I’ve been meaning to write about my experiences with ADD as a child, but for some reason I’ve been having some trouble recalling specifics. Maybe because mommy doesn’t get much time to just sit and think, not until the kids go to bed. And then I have to battle the feelings of wanting to sit comatose in front of the tv. First of all, I don’t remember a lot of detail from when I was my son’s age, and rely heavily on my mom’s memories. She tells me that once I learned to walk, I wasn’t a “cuddler” any more because I was too busy running around and exploring. The boy was the same, he was too busy to sit and cuddle, he was on the go! He would run to me and give me a quick squeeze, then he was off again. My mom and I came across a picture of me as a preschooler, in an adorable 70’s smock dress and tights, standing with a group of children during a Christmas pageant. She tells me that I started repeatedly jumping off the step I was supposed to be standing on. Apparently I got all the other children interested in jumping off the step and the pageant was reduced to chaos and parental giggling. My mom tells me that even though I was hyper, she could “reign me in.” She could reason with me, and explain what was expected of me… it might take me a while to get myself under control, but it was possible.
My body and brain were always in “go, go, go” mode. I tapped, I wiggled, I twitched my foot, I rocked in the chair (to this day, I can hardly sit in a rocking chair without rocking.) If the energy built up enough, I’d make loud noises. As an only child, I often amused myself with noises I could make with my voice or with objects (you can pity my mother at any time.) If I had pent up energy and was unable to be noisy, I did this little twitter with my hands; I’d put one hand on the side of each thigh and and very quickly pat, pat, pat, like a fluttering. Don’t ask me, I did it well into my twenties, when I got excited about something. It became my very own, cute little expression of joy [nerd!] I used to come into my mom’s room and sit on her bed, it was usually under a minute before she told me to “quit jiggling.” I remember thinking it was unfair of her to expect me to sit still all the time, I may have construed it as a form of rejection, because I remember thinking to myself that I would never say that to my kids. (You’ve got to love the thought process of children, everything is “unfair!”) I don’t like that I’ve said it to my own son, especially knowing how impossible it is for him to be still, but man, it is really irritating to be jiggled constantly while you’re trying to read or type! In fact, I just pushed my cat onto the floor because she was laying on my arm while I was typing this. [Mom/Pet owner fail!]