Modern Marriage: A Scene

A few weeks ago, we used eBay to sell our XBox Rock Band set, since it was taking up space and nobody was using it. It sold fairly quickly and the money went into his dormant PayPal account, because of course it did.

He tried to log in and verify his account and jump through whatever other hoops, but was unsuccessful. That’s where we begin our scene.

*Bling!* (that’s my obnoxious email notification sound)

[It’s a forwarded email from Freddie, regarding his PayPal account.]

Him: I can’t figure this out!

Me: Hang on, let me see what I can do.

I click the link in the forwarded email.

I am asked for his PayPal password, which I don’t know and can’t guess. It’s been ages since he used it. Instead, I click “change password.” PayPal sends an email to him.

I then log in to his gmail account, because I’m his wife and I know things like passwords, bank account numbers, social security numbers, and can forge signatures when needed. I open the “hey, someone wants to change your password” email, follow the prompts, and enter a new password. Easy enough.

Go back to PayPal, go through the various steps of verification, adding a credit card. No need to add the bank account, since I’m shutting his PayPal down as soon as I transfer the money to MY PayPal account, which gets used more often. It’s stupid for us to have two different accounts and since I am the Chief Financial Officer of this company, I get to decide how we manage things.

Meanwhile, my phone is blowing up because he’s forwarding me the “OMG YOUR PASSWORD CHANGED” emails from his gmail.

Me: Stop forwarding me shit. I’m fixing it.

Him: I thought you would need these emails.

Me: I’m logged into your gmail right now. Stop messing with it.

Him: I feel so violated!

Me: It’s not like this is a mortgage or a will! Calm down.

Thirty seconds later, I have access to his PayPal balance. I send it to myself, and all is right with the world. I honestly don’t know what he was or wasn’t doing and why he couldn’t just… change his password and stuff, but as any woman knows, there are just some questions you don’t want to know the answers to. He had nearly a month to figure it out and it took me thirty seconds.

Ah, life.

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The Hard Things

One of the hardest things I am called upon to do as a parent is to stay out of the various playground scuffles that Jillian finds herself involved in. She doesn’t have trouble making friends, but keeping them is a different matter altogether. She’s just exactly who she is and that doesn’t always translate well to interpersonal relationships.

I should know.

I know, in my heart of hearts, that she will be okay. She IS okay. She will find her tribe, and everything will be fine. The ability to be your true self when everyone around you is putting on masks is such a rare thing, and I think Jillian has that. It’s just so hard to watch her tiny face crumple when she comes home from the playground all upset and I ask “what’s wrong?” She’s a sensitive wee soul, and I have worked mighty hard to protect and nurture that. She’s never mean to other kids, and is usually baffled and confused when kids are mean to her.

My poor baby girl. I want to punch those other children. Alas, the best I will be able to do is make a voodoo doll of the culprit and stick all the pins I own into it.

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Squalor

It’s been awhile since we’ve used a cleaning service here at the house. We had a good one a few years back, but they brought us fleas, so we fired them and then spent the next two years (and some) getting rid of the fleas. Life sucks when your cat, who does not go outside (not for lack of trying) is riddled with the tiny bloodsucking fiends.

So the house is maybe not in the cleanest shape it could be. It’s not that I don’t have time, it’s that I can’t be bothered, really. Every now and again I will go insane and clean the joint from top to bottom, but that doesn’t happen often enough to make the other people in the house happy.

We’ve tried a couple of cleaning services here and there, but none of them have been satisfactory. There was one that did a half-assed job, which annoyed me. I can do a half-assed job for free, thanks. Then there was the other one, who did a fine job but for whatever reason couldn’t put us on their regular schedule and so we had to call them every time we wanted them to come. That’s even more annoying than them doing a shitty job! PUT ME ON THE SCHEDULE, DAMMIT.

