Following Bunny Trails

“I don’t have ADD, it’s just that…OhLookAKitty!”

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College Attempt #1

In high school I slid by as a, pretty much, straight C student.   I listened in class and did well on tests, but hardly turned in any completed homework.  I have no idea why, now that i think about it; I had nothing better to do with my time.  My parents hardly allowed any TV, and I was on restriction most of my high school career because of poor grades.  I guess it’s just this lovely sanguine personality I was born with, this compounded with ADD, and you have a social butterfly who was perfectly content talking on the phone, sneaking TV,  reading novels or daydreaming in my bedroom.  I graduated high school when I was 17 and immediately went to a 4-year party school (completely unprepared for the work load) and partied my way right out.  (I have no regrets, I met my husband and many good friends for years to come!)   You see, my parents were very very (did I mention VERY) strict, and as soon as I felt that freedom after graduation, I ran with it!  I pretty much did what I wanted.  Of course, I was raised well, so I had my limitations.   I ended up leaving the college after two semesters, with hardly any transferable credits and several thousand dollars of student loan debt.  (Again, I regret not finishing a degree, but definitely do not regret my college days!)

The hubby and I dated for exactly one year before marrying.  We came to a point where we could no longer afford to maintain separate residences, and we couldn’t bear the thought of breaking our mothers’ hearts and living together pre-maritally.   We knew we wanted to get married, but we didn’t have the money for that either.  So we did what we thought was best, and we eloped.   He was in a fraternity at the time, and his frat “big brother” lived locally, and his dad was a judge.  We got our marriage license and were married 3 days after he asked me.  We married in the judge’s back yard, on the deck of his pool, and then celebrated afterward with a keg of beer that we weren’t old enough to even drink.  It was summer vacation, so only a few of our friends were still in town to help us celebrate.   We broke the news to our parents later.

Hubby still attended college and we moved into married housing on campus.   He was the station manager at the college radio station, which had just gone FM and was the hottest thing around.  Between weekends with frat brothers and his undying love and commitment to the radio station (which meant him getting up at all hours of the night and taking over the broadcast when the next DJ didn’t show up for his shift) hubby eventually started getting behind in his studies, and ended up not finishing his degree.   But I’ve got to give him credit, he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up and he got a lot farther than I did in school.   He got a job at the local radio station and I worked as a home health aid (after all, my prospective degree was supposed to be something in the medical field, I knew that much at least.)  We stayed in the college town for a few more years, until the radio station put him on salary and ran him ragged for so many hours that we realized he was earning around $3.75/hr.  It was time to move on.


To my suitemates and the dormmates below me:   I’m sorry for all the noisy parties I subjected you to, while you were trying to get an education.

To my mother-in-law:  Thank you for forgiving me for stealing your firstborn and robbing you of your first wedding event for your children.  To my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, thank you for having big weddings that made up for us having robbed your mother.

To my mother:   Sorry for robbing you of your only child’s wedding, but you did get two super-cute grandkids out of the deal! (eventually)

To hubby’s frat brothers:  I promise you that we don’t blame you one Theta Iota for our not finishing college!

To my mom again:  Thank you for teaching me about the much-argued-over temperament studies, for without them I would have hated myself, and probably others, much more.   It fostered an understanding of different personalities, and why people are how they are.


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Do The Eyes Hold a Secret?

I wish I could tell you that we removed all dye’s from our son’s diet, and his ADHD was all gone, but unfortunately that’s not the case.  We are attempting to finish the school year out on a positive note.  The teacher hasn’t called me to pick up the boy in a while, though the bus driver has told me that she had to get stern with him for hanging his arms and, occasionally, head out the window.   I still can’t take him shopping.  We haven’t been to a store in over a month.  I wait until daddy comes home and then I head out, sans the boy.  I have tried to hint that we would be shopping  later on in the day, but he instantly throws a fit.  I know that if he’s that upset at the mere mention of  going to the store, the actual experience of shopping will be a miserable one for both of us.  But I digress… [bunny trail]

There are good days and difficult days, but overall, I believe there’s been a pretty big difference since we went dye free.  I’m so proud of my boy, he’s not even 6 yet and he informs people that he doesn’t eat or drink anything with food coloring in it when they offer him something.  I think ice cream has been the hardest for him though.  On our Memorial Weekend vacation, we went to a fancy ice cream shop, and of the 40-some-odd flavors they offered, most had obvious colors.  The line of people waiting to be served went right out the door, so we couldn’t actually see all of the flavors before ordering.  It was pretty sad that out of all those delicious flavors, we had to ask the boy, “do you want chocolate or vanilla?”  This upset him more than the removal of his precious m&m’s, fruit snacks, or popsicles.   I finally allowed him to talk me into a nice lemon sorbet, and as the girl scooped up the ice cream and plunked it onto the cone, I saw for the first time that it was day-glo yellow.  *Sigh, what can you do?

The act of removing dye from our diet has naturally led to us greatly reducing our sugar intake, since sugar and dye seem to be synonymous with each other, especially in food marketed toward children.  (Don’t get me started!)   Except for our, all too often, summer ice cream outings, we usually opt for fruit to quell the dessert cravings.   There have been some dye sneak attacks though, gum is one of them.  You don’t usually think of gum as a food group, especially the sugar free kind, but so far I haven’t found one without dye.  Maybe Extra Polar Ice, it’s white, I haven’t checked yet… it doesn’t matter, the boy says that kind is too hot.  Poweraid Zero used to be a standby for long, active and  hot days, but I had to read every label until we found a Gatoraid Frost that was white.

There are some days where I could swear the boy has a stash of brightly colored candy hidden somewhere in his room.  I know nobody’s perfect, and we all have our moods, what I’m talking about are the days where the kid wakes you up by leaning  into your sleeping face and says, “Make Me Chocolate Milk!”  And it all goes down hill from there.  I have noticed something on particularly difficult days, days where the child’s expectations and viewpoints are completely off the wall.  You find yourself saying things like, “Are you kidding me?”  “Are you for real?”  “Did you really just say that to me?”   On those days I can see a change in his eyes.  As he stares at me defiantly from his time-out spot in his room, I notice that his eyes are glassy.  I spent some time on the search engines looking for a correlation between shiny eyes and ADHD or behavior or diet or anything that would help explain what I’m observing.  I found articles from seizure disorders to optical issues that can cause the person afflicted with it to have so much difficulty looking at a close up object, that their repeated “looking away” to refocus their eyes can lead to misdiagnosing a child with ADHD.  Who knew?  But after filtering through the junk information and scary information on the net, I found several moms describing their children’s eyes as  “glassy”,” glazy”, or “shiny” after eating a bunch of sugar or dye foods.   So is sugar the problem?  Am I missing some hidden dyes?  What about the days where he’s in time out for speaking rudely even before breakfast?  Is he chewing the fabric of his brightly colored pillow in his sleep?

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It’s Mom O’Clock somewhere

Every evening, at around 9 o’clock, I shuffle off the mom-suit and I shift back into a fully functioning human being, just when all my friends are hunkering down for the night.  I’m ready for adult conversations that I can actually listen to.  I am finally able to form a complete uninterrupted thought now that there aren’t children vying for my attention, playing in the cat bowl, spraying me with the hose, pulling good flowers from the flowerbed, leaving the gate open for baby to escape, squealing just to squeal…  I’m all ears, ready to listen, I can talk now.  Anybody?