Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So, I've seriously been meaning to write.  For, like 2 weeks now.  About Mommy ADHD.  But it's taken me this long because I keep getting distracted.

No joke.

Mommy ADHD is a serious problem, affecting up to 100% of mothers.  Ok, I don't really know that, but I'm just guessing because every mom I talk to knows what I'm talking about.

Mommy ADHD is commonly noticed when trying to accomplish an insurmountable number of tasks in an unreasonably short period of time.  For example, prepping for and cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  With young children around.  While working. 

For those 0.0001% of you not familiar with Mommy ADHD, here is a typical (and pretty true) case study.
  • Task:  Clean off the dining room table (45% covered with miscellaneous items) to be used for Thanksgiving dinner (or actually any meal, for that matter).
  • Estimated time start to completion: 30 minutes
  • Actual time start to completion: 4 days
  • Task analysis for catastrophic time failure:  Walk into dining room.  Notice cat vomit on floor.  Clean up.  While throwing out paper towels, realize garbage is overflowing.  Empty garbage.  While taking garbage out, notice that kids coats and shoes are all over the floor.  Pick those up.  Return to dining room.  Hear the kids wrestling and screaming in the next room.  Go in, break up the fight.  See husband's socks on living room floor.  Pick up and bring upstairs to laundry.  Go back downstairs.  Remove first item from table.  Elapsed time, 10 minutes.  Bring first item (and the only item that actually belongs to you) from dining room table to your room.  Notice computer, check e-mail, Facebook, harvest my farm.  Elapsed time, 45 minutes.  Notice more screaming/wrestling/thudding from living room.  Go downstairs, break up fight.  Herd children into kitchen for lunch.  Make 2 separate lunches, because we can't agree on anything.  Take plates out of dishwasher to save a step.  Realize that the dishes are overwhelming the sink.  Start to unload the dishwasher.  Phone rings.  Go to get the cordless phone.  Discuss with friend latest school crisis/husband idiot-ness/hottest gossip.  Retrieve items 2 and 3 off dining room table and put away while talking on phone.  Elapsed time, 65 minutes.  Walk back into kitchen, notice 1/2 unloaded dishwasher still open.  Take 3 dishes out and put away.  Stop and clean up spilled orange juice.  Remind child to be careful with cup.  Refill cup.  End conversation with friend, hang up phone in living room.  Notice candy wrappers on end table from husband.  Pick up to throw out.  Hear child ask for a paper towel.  Go in to kitchen, clean up spill #2.  Finish unloading dishwasher. Begin loading dishwasher.  Stop and get dessert for children.  Finish loading dishwasher and hand washing dishes.  Bring dishtowels up to laundry room.  Realize that clothes are still in the washer.  Put clothes in dryer.  Go back to the dining room.  Put away  items 4-6. (This scenario is pretty true to form. To get ready to go out of town and to get ready for Thanksgiving, I started making lists of what I had to get done on a dry erase board. Somehow, having the ability to cross something off the list helped keep the focus. I got a lot accomplished. But it also kicked my ass and I'm so exhausted that I can't get moving to do anything else.)   Total elapsed time, 125 minutes. To clear 6 items, 3 of which were pencils.

Contributing factors to Mommy ADHD:  children, husbands (may also be classified in children category), work, pets, children, Facebook, dishes and dirt, paperwork sent home from school.

I'm not sure what else to do about Mommy ADHD.  Coffee certainly helps.  But if I want to have a stomach lining when I'm older, I need to watch it.  The less focused I am, the more out of control I feel.  It quickly spirals down into overwhelming anxiety and depression.  It's just, well, there aren't enough hours in the day and enough of me.  I need a wife to help me out with all I have to do.

Please note that although I've been thinking about this post for 2 weeks, it has taken me almost an hour to write.  Of course, that's because I had to get up 3 times to tuck child in, find child's lost blanket, get child drink and tuck child in again.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Little Bear

So, thanks to Election Day (which can barely be counted, considering many of the candidates in Colonie are running un-opposed) and Vetrans' Day, my kids have a really short week.  They are home on Tuesday and Friday.  Which happen to be my two days off.  Which means childcare will not be an issue.  But which mean I get no time to do my mommy things, like grocery shopping and cleaning.  Also, my husband is in California, so it's all me.  Ok, it's all me with some help from my parents.  But I have 12 days of being on duty, 24/7.