A lot of this ties into the ADHD thing that we’re all living with. We really do need things to just… happen around here sometimes. Things need to be automatic when they can be, because that frees up mental space and energy to tackle the anomalies of modern life, most of which involve dog barf. I’ve got a lot of my bills set up to be paid automatically, which has saved me an awful lot of aggravation. Jillian is on a schedule of sorts, which makes her life easier. Freddie… well, he’s kind of on his own because he’s a grown-ass adult and I can’t manage his life when I have a kid and three pets to wrangle.

But, you know, life goes on with or without a cleaning service. This year has been bad for the dog hair, however. Piper has decided that it is her purpose in life to cover every surface in the world with her hair. No amount of brushing or using the Furminator has made the tiniest difference in how much hair she sheds. It’s not even gross anymore – it just is. That’s just what our life is like now.

Freddie is a huge fan of Angie’s List. That’s a service you can use to get “trusted” reviews of services and businesses for home-related stuff. He used that to find what is going to be our new cleaning service, and the owner came over yesterday for a walkthrough and estimate.

Now… it’s been a LONG time since I’ve done any kind of major cleaning. I broke my foot a few weeks ago and have been trying to stay off of it as much as possible. So even the half-assed cleaning I would normally do isn’t really getting done. It’s not that bad, honestly, but it’s not… great.

So this lady comes in and looks around a bit and I could tell she was just kind of mildly horrified. You’d think that owning a house-cleaning service would make you immune to some things, but to be honest, there was A LOT of dog hair on the floor yesterday because I hadn’t gotten around to sweeping it yet. She just kept saying things like “oh… wow…” and I was pointing out the trouble spots (literally everywhere) for her while she just nodded her head and made notes.

I think it’s going to work out all right, though. Her company seems legit, they have a lot of good reviews, and best of all – we’re going to be on a regular schedule. I’m getting better at dealing with clutter (the File Pile is no more) and this can only help with that.

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Flipping a Switch

Friday ended Jillian’s first full week on 10mg of Focalin. I checked in with her teachers to see what they thought about it, and they were both very pleased with her improvement. She’s closer to the “normal” range of third-grader-ness, in that she gets most of her work done with minimal (that word!) intervention, and the attention paid to her is commensurate with the attention paid to the rest of the class. It’s a nice change from having her in a bright spotlight.

Obviously, we want her to have the full effects of her medication while she’s at school. That’s how this is supposed to work. The downside is that her behavior at home isn’t all that different. The extended-release version of Focalin (which is what Jillian takes) is meant to last about 10-12 hours. So I give it to her at breakfast (7:30AM) and by dinnertime, the effects are starting to wear off and it is noticeable.

It’s like flipping a switch. You can see it in her face, a bit like in Harry Potter when Harry and Ron take Polyjuice Potion and their faces contort and writhe around while they’re in the process of changing to someone else. It’s almost exactly like that – you can see her face change, and then the noises start up again, the inability to sit on a chair correctly comes back, and the talking starts.

THE TALKING.

Since that’s our “normal,” it’s not so bad. We’ve had quite a few years of dealing with it, after all. But it’s never not exhausting, both for us and for her. As with anything, we adapt. As long as she can get through her days, we can deal with the rest.

Overall, I’m pleased with how things are going. I wish we would have started this process earlier, but we kept bumping up against that stigma of “oh, people just throw pills at problems instead of looking for other solutions.” I can’t say I feel guilty about doing this, because I don’t really believe in parenting guilt and also because I know we did so much to try to avoid medication. We tried environmental changes, diet changes, behavioral interventions, the whole thing. But this? THIS WORKS.

Now we’re learning about balance. Today being a Sunday, we don’t have anything planned that we’d need Jillian to behave/focus for. So I chose not to give her the pill today. We’ll have to deal with a chatty, emotional, hurricane of a child, but that’s fine. It’s the weekend.

We’re going to continue with this for the summer because I have zero doubt that it will improve her camp experience, and then when school starts again in September, we’ll cross our fingers and hope these improvements her teachers have seen will continue.

