Well, it happened. We tried to avoid it. We fought so hard to not get to this point, but here we are anyway.
Here’s some background to get you up to speed if you don’t know our story. My daughter is 7 (alllmost 8). She’s smart, funny, loving, beautiful, friendly, and generous. She’s also got a wicked case of ADHD and possible ODD. Her biological father has diagnosed bipolar syndrome and a whole host of other suspected versions of crazy. I have severe depression, anxiety, and super fun panic attacks. You take the good, you take the bad. (You take em both and there you have the facts of life…the facts of life.) Poor kid didn’t stand a chance at getting a “normal” brain.
In addition to being a small child since birth, add in the ADHD and the associated meds and you’ve got one skinny little girl. We recently had a ‘come to Jesus’ talk with the girls about eating real food and not filling up on snacks, juice, chocolate milk, etc. Check out this post where I was still reasonably hopeful about that going well. Ha.
The first time I found that she had been sneaking chocolate, I pretty much knew it was coming. There was a stern talking to and a promise on her end that she wouldn’t sneak candy anymore. Clever little monkey that she is, she snuck chocolate cake the next time. Sigh. Her response was that it wasn’t candy. Touche. Tablet and XBox gone.
After the cake, Lexi had asked to stay with her grandparents. Thinking that it would be crappy to take away her visits with them, I let her go. I sent her with my mom, giving a very firm admonition that there were to be NO TREATS of any kind. No candy, no chocolate, no sneaking around and eating food she knew she wasn’t supposed to have. Period. Full stop.
So when I found out that she had gone creeping around in the night at my parent’s house to eat candy, I was hot. Frustrated and hurt. For every time Lexi did something she knew full well that she wasn’t supposed to do, she would lose something. Indefinitely. And for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE stop with the sneaking and lying. That’s so very incredibly uncool.
She lost her floor puzzle. She lost Torch, her new dragon she had gotten for Christmas. She lost her favorite books, her Baby Alive. She lost, she lost, she lost.
I know that one facet of ADHD is difficulty with impulse control. Sadly, I know more now about ADD, ADHD, and ODD than I ever wanted to know. I’m aware that she has a hard time with thinking before she acts or speaks. As sympathetic to these plights as I am, I have to prepare her for a world beyond elementary school.
Consequences won’t always be silent lunch or missing recess or lectures from loving parents. Not discipline, not sticker charts, not losing your tablet for a week. Out in the big wide world, acting out will earn flat out punishments. At 7, she’s already been suspended once. No more of that, please and thank you. No bigger and badder retribution. No beatings, no juvenille detention. Dear Lord, no jail.
And then. This morning. Ugh.
I went to her room to get her school clothes out. When I turned around to lay them on the bed, I happened to notice her pillowcase. Chocolate smudges. FRIGGIN SERIOUSLY?!?!
I called her back to talk to me about it and she did the absolute worst thing (in my mind and with this child) she could have done at that moment. She lied. It was already there, it wasn’t chocolate, it was…falter falter.
Currently, Lexi’s room has a bed (frame will be dissembled this afternoon), dresser, and wardrobe. No toys, no books, no pictures on the wall. No nothing. I’m at a point where I’m just completely exhausted. Out of ideas, running perilously close to just hanging my head.
Anyone ever been through anything similar? Any suggestions? Hell, any sympathy? Ha, I knew parenting was going to be a tough road. I didn’t come into this with impossible expectations. But damn.
Comments are welcome. Truly, I’m reaching the end of my rapidly fraying rope so gimme any and all ideas you’d like to share. Thanks.