Monthly Archives: October 2015

Dear New Neighbor, Please Let me Explain

Hello new neighbor and welcome to the neighborhood. I wanted to apologize for not stopping by to say a proper hello and welcome; I feel terrible for being so rude. I saw you wave this morning and I wanted you to know I was trying to wave back. Turns out, I hadn’t put the lid on my coffee mug correctly, and as I raised my hand (and coffee mug) to say hi, it spilled all over my lap. Ouch! THAT was why you only heard me drive by and exclaim, “Oh for f&ck’s sake, you’re an idiot!” That was NOT directed at you but I understand how, with my window rolled down, me making eye contact and then belting that out, you would think it was directed at you. I was late to an appointment because the dog had decided to roll around in his sh*t that morning, which I had to clean up before leaving. I was frazzled which explains why the lid was not tightly on my mug.

After this exchange, and the ones previously (blush), I thought I should write a little note to explain things, so you don’t end up quickly moving to the other side of the street when walking by, or telling your kids they cannot come play at the “weird” neighbor’s house.

Last weekend, when I was walking my dog, I did wave (yay me) and noticed you looked odd when you waved back. I couldn’t figure out why and assumed you were just a little snooty and rude. It wasn’t until I got home, that I realized I was wearing my pink rhinestone studded tiara. That might have looked a little crazy. See, my son bought me the tiara for Christmas last year and said it made him sad I never wore it. In truth, I hadn’t been able to find it and was unpacking a box from our move (over a year ago) and found it! So I put it on to make him happy, then forgot I had it on and took the dog for a walk. I am NOT that woman who wears a tiara to walk the dog. Well, I guess I AM that woman but, well, you get it. I’ll need to let the other neighbors know too. Who would have thought it would be THAT night, that I meet 5 of our new neighbors!

I also wanted to explain the conversation you heard in the backyard the other day. As you’ve seen, I have 3 boys between the ages of 7 and 12. It gets a little wild here! I was not really going to tape up my son’s butthole with duct tape if he did not stop farting on his brother’s head. I mean, I would love to (because the farts are never-ending it seems) but I would never really do that.

When I was on my deck and I yelled that if my son asked me one more time to come wipe his butt, I was going to make him start wiping mine – that was only said in frustration. I am completely capable of wiping my own butt, obviously, and of course would never make my son do that. I just get tired of telling my 12 year old to wipe his own butt. You get it right?

I also need to apologize because my oldest told me you came by the other day to borrow our ladder. I guess my son told you he couldn’t ask me because I was having Mommy’s Naked Time. See, the only way to ensure my boys don’t barge into my room looking for me, is to tell them I am naked. Then they knock. So sometimes, on a Sunday afternoon, I escape into my room to play a little Candy Crush without interruption and I tell them I am dressing and naked. I only take a half hour or so, but I guess they have now dubbed it Mommy’s Naked Time. Ha, ha, boys…You can come borrow the ladder tonight if you still need it.

Finally, I am so sorry for this afternoon when my youngest came to your house asking if you knew where I was. I know you were a bit panicked but everything was ok really. They’d been fighting all afternoon. When I went into the bathroom to yell at them to stop, they were having a “sword fight”…with their pee. I kind of lost it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get the pee off the ceiling and the dog was standing there licking the floor. I just needed to be alone. I told them to all go to their rooms and I hid in my closet. Sometimes, I hide in there, where everything smells clean and it is dark and no one can find me. I guess my youngest decided to leave his room to come looking for me and freaked when he couldn’t find me. I am sorry he frightened you enough to call the police (I don’t know where he came up with the idea that I had been kidnapped) and that you had to deal with that whole scene.

I’m really a nice woman and usually a very good neighbor. I would love to have you over for dinner, I think the kids will get along better (I’ve talked to my boys about never using the dried dog poo in the backyard as bullets in their Nerf guns, so that shouldn’t be an issue anymore if the kids play Nerf wars. I am so sorry your kids had to experience that).

Let me know if you’re free soon and we’ll plan something. I have lots of wine to choose from. Or beer. We also have rum, vodka, tequila, and well, we can find something you might like.

Sincerely,

Your New Neighbors.

4 Things My ADHD Son Wants Grown-Ups to Know

I was talking with my 12 year old son the other day about a girl he likes in school.

“She’s the most popular girl but some people say really mean things about her.”

“What do they say that’s mean?” I asked

“They call her fat and say she’s ugly without any makeup.”

God, kids can be mean. I asked him how he felt when he heard people saying things like that. “It makes me feel bad for her, because I know how I feel when people say mean things about me.”

My mom radar went off. My son is that kid who is always happy; nothing seems to get him down. He did not seem happy right now. What did he think people said?

“What do you think people say?” I asked expecting him to shrug, “I don’t know.” I got this instead:

I hear them, everything they probably think I can’t hear. Like the sigh when I tell them I forgot my homework again. I hear them mutter things under their breath when I am fidgeting in class. I hear frustration in their voices. I’d like them to understand I am not trying to make them mad.

I see things too. Like how you smile less with me than with other kids. I see how Daddy’s forehead gets all creased when he is yelling at me. I see people roll their eyes when I show them a new toy and how they sound all mad when they ask me to stop singing.

I want people to know I feel like they don’t like how I am. I want Daddy to know I am not stupid and it hurts my feelings when he says, “Are you dumb?” I want you to know I don’t like it when you yell. I hate when I ask someone a question and they say, “It’s none of your business. Stop interrupting.” I’m just curious.

I just want it to stop. The yelling, comparing me to other kids that are “normal.” How people tense up sometimes when I just walk into the room. I want people to say I am nice and funny and good at drawing. And not follow it with, “If only he could focus like that in other areas.” I just want to feel like it’s ok to be me.

Holy sh*t! That was not what I expected and it took every ounce of strength I had to not crumble under the weight of my shame. Maybe my happy kid was a little less happy than I’d thought. And I’d been so frustrated with him for not being “normal,” I’d missed it.

I took a deep breath and hugged him. My heart hurt. “That was so beautifully said. I’ll make you a promise right now to work to make things different for you. I believe in you, I see your goodness and I don’t want you to hurt.” And I meant this with all of my being.

He hugged me back and looked shy now. Like a typical 12 year old boy.

So I am sticking to my promise. I want to help people understand ADHD and the struggles these wonderful humans go through just make a place to fit in this world. This is my start. They’re square pegs in a round-hole world. Let’s find ways to make more square holes for them to fit.

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