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Two Weeks In

Here we are at the end of Week 2: Better Living Through Chemistry. We increased the dose of Focalin to 10mg (half the suggested dose) and are seeing improvements all over the place.

Just to see, we did NOT give Jillian a dose last Sunday, since we didn’t have anything going on, and the difference was very noticeable in her. She was all over the place (back to “normal”) and a hot mess. Her doctor said that it’s perfectly fine to skip days on this drug, but we might not do that very often.

Mornings are still tough, but they would be, wouldn’t they? She takes her pills with breakfast and they don’t take effect for a little while, so mornings are as they’ve always been. Still, we should see some changes as we go forward, since it won’t take such a Herculean effort for her to get through her days and that energy savings (for lack of a better term) will spill over to mornings. I hope.

With the extended-release form of Focalin, we can expect to get a good 10-12 hours out of Jillian’s day. On Wednesday, it was very obvious when it started to wear off, since we were at softball. Jill was in the outfield and as I was watching her, I could see her revving up. In the span of 20 minutes or so, she went from standing still and paying attention to dance moves and the R2-D2 noises that characterize her need to make sounds.

Those are considered ‘tics’ but she definitely does not suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome. It’s just how her ADHD manifests. Some kids need to move around and destroy things, Jillian needs to dance and talk and make all the noises. And talk. With the talking. SO MUCH TALKING.

Overall, everyone is happier now. I think Jillian is doing better with her behavior at school, which was our #1 issue in the first place. I wish schools were a little more open to dealing with kids who can’t sit still, but public school is what it is, and that’s the framework in which we have to operate.

At the end of next week, we’ll re-assess and see if we need to jump the dose up a bit. I think we will, only because she’s a pretty extreme human and we need to reel her back in just a little more. For now. My hope is that she will start to make the connections between her behavior and the results she gets and that the good behavior will be more automatic in the future. Or, at the very least, she’ll have more control and be able to choose how to react to things instead of the full-tilt boogie freakouts we’re used to.

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How We Got Here

Our first weekend with a partially-medicated child is in the books. I say “partially” because we are in the ramping-up phase and she’s only taking about a quarter of the recommended dose of Focalin at the moment.

Initial thoughts: possible placebo effect in place. We explained to Jillian what this pill is and what it’s for and there was a slight uptick in good behavior on Friday and over the weekend. Could go either way. Overall, it was situation normal up in here.

One of the strangest parenting phenomena I’ve encountered is that we have to teach children things we don’t really remember learning. Walking, talking, potty training… all that stuff needs to be learned but very few of us remember learning it so we make up the teaching of it as we go along. And then there are things like hair-brushing. How to take a pill. Things like that.

After two days of it, Jillian learned how to swallow her pill on the first try. We’ll see what happens next week when she has to take two. And then the week after that when she has to take three. The first time, though – I was kind of stumped. How to explain something so basic in a way that a maniac child can understand? That was fun, and we got through it with laughing and water dribbling everywhere, because some people feel the need to ask questions with a mouth full of water.

More than a few people have reached out to me, asking “how did you get to this place?”

When Jillian started Pre-K, I was filled with trepidation. She and I had spent nearly every minute of her first 4.5 years together, and I was anxious about sending her off to somewhere else for a couple of hours every day. I was in tune with her needs and quirks and her Special Snowflake-ness and I was concerned that someone else wouldn’t guard that as fiercely as I would. I worried about My Precious Baby and hoped she’d be all right, make friends, learn stuff, and start taking steps into her own world, and out of mine.

The initial reports were positive: “Jillian is a cheerful and sunny presence!”

Then they got weird: “Jillian tends to… scream when she’s excited about something.”

And more: “Jillian cries easily, and is easily frustrated.”

“But she’s very smart!”

“Jillian cannot sit still in circle time.”

…and we were off to the races. At first, I figured “whatever, it’s Pre-K, they’re all maniacs at that age.” In the very back of my mind, however, the alarm bells were starting to ring.