So, today was day off #1.  I blissfully turned the alarm off last night.  Silly me.  I was awakened suddenly to Jake's face about 3 cm from mine at 6:00 am.  After my heart started beating again, I tried to get him to go back to bed.  Instead, he laid down with me.  I don't know if he fell back asleep, because I certainly did.  Until 6:20 am when Sophia came noisily bounding in.  That was it for Jake sleeping.  By 6:35, they were sitting on top of me playing rocks, paper scissors.  I cursed daylight savings for ending and not telling my kids.  I cursed my husband in California for getting to sleep uninterrupted.  I cursed my kids for not being old enough to make me a cup of coffee.

We met a friend for bowling and lunch.  The kids played well together.  Until the world's slowest service at Friendly's.  It's kind of no wonder the chain is going bankrupt.  I mean, 2 adults, 4 kids, and it still took an hour and a half for lunch.  When we go out just adults, we're hard pressed to sit at the table that long! 

Back to home, snuggling with Sophia, and then I put her in for a nap.  Jake asked to watch some TV in my room while I waste time on the computer.  After seeing all the choices, he picked Little Bear.  He used to love the show when he was a toddler/preschooler.  It was the first time we got to see his sense of humor as he would sit and laugh and laugh.  He just got it.  When Jake was 3 or 4, and his Asperger's was very apparent, he had difficulty with free play.  His play was usually scripted from a TV show.  He could repeat the show, verbatim, and would intentionally change parts to fit his situation.  He spent endless hours acting out scenes from Little Bear.  Today's show was one of his favorites.

Jake is almost eight.  He's not that much shorter than I am (ok, not saying much).  Pretty soon, he's gonna be too cool to hang out with me.  He's gonna be too busy to sit back and enjoy a quiet afternoon together.  Although I can't imagine it, I know there will be a day when he doesn't want to snuggle, or hold my hand.  But for this 30 minutes, I'm gonna just soak in the fact that he still "gets" Little Bear.  And that he will always be by Little Boy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

And Life Goes On

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind.  My grandmother went from having an"upset" stomach to passing away.  On Saturday, she was dusting her apartment. By the following Saturday, she was being buried. Despite the fact that she had 93 years on this earth, it went all too quickly.  I just can't believe that it's all over.  Now, we have the unenviable task of cleaning out her apartment.

We moved my grandmother into her apartment 6 years ago.  I am thankful that we had sort of weaned things out then.  My grandmother was impeccably neat.  However, she hid a great secret. She was a secret hoarder.  The woman saved EVERYTHING.  While that is charming when it comes to birthday cards, drawings, school show programs and obituaries, it loses something when we are talking about the tags from clothing.  And the free address labels sent to her by any charity that thought she would give them money (and this includes the address labels from her old address).  And elastic from the 1960's that had lost its stretch.  And plastic rain bonnets.  Seriously, the plastic rain bonnet companies are going to go out of business now that she is not supporting them.  I think we found at least 25 stashed here and there.  There were a lot of things stashed here and there.

But we found a letter that my uncle had sent from Vietnam in January 1967.  We found the cards and letters she received when her parents died in 1942 and 1944.  She lost both of her parents in the span of 18 months.  She was alone in the world by the age of 25. 

There is a lot of junk to get rid of.  There are things that others can use.  This year, with so many who lost so much, we hope that donating her things can help others.  It is the very essence of who she was.  I'm having a hard time parting with her things though.  Because the "things" have memories tied to them.  Like the Hush Puppies pumps.  I remember yearly trips to the outlets (both Lake George and Manchester) to get them.  She had at least 6 pairs, never worn.  We promptly brought those to my church's clothing drive. 

A small glass dish with a lid holds significance for always having peppermint patties.  That's now with my cousin. The 1970's Tupperware cups that we and now my kids always drank out of.  They will continue to use those cups.

I could go on and on about my grandmother. 

But I need to stay in the present.  And keep moving forward, rather than looking back.  We are trying to keep things as normal as possible.  Especially for Jake and Sophia.  And they are keeping things normal for us. They had a good Halloween, and are looking forward to Thanksgiving.  Which will be hard for all of us this year. I plan on using a lot of my grandmother's dishes, especially the ones from her mother.  She was always so pleased when she got to see her stuff being used. 

We're gonna keep on, keeping on.  But with a hole in our hearts.