This has been a long, tiring week. I came down with a cold – not surprising since M was sick last week and there has been something nasty sweeping through my office. It was a particularly hectic week at work, so I went in every day. Except today, when I woke up with a squeaky voice and a cough. M kept telling me not to talk today – ostensibly to rest my voice, but also probably to give his ears a rest. I sound like Minnie Mouse swallowed a helium balloon.
So here are the highlights for this week (at least what I can remember)
Monday – After being sick on the previous Friday and all weekend, M was finally feeling better. He went back to went back to school, but not surprisingly, he was wired for sound. This is a kid who needs to be active every day. He didn’t walk to school, he bounced. Apparently, he was pretty hyped up the whole day. The principal wondered if it might be because they were heading into break week and M has trouble with transitions. I reminded her he had been sick and hadn’t been outside in 3 days. Sure enough, he was much calmer on Tuesday.
Tuesday – M’s dad picked him up from daycare and took him to the doctor’s. Afterwards, they ran some errands and it wasn’t until they got home, that my husband realized he had forgotten his briefcase at the doctor’s. M was patient about going back – usually he gets highly annoyed with this sort of parental goofiness. I’d like to think he was becoming more tolerant, but it’s probably more about getting additional time on his iPod Touch.
Wednesday – I took M to meet the facilitator for a social skills group that he will be starting at the end of the month. M is usually pretty uncooperative about any meeting with an adult that involves talking about his feelings and emotions. But the facilitator was young and had lots of neat play-doh games in her office. Apparently an irresistible combination for M as he spent a good 45 minutes talking with her. She did remark afterwards that he seemed to have a little trouble with focus. I didn’t bother pointing out that most kids who need a social skills group probably have trouble focussing. As I said, she’s young and I am not sure how much experience she has with this sort of group. She’ll learn.
Thursday – M brought home some old circuit boards from daycare. As if we need more junk at our house. My husband is a total minimalist, but M and I are collectors (nicer than saying we are hoarders). The circuit boards are now strewn across the family room floor with a bunch of other projects M has been working on. Classic ADHD. Plus he’s not a naturally tidy kid (= messy; another trait he inherited from his mother, much to his father’s chagrin). We could have insisted he pick everything up, but it takes a fair amount of cajoling and just plain nagging to get M to clean up after himself. Neither my husband nor I neither had the energy at bedtime to go through this song and dance. It may well make it a little bit harder to get M to pick up his stuff the next time we ask. Sometimes slacker parent mode is the path of least resistance.
Friday – since I was staying home from work, M asked me to pick him up at school, instead of taking the bus to daycare. We hung out together and ran some errands. We stopped by Michael’s craft store and picked up a couple of the balsa-wood models M loves and some craft supplies for me. As we were heading to the cash, he spotted a book about making paper monsters that he “just had to have.” Like most kids, M wants lots of stuff, but we try not to buy him too much. He gets an allowance of $10/month (plus another $10 that goes into the bank – 2x his current age) – and he has full rein over how he wants to spend it. He had already picked out 3 models at $7 a pop and the book was $20 – no way his allowance could cover the cost.
While I love anything crafty, M isn’t usually interested in these types of activities. So when he does express an interest, I tend to indulge him. Today was no exception. We did compromise on 2 models and the book. Since it is March Break and almost everyone we know is going away, it will help keep him occupied over the weekend and in the evenings. And I’ll be reminding him whenever he claims to be bored and wants more TV or computer time.
Saturday – since it is the weekend, M woke up at the crack of 7am. On weekdays, we have to pry him out of bed, but on Saturday and Sunday, he’s up bright and early. His parents are generally not so energetic, so we usually sleep in. This is a double-edged sword: we get a couple more hours of sleep, while he watches TV or plays on the computer, but after a couple of hours of non-stop media time, he’s over-stimulated and rangy. This morning, he had gotten himself an apple to eat – he usually waits for one of us to plonk a bowl of cereal in front of him and tell him to eat.
Yesterday, M had agreed to go to a 10 am karate class, but having over-loaded on media, he had trouble focusing on getting dressed and taking his meds. He tried to negotiate going to a later class, but my husband wasn’t in a patient mood and started laying down the law. This type of strategy has limited success with M – more often than not, he starts doing the opposite of what he’s been asked to do. Plus, he’ll throw in just enough attitude to annoy the parent-in-charge even more. This morning M was flitting around in his pj’s, while his father’s voice got more and more strident. Although these situations often end badly, I have learned not to intervene. Otherwise, everybody gets worked up. Eventually, M got his act together and went off to karate without further incident.
We’ll see what the rest of the weekend brings. My husband and I always insist on a family outing at some point on Saturday or Sunday, which entails some intense negotiations with M, since he would prefer to sit on the couch and read or play computer games for the entire weekend. We will definitely being doing some tidying around the house. But mostly, we’ll just hang around and enjoy each other’s company. That’s really what weekends are for.