One of the things I tell new mothers is “trust your instincts.” And mine were telling me that something wasn’t quite right.

I made tentative inquiries: “do you think Jillian is… normal?” Oh, she’s fine. She’s spirited! She’ll grow out of it.

But she didn’t. Kindergarten was more of the same. Every now and then, Jillian would have a particularly bad day and be escorted to pickup by her teacher who would give me a rueful smile and say “Jillian had a bad day.”

Oh, but she’s fine! This is all normal for this age! She’s clearly very smart, maybe a little emotional, but she’ll grow out of it!

First grade: more of the same again, some more. “Jillian is great, but…”

RIGHT.

That’s when we started asking: “Is she bored? Academically, she is doing very well. Could it be that she simply needs more stimulation in that area?”

Wellllll sure. Maybe. So we worked with her teacher to come up with some ideas of what Jillian could do when she found herself with some free time. At first, she seemed really gung-ho about it, but could never quite gain the focus needed to actually DO anything about it. Sigh.

Second grade was when the shit really started to hit the fan. We’d been fortunate up to then with Jillian’s teachers, in that they were all lovely people who understood Jill fairly well and occasionally went out of their way to make sure she was pointed in the right direction. I’m sure they were frustrated with her at times (just like we were), but they never showed her anything but caring and concern and a willingness to help us figure out what makes that kid tick.

So we believed them when they said she’s normal, she’s fine, she’ll grow out of it.

But second grade… ugh. Second grade sucked.

I get it – teachers have a lot of kids and a lot of curriculum to get through. They don’t have the time to be re-directing and re-focusing my child 54 times an hour. Jillian spent a good chunk of time in the principal’s office during 2nd grade, because her teachers simply could not deal with her. Or would not. The tone of the emails that came home was not great, let’s say, and that’s when we decided to have her evaluated for the first time.

First stop: pediatrician. “Nope, she seems fine to us. No, we don’t feel that she needs to be screened for ADHD. After all, she’s a girl, her academic grades are stellar, she’s just high-strung and emotional, that’s all!”

Mmmhmmm.

Next stop: hippie-dippie social worker. “I don’t think Jillian has ADHD. She’s very high energy and maybe you could try some mindfulness work with her. I suggest yoga and maybe meditation.”

Mmmhmmmmmmmmm.

And we tried. We tried everything they suggested, from dietary changes to basic yoga poses to deep breaths to “finding a happy place” to a rubber band on the arm to having a note taped to her desk that says “please work quietly” to rewards to punishments to flat-out PAYING her to behave herself. Nothing worked. Nothing motivated this kid to change her behavior in any way and and and and and and AND!!

Second grade finally came to a close. Everyone was upset and exhausted and frustrated and that’s when I started looking at private school alternatives for her, since it was clear to me that public school just wasn’t working for her. But the options available to us were either not quite right or they were perfect, but astronomically expensive.

We sent Jillian to theater camp that summer. She seemed interested, and it seemed like it would be chaotic enough that her particular brand of zany would be more tolerated. That went VERY well. She had a few bumps along the way, but having the freedom to be as prolifically creative as she can be was a good experience for her. She’s doing that camp again this year, and I hope the experience is as good the second time around.

Third grade started with a lot of promise. I spoke with her teachers on Meet The Teacher day and let them know that Jillian was a bit hard to handle. I know teachers talk and so I’m confident they were already familiar with her, but I wanted to let them know that I knew what she’s like and that we were doing what we could to try to rein her in.

MORE.
OF.
THE.
SAME.

“Jillian is great, but…”
“Please help us work with her on getting her to settle down.”

By November, I had reached the end of my rope. I met with the pediatrician AGAIN and they told me AGAIN that they didn’t see any cause for concern. O RLY?? I got a second opinion, same thing. Saw another social worker therapist, same thing.

But remember those instincts? Alllll my alarm bells were going full clang, and so I finally got a referral from a therapist I know and trust. She referred us to the Child Development Center at Hunterdon Medical. We scheduled a full evaluation on this kid, from head to toe, inside and out. The initial paperwork for this thing was 21 pages long, but we got it all filled out and submitted.

