My 5 year old has ADHD and ODD. I've mentioned it before, but I've never gone into details. We are still in the trial-and-error phase for medicating. I don't think what's he on now is helping any, so I need to make another appointment to talk to his pediatrician. Either a change of medication, or a higher dose is needed. We're currently on 5mg of Adderall. Not the extended release, just plain old regular Adderall. We also think his metabolism is so high because he seems to burn it off within an hour. He's also on .1mg of Clonidine at night to help him calm down and sleep. Without that, he's up until 1, 2, even 3 in the morning.
Anyways, today was just an awful day. I knew it was going to be rough when he woke up this morning and didn't want to get dressed. He refused to leave my room. When I finally got him out, he refused to go in his room. Well, that's just fine. There just so happens to be a basket of clothes in the play room that I never did bring up to his room. He can fish through that to find pants and a long sleeve shirt. Nope, he refused. He wants clothes from his room. UGH FINE! There wouldn't be a struggle if he were to just do what I asked him the first time. That's his ODD. I know better. He can't help it. But it doesn't make it any easier. I am not a morning person, and all this frustration makes it 10 times worse.
So, he finally goes in his room to get dressed. I hear his drawers open and close, over and over. He's debating between real pants or PJ pants. This is a battle I'm willing to give up. As long as he's dressed appropriately for the weather, I don't care what it is. Today is cold and rainy. Finally he comes out and says "I'm wearing shorts since I don't have any pants in my drawer." Umm, excuse me? No. You are not. You will take your behind downstairs, and you will get pants on. It is far too cold for shorts. Commence battle. "I don't WANNA go downstairs! I wanna wear shorts. It's not too cold. I'm really hot." Whine whine whine (anyone have any cheese to go with his whine??). Continue this for another 20 minutes. More tears, threats that he's going to run away, I'm the worst mother in the history of the world, blah blah blah. Yep, I know. I'm just downright awful. So, I do what every other horrible mom does. I let him put shorts on, and I sent him outside. He barely made it out the door. "IT'S TOO COLD FOR SHORTS!!!! I WANT PANTS!" Yeah, that is EXACTLY what I thought. Brat.
In he comes. He immediately starts to whine about how he doesn't want to take off his shoes, and then his shorts, then put pants on, then put his shoes on again. Here we go again. "Hey, AJ. Remember when I told you it was too cold for shorts, and you didn't listen? Well, you agree with me, right? Okay. So, I need you to please get some pants on right now. You have 10 minutes before your bus comes, and we still need to read your book. Please get them on NOW." There he goes, storming into the playroom. More whining and muttering under his breath about how awful I am. Yeah yeah, just get dressed. Battle to dress quickly, battle to read, battle to get shoes on. Not just get them on, but put them on the right feet. And so on. It was just a battle-riffic morning
Fast forward almost 8 hours later. AJs bus pulls up, and I already hear him outside screaming and crying. Oh no. What happened now? Did he get in trouble at school? Did the bus driver or monitor yell at him? Was another kid mean to him? No, nothing like that. Maybe he fell and got hurt? Nope. Not even close. So, what was it? He didn't zip his sweater up before getting off the bus. He was hysterically crying over that. Oh geez. That means tonight is going to be downright AWFUL!! The door flings open, he storms in, tears pouring down his face. I asked what happened, that's when he told me about his sweater. I assure him that it's really not a big deal. No need to cry about it. He insists that it's a big deal, but he doesn't know why. Time to relax. I already feel myself tensing up. Not to mention, he decided Sofia was in 'his' seat. That was an entirely different battle. Crying and screaming. Fighting in my ear. I sent him up to his room to relax a bit.
10 minutes later, he comes down. We talk about it. He's upset still. He's just very overwhelmed. Very tired, very emotional. As he's downstairs playing with his sisters, he's yelling. He's yelling at me, yelling at the girls, yelling at himself. He can't stay still. He can't be quiet. He just can't do anything at this point. I sent him back to his room to calm down again. Once he's relaxed, we try again. This time, dad was finally home. He's a different child around daddy. No idea why. Daddy doesn't hit. He doesn't yell. He often deflects things to me. But AJ is still very tense. He's trying to help dad with the groceries, but is too hyper to be able to focus on what needs to go where. He just throws things and runs. Not what we need/want.
AJ's behavior often gets the best of him. He doesn't want to act like this. He tells me all the time that he doesn't mean to be like that, but he just cannot help it. And I'm at a loss on what to do. We're working so hard to help him. It's such a struggle. One day, he's doing well with only minor issues. The next day, he's downright awful. Every thing makes him cry, which in turn makes me cry because I'm so flustered. I feel like an awful mom, and there are days where I cannot stand to be around him. And that makes me feel worse. But the cold, hard truth is, it's no walk in the park. He's a mess. I'm a mess. Together, we're an even bigger mess.
At any rate, dinner time is a disaster. We didn't do anything big or special. Chicken nuggets. It was an easy night, or so I thought. He proceeded to whine the whole time. They were too cold. Too hot. Didn't taste right. Needed ketchup. Too much ketchup. You name it. Then he needed a drink because his mouth was on fire. Then too dry. It was just one thing after another. After dinner, he wanted a snack. I told him, as I do every single night, that once he has his snack, that's it for the night. There's nothing else to eat after that. So if he's still hungry, he better let me know so I can get him some more food. He says no, he's not hungry, he just wants his snack. Okay. He has his snack (pudding), then says, as he's shoveling the last spoonful in his mouth, "Oh man. I mean, I still am hungry. I need more food." Umm, no. Nice try. We do this EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. And I am not exaggerating. Too bad, so sad. You ate your snack, you're done. PJs, teeth, bed. Let's go. Cue tears. He's starving and he's going to shrivel away in his sleep from starvation. I assure him that he wont, and see him upstairs to the bathroom. Whines throughout the teeth brushing. Fighting with Sofia over who's going to rinse their toothbrush first. Fighting over who gets to use the toilet first. Then it's a race down the stairs to say good night to dad first. Unbelievable. AJ might have ADHD and ODD, but Sofia is such an instigator. She knows his triggers and pulls them every chance she can. And she smirks about it, so I know damn well she knows what she's doing.
Finally, good nights are said. Into bed he goes. I tuck him in, he whines that he's too hot for a shirt. I tell him since he wants his fan on, he needs to leave it on. But if he's really hot, I'll just put the one thin sheet over him. He says he can't sleep with just one sheet. I put his blankie on top of that. He's happy. We go through our bedtime sayings "No yelling, no screaming, no talking, no playing. Right to sleep. Very good. Good boy." and give him his 3 kisses. He gives me my 3 kisses back. For once today, he is happy. He has his Pooh Bear that Grammy bought him when he was an itty bitty, and he has his blankie that he swiped from his cousin. Without either of those, he can't sleep. I turn on his Fisher Price Aquarium. The soft lights and quiet music get him in his comfortable sleeping zone. As I walk out the room, I turn back, blow him a kiss, and say "I love you. I will see you in the morning." then together, we say "Stay in your bed. Stay away from the toys and the doors." Another goodnight, and out I go. Leaving the door opened just a bit, I sigh and smile. Today is finally over. The frustrations are gone. The anger. The tantrums. The cries. The whines. The whole day is just done.
Here's to hoping that tomorrow is less full of drama. And in case it's not, I can always look forward to an earlier bed time.