Queen of the Distracted

Imagine life in a house with 6 kids - now imagine if 5 of those kids and their father have ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - that is our house! Welcome to an inside view of my life and our home dominated by ADHD... THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!"

Those were our oldest daughter Rachel's first words, from the time she was a toddler she would belt them out proudly standing on the arm of the couch. At the time we had no idea what ADHD was or that it would play such a central roll in our lives.

Since then we have learned a lot, not the least of which is how many individuals and families suffer in silence. We have experienced first hand how misunderstood and misrepresented a disorder can be.

As a family we decided to take action - to risk embarrassment and labeling to get this important message out to the world. Come join our family, share in our lives, and see ADD/ADHD as we see it...
A gift with a heavy price tag.

WELCOME to life in the ADD/ADHD House!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dearest Beautiful Parents - Mariah's Plea Email

Dearest, beautiful parents,

Hey, I have a proposition for you. I really want to know if you guys will consider switching me and Rachel as far as rooms go.

Here's a list of carefully thought out reasons to consider this swap.

1. Practical Application

I am a full time college student who needs a place to study, write papers, read required text for classes. A quiet, solitary space would be perfect for such a thing as this.

2. Benefit to Hannah and Mary

I will have night classes next semester and sometimes my studies will require me to stay up later than Hannah and Mary can afford to (because of seminary) so instead of having to relocate to the living room each time I need to study and then sneak into the room later, I will already have a designated place.

3. New Opportunity

I have never had the opportunity to have my own room and I wish to experience it and prove that I can take care of my stuff and keep it clean.

4. Benefit to Rachel

Rachel will have the chance to get to know Hannah and Mary better and strengthen the sisterly love and sororal bond between them.

**Additional Reasons to Consider the Swap

1. Because this world is a beautiful and just place.

2. Because....please?

I hope you will consider this proposal and I pray that the odds may be in my favor.

Love you guys,


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Little Bit of Vitamin N

You've heard the child rearing experts say -ADHD/ADD or not - all kids need a little vitamin N.  They need boundaries, they need to be told, "No."

I have been gearing up for summer vacation and the inevitable spike in opportunities to dish out a little vitamin N that comes with it.  I couldn't help but think about the things I say no to versus the things that I imagine other parents, you know the "normal" parents with the "normal" kids, say no to.

I wonder if other parents have had to tell their children, "No, you can't buy the skinny jeans from the thrift store with the hole in the crotch.  No, I don't care if they fit perfectly THERE'S A HOLE IN THE CROTCH." 

Or maybe, "No, you can't jump off that ledge with an open umbrella  - YOU WILL NOT FLOAT DOWN TO THE GROUND!" 

My favorite part is how casually and calmly these roll off the tongue - I'm so used to bizarre requests and stumbling onto otherwise crazy situations that it doesn't even phase me.  There is no shock or alarm - just a firm, matter of fact mommy voice.  "No, you can't do that," often followed by, "I don't want to go to the emergency room today."

So, I thought I would share some of the things I have said NO to over the years.

No, you can't take the car and drive to your friends house while you're sobbing and you've got a gusher of a bloody nose pouring down your face.

No, you may not use a bathrobe tie strung up from the crib to the bunk beds as a tightrope.

No, you can't change your name to XO Aro even if it is a great spy name.  No, I don't have a particularly good reason why we didn't name you that except it was never on the list to be considered.

No, I don't care how pretty it is you cannot use royal blue fabric paint on the champagne colored carpet to paint pictures.  (by the way said fabric paint can be removed with non-acetone finger nail polish remover, a great deal of effort, and the loss of multiple brain cells)

No, you can't burn a hole in a plastic baby doll, fill it with hate notes, and give it to the school psychologist just because he annoys you - trust me it's a bad idea.

No, you can't fly; not off the back of the porch,  not off the chair, not off the stairs.

No, you can't buy those shoes, hat, shirt, dress, pants, jewelry, mini skirt, short shorts - why?  because you'll wear it in public.  No, I don't believe you when you say you'll only wear it in your bedroom.

No, no matter how much you argue you are not the oldest - you weren't born first.

No, you can't take cardboard to the concert and break dance to get the musicians attention.  First, you don't know how to break dance.  No, interpretive, modern, contemporary, jazz, tap, and all other forms of dance are out of the question too.

No, I don't know why it's called leap year when it's only one day of one month every four years.

No, wearing roller blades, while riding a bike, and carrying a long wooden stake in search of vampires is a bad idea.  By the way, so is using a pogo stick while wearing roller blades.

No, you can't run down the street naked in a Finding Nemo hat.

No, you can't secede from the nation of our family  - though that is very creative and you do get points for intelligence and wit, you aren't Texas.

No, don't jump fully clothed into the lake at the family reunion, especially not before you meet all the family.

No, you can't use markers to turn your sister into a humming bird.  No, not even if you're already half done.

No, You can't wear plaid, stripes, and camouflage all in the same outfit, especially in public. I say this one almost daily.

No, you can't put that plastic bag over your brothers head - not even if its a part of your imaginary game.

No, Barbie hair doesn't grow back when you cut it.

No, you can't use your mattress as a slide from the top bunk.

No, don't stick those pennies, tootsie rolls, peas, or any other objects up your nose, put them in your ears, or in any other body opening.

No, porcelain dolls can't fly either.

No, I am not paying ransom for your sibling just because you've tied them up and are hiding them in the closet.

No, it's not okay to dress your baby brother up as a princess.

No, you can't shoot your brother with the arrows, not even if they're blunt tipped and not sharp.

No,  you can't make a noose for your stuffed animals right now, you have to unload the dishwasher.

No, Santa can't leave the presents on the front porch like the Easter Bunny.

No,  it's 103 degrees out you can not go out and play in sweats and a long sleeved shirt, you'll get heat stroke.  I say this a surprising number of times each summer and then the reverse in the winter.  I will never understand that.

No, you can't have a contest to see who can hold your breath the longest, it is not the same as who can be quiet the longest.

No, you can't shave your head, dear daughter.  No, especially if you're planning on shaving your head and then going out to collect money for cancer research, it's just not right.

Occasionally, I even have to tell my wonderful ADHD husband, Mark, no.

No, you can't name our son Bowen - Bowen Aro (pronounced arrow).  No, Fisher is out of the question too.  I am not introducing my sons, "These are my sons, Hunter and Fisher."

We are just a few days into summer vacation and off to a good start...

No, you can't standi in your 3 foot window to reach the top shelf in your bedroom - you'll fall - your mother really doesn't want to go to the ER on her birthday!

No, you can't take the long sharpened piece of PVC pipe into vinyl sided doughboy  pool. No, not even if you tell me you won't poke a hole in the pool or your brother.

** Take a moment to share - what are some of your unique "no" moments

Here are a couple of my favorites from friends with ADHD/ADD kids...

No, you can't stick tooth picks down the center of all the door hinges (to a 3 year old)

No, you can't have a stick of butter for a snack

No, you can't take that watermelon up stairs, cut a hole in the screen, and drop it out your bedroom window aiming for the Chihuahua.

No, it is not okay to sit on the counter and throw knives at your siblings.

No, even if your 4 year old brother is throwing knives at you it is not okay to duct tape him to the kitchen floor.