And lo, the heavens parted, and the angels did sing.

We spent 5 hours there. They did a physical assessment first, then the doctor sat with us while Jillian did some drawings (also part of the assessment). He walked us through Jillian’s issues and challenges, step by step. He talked with us about some of our frustrations and some of the walls we’d been bashing our heads against. Then we went to the waiting room and he talked with Jillian.

They also gave her a battery of tests, from the ADHD screeners to the IQ tests, and she scored on the extreme edge of them all. Extremely high IQ (higher than mine, even, and I am a goddamned genius). Extreme ADHD.

Oh.

Well then.

Now we’re getting somewhere. We left that meeting armed with information and resources that were designed to help us get a handle on our tiny maniac and try to get her to… well, if not get in step with the rest of the kids, at least to march in the same band, if you know what I mean.

We decided that medication would be a “last-resort” thing, since we honestly did want to exhaust all other avenues before going that far. We wanted to know that we tried everything we could. So we did! We met with the school and discussed the possibility of getting a 504 plan in place. We didn’t think she needed to go quite so far as to have an IEP, but a 504 definitely seemed like a good idea. A two-hour meeting was held and we left there feeling hopeful that they would at least try to work WITH Jillian and not against her.

Turns out, her ADHD isn’t quite severe enough for the school to put a formal plan in place (which I think is odd, since her doctor was all “whoa, look at this shit” when looking at her screener results), but they would help her with some basic accommodations, such as a gel seat (for fidgeting) and some extra time for tests (due to focus issues).

All that in place and… no change in behavior. These accommodations weren’t hurting anyone, but they certainly didn’t seem to be making any difference whatsoever. So, after about 5 months of this, we decided on medication.

And that’s how we got here. So far, so good, and I hope that a month from now, when Jillian is on the full dose, we can report a night-and-day situation with regards to our tiny maniac. I am a teeeeny bit concerned that medicating her will dim the disco ball that is my child, but I also think that light is strong enough to shine through whatever we put on her.

Time will tell.

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Day One

A couple of weeks ago, we made the very tough decision to put Jillian on some kind of medication for her ADHD. I have a feeling this will be one of those things that we wish we’d done years ago, but oh well – we’re here now.

It was a tough decision, but I’m happy with it. I did a lot of research and we tried lots of other non-medication interventions with her (indeed, we’ve been doing these things for years already with no results). But it was still hard to say “yes, let’s do this.” There is SUCH a stigma surrounding anything related to mental health, and ADHD is no different.

I’m not immune – I barely even believed that ADHD was even a “real” thing until Jillian and I were both diagnosed with it. Once we went through all the testing, it seemed obvious to me that this is what Jillian has been battling for years. Me, too. But… drugs! In my wee child’s body! I had a lot of trouble coming to terms with that.

But! But. Lots and lots of people I talked to who are taking or have taken medication for ADHD have said that it literally changed their entire life. They described a life that was a lot like Jillian’s has been: full of frustration and exasperation and sheer exhaustion from just getting through the day. Lots of these people said “if she were physically ill and medication could treat it, you wouldn’t blink an eye, right?”

Well, right. After all, her eyes don’t work correctly and she wears glasses. This is really no different.

Today was Day 1 of our Brave New World. We have Jillian taking a tiny dose of Focalin, and in a week we will assess her and chat with the doctor and he will probably up her dose. Lather, rinse, repeat until she’s at the full dose recommended for her height and weight. During that time, we’ll be watching her like nervous hawks to see if any side-effects make themselves known. Fingers crossed that everything goes all right. Today was a fairly successful day for Jillian after what has apparently been a rather difficult week.

Her doctor said that ADHD is one of the very few things that has a “magic bullet.” The response rate and success rate of kids on ADHD drugs is SO high, that he’s confident Jillian will be all right. Personally, I’m terrified – her IQ is higher than mine and if we can get her to focus and get her shit together, we’ll all be working for her sooner rather than later.

