By Leslie Lindsay
It ain’t easy raising kids (or being green). And just this morning I was reminded why: apparently I hate my daughter. Yep. It’s been coming out lately–the snarkiness and sassy-ness–and this isn’t the first time she she shouted, “You HATE me!” Nope. I have heard it before. She’s only six and so I worry what her teenage years will be like. I think she should have a hormone-ectomy right now before it gets too unbearable.
It hit me hard this morning when she declared my detest for her. Because, really truth-be-told, I really did feel some visceral hatread towards by first-born. So, I cringed and felt a deep plumeting deep down in the pit of my stomach. Yes, I hated the fact that I had to deal with a child with ADHD at 8 in the morning. Yes, I hated that I yelled and wiped the dog slobber off her face a little too forcefully. Yes, I hated the way she looked at me and stalked off to her hiding place (the basement stairs). Yes, I loved the fact that she was going to school today. Yes, I hated the fact that her district is operating on an early dismissal day so teachers can prepare for 1st quarter conferences. And I sort of kind of jate the fact that I don’t feel like spending any special 1:1 time with her. But I know she needs it. I know we both need it.
You see, my daughter is adorable. She is bright and creative. She is smart. She has a ton of energy. She’s a lot like me. But different. She has ADHD. I don’t really know how this happened. I don’t have ADHD. My husband…well, the jury is still out. But he jokes he has “hypoactive disorder.” So, who knows where the heck this came from?! I sure as heck don’t. Not that I want to take any of those aforementioned qualities away from her, I just want to learn how to deal with them. In fact, it’s rot really any of those qualities that drive me bonkers, it’s the combination of. For example, creativity + energy + intelligence = a very mischevious child. She is clever; crafty like a fox which sometimes gets her into trouble. Mega-trouble. And then we factor in all of those specific-to-ADHD symptoms: impulsivity, quirkiness, lack of follow-thru, distractiability, fidgeting…and then the apraxia characteristics: strange strings of words, sounds, and phrases and sometimes the inability to find the “right” word. It leads to a frustrated and mis-understood child. And an equally frustrated mom.
So, here’s my plan: I won’t hate her. I will find time to hang out with her. (even though I am not so sure I can muster the strength and energy). I already found that the new movie, “Puss in Boots” is playing tomorrow at the same time her little sister is in preschool. I think we’ll go. Maybe some popcorn and the silver screen will make her not hate me. And for me to like the child I love.