This morning was a pretty familiar scene in our household. Lex had been up in the night, which of course meant that I had been up with her. She’s a super snuggle butt during the night, which is AWESOME. She’s 7 and has ADHD and I know the snuggles are only going to get fewer and further in between as she gets older. But with the snuggling comes her extra 9 elbows, none of which have any padding and all of which are guided missiles heading straight for my boobs. This doesn’t lend itself to having a restful night or a particularly cheerful morning.
Anyway, Lexi’s bus runs at 7:07, a ridiculously early bus run for a school that starts at 7:55 and is 1 mile away. Literally, it’s 1 mile. So most of the time, I give us a little extra breathing room to get ready and drive her to school. The thing is, that extra 30 minutes somehow just disappears and I’m still left standing in the foyer yelling, “SOCKS, SHOES, BACKPACK, LET’S GO!” We could get up at 5am and I’m convinced that would still be the scenario.
There are many facets to Lexi’s ADHD; the 2 that make me completely insane when I’m trying to get her out the door are her distractibility and her hyper-focus. I know those sound like they couldn’t possibly be symptoms of one disorder in the same person because they’re kind of opposites. Yes, they absolutely can. 100%
Take this morning, for example. She has gotten into the habit of getting up waaay earlier than anyone else and doing all manner of things she knows she’s not supposed to do. Waking up every day is like waking up on Christmas except I’m met with surprises like a sink entirely full of soap or the cat barricaded into “his house” or ice cubes all over the floor. But this morning, she had gotten up, gone to the bathroom, and was sitting on the bathroom floor reading a book. I thought we were off to a decent start but nahhhh. Hyper-focus: she had zero interest in putting the book down to get ready. She was doing what she was doing and she wasn’t done. Once I finally pulled her attention away from the book, it was constant repetition for every single step of the morning routine. Ok Lex, I need you to go get dressed. Lexi, you gotta get dressed. Come on child, your clothes are on the bed. Seriously dude, what are you doing? OMG WHERE ARE YOU? Meanwhile, she’s thought of a toy that she hasn’t had in well over a year and had gone down to the playroom to try to find it. Sigh. Mornings are hard.
Anyway, the point of this post is positive, I swear! Because here’s the thing: no matter how frustrated I get with her, no matter how much I’m ready to just repeatedly beat my head into the wall, no matter how many times I say the same thing over and over in a day, I love that precious girl so very much. Lexi is a wonderful, intelligent, kind, creative, tenderhearted, beautiful little person. She reminded me of this as she was getting out of the car at drop off today. I was attempting to hurry her out of the car because there was a line building up behind us while Lexi just HAD to finish tucking in her baby.
“Good morning, Mr. Sites!” my sweet girl chirped out as the door was opened for her. The older man in the bright yellow vest and name badge helping kids out of cars in the drop off line was part of the “Watch Dog” community at Lexi’s school. Several dads and granddads spend some time each day at the school, helping out in the classrooms, the lunchroom, etc. It’s a pretty neat program specifically designed to encourage more parental involvement from the guys out there. I like it.
He looked pleasantly surprised and responded with, “And a good morning to you too!” Lexi told me goodbye and walked into the school. It occurred to me that she greets everyone like that. From the principal to teachers she hasn’t had to custodians to the ladies in the cafeteria. She’s genuinely happy to see and interact with everyone and has no concept of any perceived social hierarchy. She’s always the first to befriend the new kid, she goes out of her way to be nice to everyone in the Special Needs program and she doesn’t understand AT ALL when people aren’t nice to her in return.
So yes, the child frustrates me to the point that I worry I’m going to have a stroke. I’ve said it before and I stand by it still; that girl would make Ghandi come up with new expletives. Whatever else she is, she is my baby. She’s my weird little girl and I’m happy to be her Mommy even on our worst days. No way in hell am I going to give her away to gypsies.