You’ve been warned, everyone.

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In Which I Open A Window To The Brain

This poor blog. What a sad state of affairs it’s in. The problem I’ve found with writing for the blog is that I am profoundly uninteresting unless I’m pissed off at something. And, since life has been pretty decent lately, I haven’t had much to yell about.

Well, nothing I can say in public, anyway. I have never had the power to successfully fictionalize the people in my life to the point where I can say what needs to be said without them knowing exactly whom I’m talking about. ALAS. Some stories will have to be told elsewhere.

So what’s the point of this blog, then? I haven’t got a subject that I am single-minded about. I don’t have a baby anymore, so I can’t really get down with the blogging about the utter dementedness of being a new parent, I’m not a foodie, and while I like beer well enough, I find that writing about it makes me hate it.

(Hmmm… maybe we can work with that)

The Jillian is now a third-grader, and I have her privacy to consider. She is the source of much amusement, but we’re at the point where it’s really up to her to decide what should and should not be “out there” for the world to see. I’d set her up with her own blog, but it would be nothing but Minecraft and Pokemon 24 hours a day.

Despite the tumbleweeds rolling through this domain, I have been writing. Most of it is utter drivel and will never see the light of day. I know I am my own worst critic, but some of this stuff is just crap. Maybe when I’m reeeeallly old or dead I will release that crap to the world and people can do what they want with it.

So… what, then? I guess we’ll figure it out as we go. As I approach my 40th birthday (I will be 40 years old but have only had 38 actual birthdays), I am feeling the need to establish some kind of routine with this. There are other factors behind this urge, but the age thing, whew. I’m about 99% okay with it.

Today is a Tuesday in April. We have just returned from a lovely weekend in Cleveland, where we stayed with our lovely friends in their lovely house, looking at the lovely lake. Had Easter dinner at Grandma’s, which was bittersweet, at best. Grandma is getting older and it’s starting to show. I worry. The family… I feel disconnected from them nowadays since I don’t live nearby and only see most of them once or twice a year. That’s the way of things with giant families, though. There are just too many of us. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss them.

We got home yesterday afternoon and Carl was SO HAPPY to see us. He usually hates all of us but when we got in the door he was there, rubbing on everyone’s legs and meowing for all he is worth. He has since calmed down a bit and has resumed his post in the front window, where he watches for birds and bunnies.

I picked up the dogs from doggie camp and after a brief period of everyone barking at everyone else, they have settled down into their weekday routine, which consists of sleeping. They’re happy to be home and I’m happy to have them because the house feels weird and empty without my mutts.

My brain is playing “Maybe I’m Amazed” on a loop in my head. I have long since given up trying to figure out where the songs come from or why my brain chooses them each morning. I do wonder if it’s my brain’s way of procrastinating, however. Like, I’m supposed to be thinking about something important, but the brain would rather sing along with Sir Paul, in the way that I get a LOT of knitting done when I’m supposed to be folding laundry.

(or writing)

Spring has finally arrived. That means I need to put out the hummingbird feeder, rake out the garden, and start fixing up the vegetable beds so they can be planted. I’m going to plant tomatoes again, but perhaps not quite so many as last year. Other than that, I’m not sure what else I want to put back there.

Lettuce?

Speaking of, I need to sign up for the CSA again. That was a moderately successful experiment last year. It was nice to get things that I might not otherwise buy, but since we’re at the mercy of what the farm produces, we ended up with roughly eleventy billion apples. While I enjoy a good apple as much as the next person, that was just ridiculous. If I get over my aversion to canning (sooooo much effort for a relatively small reward), then maybe a full share would make sense, but even with a half share, I fear I will be covered in apples again come October.

What I really need is a CSA that sends me my bodyweight in strawberries for the two weeks they are in season, and then when tomatoes are at their peak, they would just back a truck up to the house and dump ’em. That would be worth the money.

