom, because I am always nice to her and I don’t know why she doesn’t like me” (My heart breaks for him). I asked, ” Is that why you threw the ball, you wanted to hurt her back? ” , He says “yes” and I say “well the trouble with that is sometimes you just have to let go of it, otherwise someone hurts you, then you hurt them back ,then they hurt you again, and you hurt them back, and it just keeps going till someone gets really hurt”, his answer was ” yeah just like with ‘J”, he kicked me, so I kicked him, then he kicked, me then I kicked him, then he kicked me, then I kicked him really hard and he cried” , “why was he kicking you?”, “He was just trying to be mean and getting everyone to look at me and pulling my coat down to show them the hole in my shirt and I didn’t want anyone to see it” (my heart breaks even more). We talk some more about what happened and then I ask about the redhead girl. He says “mom, i really didn’t push her she pushed me”, “I tried to sit next to her on the bus and she pushed me in the aisle” When I asked what he did next, he said ” I just went to another seat”. And I believe him. We talked, we hugged, I locked myself in my room and cried, and then we got ready for the next wave.
Sometimes there is just so much to handle. I look at him and I think… Leon, Leon, what am I going to do with you?
And then I look into those beautiful blue eyes and I know exactly what to do with my Hyper-everything boy. I am going to love him with everything I’ve got!!!!!