Mom, Do You Need A Hug?

Living with a child with ADHD is often a minefield. He’s not old enough to have developed executive functioning skills even without ADHD, so he literally leaves things all over the place, genuinely without the slightest idea that he has put down/dropped/abandoned a thing, let alone in a totally inappropriate place. My son’s ADHD is both inattentive and hyperactive, so he could literally drop an entire bag of marbles on the floor without noticing, walk two feet toward picking them up when you yell at him, forget entirely what he was doing while standing surrounded by spilled marbles, spring into parkour moves, bouncing off the wall, through the door, and knocking you over, and have absolutely no idea what he has done wrong and why he is in trouble by the time he gets to his bedroom where you have just angrily sent him.

It makes life interesting.

After two years cooped up in a small house, with parental injuries and soaring stress and burnout taking a toll on the ability to chase him down and continuously nag him to pick up what he put down down and put it away, it makes life a certifiable nightmare. Our house is a disaster zone of randomly placed objects and tripping hazards.

An excerpt from this evening:

When asked to clear the table for dinner, he looked at it in total shock and demanded to know who had spread a game out all over it. "That was you," I sighed.
"No it wasn't. I put this all away this morning!" rejoined the miscreant.
"You left it all over the table."
"Are you sure? I put it away. I know I did."
"No, you took it all out the 4th time I told you to brush your teeth this morning, and then put the little pieces in the bag when I told you for the 7th time to brush your teeth this morning. You left the rest."

He put most of the game back in the box and set the dinner table around the rest.

Now, after a lovely meal, I'm taking a nice postprandial limp around the house on a knee that is now chronically malfunctioning. I've been teaching pandemic addled 6th graders who are three days from spring break all day, then running errands. I have 198 emails to read and deal with, a three inch high stack of assignments that should have been graded a month ago, and need to do laundry so I can wear clean work clothes tomorrow instead of yoga pants and a t shirt. I am exhausted, and want to write and then watch TV in peace. Instead, I am wandering around, collecting misplaced items, not particularly happily.

"Here's his water bottle and his mask from the sunroom floor," I tell my husband, who is loading the dishwasher. "And here's the bag of crackers that he swore he would not leave on my bike desk as he put them on my bike desk. And the four new Hot Wheels cars that fell off the bike desk when I moved the crackers. Oh, and here is the salt shaker, which was on my actual desk for some reason. And his iPad, which was on the cat post."

As I returned the iPad to his bedroom, where it is used to listen to bedtime music as part of our efforts to keep his overactive brain in a relaxed state long enough to a) fall asleep and b) stay asleep and c) let me sleep, I tripped on his bathrobe, flung across his bedroom doorway and trailing into the hall. 

"Why is your bathrobe in the hall, tripping me? Why are you bouncing on your bed, half in pajamas and half dressed? Why was your iPad on the cat post???"

"You sound like you are having a nervous breakdown."

"I AM having a nervous breakdown!!!!!"

"Mom, do you need a hug?"

"Yes. Yes, I think I do."

Hug given and gratefully received, I reminded him to finish putting on his pajamas, stop bouncing on the bed, brush his teeth, and put on his eczema medicine, and then left the room to write my blog.

Five minutes later (and counting):

"Mom, can I have some extra pillows?"

"Look, I found this vase."

"Come see my room."

"Can I have this blanket that you are sitting under?"

"Can I have a second fitted sheet?"

"I think I've found a way to make a giant pillow."

40 minutes later, and he still has not brushed his teeth.

I think I need another hug.

2 thoughts on “Mom, Do You Need A Hug?

  1. You perfectly described life with someone with ADHD and, boy, am I exhausted! You must be, too. The saving grace is that he’s cute…and super sweet to give you hugs. 🙂


    1. Yup, if he weren’t cute and a giver of hugs, we would never have made it this far! He’s recently started making me cups of tea when he thinks I am having a bad day. Empathy is strong, even if his attention span is not.

      Liked by 1 person

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