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In Which I Barely Believe

Everyone’s child is a Special Snowflake. Some, more than others.

Mine, more than most, apparently.

She was a more or less effortless baby, who grew into a chatty toddler. Then we sent her to preschool and the fun began. “Jillian is great, but… she screeches.”

We know. The child is enthusiastic about life and that used to manifest as a window-shattering screech. Lucky for all of us, there were only 6 kids in her preschool class and she was easily managed.

Then Kindergarten happened. From time to time, Jillian’s teacher would walk her down to dismissal, an apologetic look on her face. A sad look on Jillian’s face. “Jillian is great, but… she is too much.”

We know. Too much talking. Too much moving. Too much too much too much.

“She’ll grow out of it,” the doctor said. Her academic performance was fine, so we nodded and kept on.

First grade. “Jillian is great, but…”

Different doctor: “She’s completely normal, she’ll grow out of it.” You don’t think we should screen her for… ADHD, say? “No.” Okay.

Second grade. “We had to remove Jillian from the classroom today for being disruptive.”

(Second grade was not our favorite grade)

Yet Another Doctor AND TWO THERAPISTS: “She’s fine. She just needs to understand that there are consequences for her behavior. She’ll grow out of it.” Are you SURE we shouldn’t have her screened for ADHD or similar? “Not at all!” Okay.

And now… third grade. “Jillian is great, but…”

WE KNOW.

The Mama Instinct is a thing that I advise all my friends to heed. It’s there for a reason, and it is very rarely wrong. When the behavior pattern started up again this year, I decided that three doctors and two therapists were out of their minds and had Jillian tested for everything. We were referred to a Developmental Pediatric practice that would be able to take a good hard look at Jill and how she moves through the world. The intake paperwork was thirty pages long and covered everything that has ever happened to her since before birth to now.

A three-hour appointment happened, and they checked her out from head to toe and then spent some time talking with us (and – more importantly – LISTENING TO US) before they worked with her. A battery of tests later, and we have some actual concrete data with which to solve this problem.

The doctor showed us the charts for the intelligence tests he gave Jillian and then he showed us how she is literally off the high end of them. We knew that. The doctor asked us if we thought Jillian was bored in school and I nearly died out of relief. We know she’s smart, she just can’t sit still, ever.

Because: the diagnosis came back as ADHD/Combined. That’s alllllll the ADHD you can have, with extra sprinkles. I knew it. Three doctors and two therapists told me no, but I knew. I’m her mother.

I hate to put that label on her, but it fits. So many of her behaviors are so annoying but now we know that she can’t really help it. The fidgeting, the half-on, half-off the chair (which results in some spectacular falls from time to time), the singing, the constant changing of direction, the inability to focus on more than two directions at a time, etc. It’s all there.

And now we can fix it! Very soon, we shall have the full written evaluation from the doctor. Armed with that, we will get a plan in place at school that will help Jillian survive in the classroom without anyone wanting to wring her neck. I hope that she will be allowed some accommodations for this year’s round of gifted-program testing, which will [we hope] elevate her into that program where she should have been these past two years.

[We could have appealed her test scores but by the time the end of the school year rolls around, we’re all just so exhausted by her that nobody had the mental energy to even know where to begin. So.]

I’ve got a new role, too. Advocate. I am going to be spending the next little while reading everything I can get my hands on about girls with ADHD (because our Special Snowflake is ever so special – of all the kids diagnosed with ADHD, the overwhelming majority of them are boys), coming up with a list of things that her teachers can do for her in the classroom (I hope), making checklists and charts for home, and just… learning to adapt to being an ADHD parent (who maaaaay or may not have undiagnosed ADHD of her own. Let’s just say that a lot of the questions I answered on those forms felt awfully famililar). It’s going to be a busy time.

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Published!

For the first time, someone who is not me took a thing that I wrote and put it someplace where other people could see it.

Here is that thing.

Pac-Man Kill Screen

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Filed under Me Me Me, Teh Internets