Monday, January 28, 2013

The Scanner

When I was a young girl, I remember being at my Grandma's house and hearing the low hum of static.

My Grandmother, Joyce, had her fire and police scanner radio on all the time. I wonder what happened to that black and silver box that always confused me. I didn't understand (at that time) how she could sit and listen to that radio and do crossword puzzles all day.

Joyce was never shy to whip open her front curtain to see what was going on in the world. Again, what was so interesting outside, just cars and people walking by. At my age, there were so many more important things to do, like play with my Cabbage Patch kid or play with Grandmas's coasters that were old rug samples (boy, do I miss those).

And at this moment, I laugh out loud at myself. My favorite chair is right up near the window. The curtain opens within arms length of my perch. And on my lap, the familiar sounds of my childhood.

The beeps, the static, the muffled sounds. The device is different, the words and events being reported are scarier, but the routine is mostly the same. Instead of a radio, it's an app. Instead of a crossword, it's crochet. Instead of Snyder, it's Amherst.

Instead of Joyce, it's Carrie Joyce.

Yes, I carry my Grandmother in my middle name.

Clearly, it's destiny.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Secret Society

I have a son with ADHD.

I have another son with Epilepsy.

The ADHD was diagnosed in the summer of 2010.

The Epilepsy was diagnosed in the summer of 2012.

Why do I feel more knowledgeable with epilepsy than I do with the ADHD?

It isn't for lack of reading and experimenting and testing.  I've done it all.  The last Psychologist said, "Well, I don't really think we can do anything for [Big Boy], you are already implementing everything I would suggest."

Why is it that when I talk to anyone (other than a close friend) about ADHD and the fact that my son HAS it, do they lower their voice?  It happened the other day at the school.  I was talking to a school employee and she lowered her voice so that the other person couldn't hear.  It wasn't so that we wouldn't disturb anyone.  (I don't question this employees whispering, I happen to think she will be the key to Big Boy's success.)  Why whisper?  Are we as society ashamed of ADHD?

It really hit me that day.  ADHD is a Secret Society.  As a mom, I've felt alone.  Abandoned.  Fighting our own family battle to get some help for our son.  No parent has ever come up to me and said, "Hey, you look like you may be struggling with [Big Boy], I want you to know my son, daughter, nephew, neighbor, etc. has ADHD and it's nothing to be ashamed of."

Many years ago I went to an Adult Education class on finding your Spiritual Angels.  I know, corny, but I've always felt connected to the spiritual world and I was grasping at straws for answers and guidance, so tried everything.  While immersed in meditation in this class, I began to cry.  I had connected with 'something/someone' and I could hear myself feeling guilty for the ADHD diagnosis.  That was the first bombshell.  I actually felt responsible.  The classmates helped me understand that it is nothing to feel guilty about.  Feeling guilty adds a great unnecessary burden.  A burden that sticks in the mud and doesn't bring anything positive to the situation.

And the second bombshell is the whispering.  Why must we whisper?

ADHD is a is a neurobehavioral disorder. Guess what?  Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder.  So why does saying "my kid has epilepsy" vs. "my kid has ADHD" garner totally different responses?  Granted, ADHD doesn't involve seizures, but both have a medication, both are neurological, and both affect learning.

ADHD isn't a nasty cold sore you try to cover up.  It isn't an excuse to defend my poor parenting skills.  It needs to be nurtured and cared for by not only the parents, but teachers and friends, too.  How can others even begin to understand the needs of my son if no one knows he has this disorder? 

I used to be worried about the ADHD label.  I think the stigma of labeling of kids has decreased as the frequency of kids that need extra help has increased.  Was I worried or ashamed of the label?

Screw the label.  Label away.

My kid needs help and I'm not going to whisper anymore.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Third Day of Homework Heaven

Yes, you heard me, Heaven.

Not sure what is happening, but I needed to document this one. Yesterday, Big Boy came home from school and got his homework out with me only asking ONCE!

Once. For Big Boy. And his homework.

This is huge, my friends. This boy of mine doesn't usually "hear" me the first three times I ask for something like this.

Then, today, I picked them up from school and we came directly to the library.

Big Boy would have done his homework right away, but I forgot to bring pencils. I found one in my bag. Little Man completed his, then passed the pencil on to his brother. All homework was completed in mere minutes.

If you are having troubles getting your child to do their homework, have them try it directly after school, with a snack. I used to believe that Big Boy needed a break from being in school all day long. Not so.

He is still in the 'work' mode as he comes home, if he moves to the 'play' mode, we're done for. That is 100% chance of Homework Hell.

I must note, that since I've written this down publicly, tomorrow will suck. But that's okay, I'm ready for it. It's my life and I have learned that it's one giant roller coaster.

They have collected eleven Goosebumps Horrorland books and are reading away. It's so peaceful and quiet here, I wish I could take a nap!

Theme for Today

My eldest is often gloomy. We are working on it. It's a hard thing to teach. Be positive. He has written positive things about himself on his chalkboard. I am so happy that he hasn't erased it. It's so important to think positively.

Look for a smile and things will be better.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Giraffe and Turtle Birthdays

We celebrated some very important birthday's last week.

Giraffe turned ten and Turtle turned seven years old.

I love their names.  Giraffe and Turtle.

So creative.

These boys are so sweet.  They made presents for the animals, shared their cakes and had quite a special day.

When these boys of mine are teenagers, I'll remind them of the years we had to have birthday parties for their animals, including our fish.  Yes, the next birthday in this house is for one of our indoor fish.

Not sure cake is a good idea for them!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back At It

Lasting one day, I'm back on the blog. I guess when "they" say, 'do something for a month and it will become a habit', I agree.

I missed the blog, I know, crazy. Enough about that...look what I resurrected from the basement!

It took me a couple rounds to get back into the stitch of this one.

There is one more big section on this Babette Blanket for Big Boy. Little Man is next, and I'm sure he won't forget that I still haven't made his!

It's a fun and easy blanket, easily adapted for a boy. The pattern is from Interweave.