It's here. Today is the next festival of chocolate, candy and hyper kids acting like lunatics. Happy Valentine's Day? Sure!
Our day started off like any other, until my son realized that it's Valentine's Day. He almost instantaneously got a little more hyper and unfocused. ADHD and chocolate, even the thought of it, don't mix. The anticipation of all that sweet goodness was just too much for him. I almost wanted to shoot myself or his teacher when she rewarded him with chocolate three times last week for helping to clean up the classroom after school. It's a thoughtful gesture to reinforce good behaviour but, frankly, I'm not sure the after-effects are worth it. Thankfully, his ADHD means he usually forgets about the treats if I can get him to wait to eat them for a little while. (Reinforcing my belief that there is always an upside!) I fear that I am going to have no such luck today.
The day's traumas began when I wouldn't let him eat chocolate cupckes for breakfast. He and Tasha made them on Saturday after Beaver Fun Day and he made a b-line straight for them this morning. After many tears and reminders that Christmas and Easter are the only days can eat chocolate before breakfast, and I repeat - BEFORE - not instead of, I finally convinced him to have some yogurt and berries on the way to daycare.
As he finished eating, he realized that he didn't have anything to give to his classmates. Apparently the cards he spent the weekend writing out weren't going to be enough, there needed to be something to go with them. He was in tears thinking that he'd be the only one without some sort of present or treat to give to his classmates. He was only barely appeased by my promise to "figure it out." Phew. My To Do List was growing but at least the tears had stopped.
As we walked into the house, the next trauma of the day befell us, when Leah ran over to give us the cards she'd made for us. Jonas got upset, saying "Leah doesn't like me because she gave me my card last." Ah, the joys of an overly sensative child. I distracted him quickly, showing him the birthday cupcakes by best friend made for my belated birthday celebration yesterday, a party we never made it to because my car kind of fell apart. (That's another tear-filled story for another day, but all's well now.) No, I didn't let him eat one of those cupcakes either, but I did promise one after school and homework today. Upon hearing that, all three kids got into the act by begging to have a cupcake before school No way! I thought I was going to lose my mind and it was only 7 am.
I turned off the tv and distracted them with get-ready-for-school chores. Unable to stop thinking about Valentine's Day, it took them almost 45 minutes to get their snacks, water and backpacks ready. Of course, more tears errupted when Jonas realized that Gavin and Leah each had a bag of chocolate to dole out at school. I looked at the clock. 7:45am. 40 minutes left until the school bell.
Weighing the risks of taking hyper kids out in public, and the likelyhood that somebody would take care of them if I had to be taken away in a straighjacket, I packed them up in the now fixed car and headed for Walmart. We were on a hunt for some sort of treasure for Jonas' classmates. Not wanting to add to the sugar rush, we settled on heart-shaped crazy straws for the kids and a talking stuffed bear for his teacher. Finally, a smile! The first one of the day and it was a huge one. Phew!
When we finally got to school, he ran out of the car so excited that he almost forgot to say goodbye. Even though I couldn't get out of there fast enough, I knew better, so I waited. He stopped and turned suddenly, ran back, gave me hug, and went through his kissing hand routine - three kisses each from me to his hand, him to my hand, and then three regular kisses. Then I got a HUGE smile, an "I love you Mum-a", and off he went.
Those smiles were the best Valentine's presents he could give me. My only wish is that they set the tone for his day. Fingers crossed.