Thursday, October 13, 2011

Negative Nelly Learns a Lesson

Steve and I were a little uneasy about our conversation with Jonas's pediatrician on Tuesday. The upside is that we took a few more steps forward in our understanding of Jonas and how to better face the challenges we're all dealing with. On the other hand, it was another eye opener into the immense complexity of world we're now a part of. In a word, it was overwhelming.

"Most parents are good parents. But if your son or daughter has attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD), "good" may not be enough. To ensure that your child is happy and well-adjusted now and in the future—and to create a tranquil home environment
—you've got to be a great parent."
-ADDitude Magazine

We read an article in the waiting room that basically said that parents of kids with ADHD have to be exceptional for their kids to be successful in life. To say we were discouraged by that would be an understatement. Luckily Dr. Saunderson bolstered our confidence and gave us back our hope. We both woke up yesterday determined to make things go more smoothly around here. Our life truly is a team effort and, in our minds, yesterday was going to be a fresh start. My mom would pick Jonas after school, Steve would be home by dinner time, and I would be home in time to read with Jonas before bed.

As Steve got ready for an early morning at work, I went into Super Mom mode. I made breakfasts, lunches and a crock-pot dinner that would be ready when everyone got home. I had my patience cape on as I guided Jonas through eating his breakfast, getting dressed, brushing his teeth, and packing his backpack. I even managed to squeeze in a few minutes for a little pep talk before I dropped him off at school.

As I drove to work, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. Our fresh start was on the right track but, as they say, pride goeth before the fall. As I poured myself a cup of  coffee at the office, I realized that I forgot to give Jonas his medication. I sent him to school unmedicated, tired from a late night and excited about seeing his Nana. Since there was nothing I could do about it, I fought the urge to bang my head on desk and then crawl under it to hide. I spent the rest of the day with a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Waiting. Hoping. Cringing.

When I called at dinner time to check-in, Steve told me that Jonas had a bad day at school. The note from his teacher said something to the effect of "Jonas was very disruptive in class today so he missed part of his playtime at lunch to write out the school's Code of Conduct, to reflect on his behaviour and what he can do to make things better." Ouch! I spent the rest of the night at our Beaver Scouts meeting with a little part of my brain wondering how everything going at home, worried that things might be off the rails. More often than I'd like to admit, we let a bad moment steamroll into an on-going struggle where everyone ends up upset and in tears.

Counter to my Negative Nelly thinking, Steve and Jonas were both all smiles when I got home. Even though my mother guilt insisted on assuming the day had been an epic fail, and that the entire day had been a downward spiral, the team recovered just fine. Maybe, just maybe, I need to cut us all some slack and realize that everything isn't ever going to be perfect. We're all going to make mistakes and things are going to go wrong. BUT, if we work together, and stay positive, it doesn't have to be the end of the world.  Kudos to my wonderful husband, mom and son for proving that to me last night. Lesson learned.


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