Today was a big win and I am celebrating by going to bed early. Mainly because I have a head cold, but also because I need to review the good choices I made today.
It’s so easy to fume over inefficient actions or less than optimal decisions. How nice to flip the ADHD troll the bird and realize that the techniques I’m using to moderate my impulse control and even out my huge emotions are working sometimes!
Here’s the story: today was my daughter’s first day walking to and from school. She finishes school a good two hours before I get home. I trust her to respect the rule of coming straight home after school.
She was indeed home,but had her BFF with her and they had decided to surprise me and my son with dinner. First of all she has no experience with the stove top. Second, even though her friend does cook a bit neither of them knew where our fire extinguisher was in case of a fire. Third, she messed up my plans for dinner and I don’t like it when plans change.
Enter the kneejerk reaction: she broke rules when she let a friend come over without permission, and used the stove top with little experience! So many bad things could have happened!
I took a deep breath, then another, and asked her to meet me outside to hear her out. I walk into the kitchen and see that the girls made a big surprise sign and set the table with soup, hotdogs, and fried eggs.
The friend left after I thanked her for the surprise. I thought about why my kid would want to do this- not to break rules or burn down the house but to show me that she can contribute in caring for our little family and take some of the workload off of me. To show me that she doesn’t want to come home early to sit in front of a screen for hours.
I discussed her intentions with her and afterwards told her why I was concerned. I was appreciative of all her efforts. I got clearer with house rules. We laughed at the runny eggs but ate the soup and hotdogs. I taught her to cook eggs properly. She did all the dishes. She told me that she was proud and relieved at my reaction to her spontaneous meal.
The lesson was full of empathy and vulnerability. My daughter really understood my concerns and felt guilty for her actions, instead of the dreaded shame that causes a lot of us with ADD to paralyze and hide instead of standing on our two feet and making amends.
Because it was picture day,
I had finished styling my son’s hair under the kitchen lights this morning before leaving for daycare. It turns out that the girls used the can of hairspray thinking it was Pam oil spray to coat the frying pan. When she told me this hours later I laughed until I cried and sent a silent but adamant thank you prayer to the guardian angels off creative and thoughtful ADD kids.