The holiday is over. The chicks are back in the nest, ready to return to school tomorrow. While I am delighted that they are back, healthy and happy, I did like my little break while they were away! The chance to only worry about me was truly like a holiday. So today we are back to the usual Sunday night routine. The eldest chick has baked cookies for their morning tea at school this week, the clean laundry pile is threatening to hide half the family room, and I am turning my head to the week ahead and trying to recall what I want to share about the week just past.
One thing that I can report is that we have returned to Geocaching after a long, unintentional break. I introduced one of my colleagues to it a couple of weeks ago. He took his family away on holiday and found 23 caches in one week. After one year we were only sitting on 46! Being the competitive creature that I am…..that was enough to spur me on. So while on the road trip to collect the chicks yesterday we found three (and searched in vain for a fourth). Today we went for a walk, with some friends, up the mountain that we live on and found three more. Given that there was a threat of snow and the temperature didn’t get above 6 degrees C, you might start to get a picture of how determined I am to keep ahead of him!! We haven’t stayed true to our aim of achieving 365 this year, but staying ahead of him should keep us going for a while! One of the caches we found yesterday was a delight. It contained ‘licences’ including the laminating pouches for them. The chicks are so proud to now be licensed as follows:

I do hereby grant myself permission to use multi-million dollar military satellites to find hidden Tupperware.  Furthermore I certify that this license is issued in accordance with no known legal requirements in any jurisdiction whatsoever.  This license expires with its owner.

My plan for the time while the children were away was to sew, sew, sew. Although I don’t regret the things I did do (a story for another day) I didn’t get to sew very much. So I set myself a target, (and told my Facebook followers to make myself accountable) that I had to make one colourful bag this weekend. I have done it! And once again I feel like my groove is coming back as a result!

The return of my chicks has been a little confronting in some respects. I have debated writing about this for a while, but think that to not do so leaves an unexplained gap. Everything in our life is so intertwined and so much results from the issues of my chick, that I think it is better to write about it than to not.

Having a diagnosis for my chick with ‘issues’ just before they went away means that I have had time to think about the implications, to research the options, and to contemplate it all in isolation. It also meant that I have had time to doubt the diagnosis, to think that maybe we (me, teachers, doctors, etc) have all been over-reacting and that I haven’t tried enough, or used enough strategies, or been a good enough parent, or, or, or……… But upon their return, with my eyes wider open, I can see that the professionals are right. My boy, who I describe as all boy, who is always on the go… really always on the go. He climbs the door-frames, can’t sit still on the couch, can’t play without talking non-stop, can’t shift his focus to listen to me, including to stop stepping out in front of cars on the road. He gets one idea in his head and can’t be shifted from it, and he moves, non-stop, even in his sleep. My boy, my beautiful boy, who comes into bed in the morning and answers my question of ‘what are you doing’ with “Coming to sleep with you Mummy because I love you”, my boy who loves hugs, and animals, and his family and his friends, my boy has Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder. There. I have said it out loud.

I love him. I love him with my whole being. But he exhausts me. And I am still not sure how I have managed to care for him for nearly 7 years without realising that this was more than a behavioural reaction to his father’s absence, or because I work full time, or because he went to daycare, or because he has anxiety issues, or because his diet needs improving, or, or, or…… That this is biological, and not a minor glitch.

So, after struggling for 20 months, he has started on the prescribed medication today. I was so scared. I thought it would change my boy and stop him being the boy that I know and love. But I need to give him a chance to sit in class for a whole day. To not be labelled the ‘bad’ kid. To learn and succeed. With much trepidation I started……….and nothing happened!! We are starting on a low dose and building, in accordance with the doctor’s instructions, so I expect that there will be some gradual effects. However after being so worried and feeling so guilty and alone this morning, it was almost a disappointment that there was no effect! Talk about a very silly mother! I will persevere and keep loving him and advocating for him and trying to balance his needs against those of his sisters who have suffered so much as a result of the issues we have faced over the last year or two. And I will keep sewing, and making things, and staying as calm as possible. He has a long life ahead of him and we have much to do in order to ensure that it is a good and happy life. I predict many, many bags being sewn over the next few years!!

This week starts off with the hope of things to come, of great opportunities, of colour and creativity, and of love and strength. In other words, back to normal in the nest! I hope that you have a wonderful start to your week, wherever you are.

13 thoughts on “Accepting changes

    1. a little bird made me Post author

      Thank you. I have looked into dietary changes and will go down that path after we have the medication established. All the evidence shows that while diet can have an effect, the only truly effective way of treating ADHD is through medication. So the plan is to start the medication, then work on diet, behavioural strategies, etc.

  1. CW

    Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for your honesty. Your smallest chick is very special and very much loved by the Radford chicks. You have gone above and beyond. Thank you for setting the bar high and making me a better mother for it. Love you heaps xo

  2. Louise Allan

    You’re doing the right thing with your son — I’m medical but I’m not cavalier when it comes to drugs in kids. The opposite, in fact — I try to avoid, avoid, avoid. But if he truly has ADHD, you’ll notice the improvements almost immediately. I had a patient who had resisted medicating her son — diet, modifying environment, all of that. He did his homework with the curtains closed, the table had to be clear or he’d get distracted by the placemat, etc. They were trialling placebo vs medication, and the teacher was on board. Within 30 mins of him being at school, the teacher rang the mother and said, ‘Whatever it is that he’s taken today, keep him on it.’ His concentration, handwriting, everything had improved immediately.

    If this happens with your son, you’ll know the professionals are right. If there’s no improvement, doubt the diagnosis and stop the medication.

    Thanks for sharing. Maybe I’m nosy, but I love a bit of the personal in a blog! You’ve given me encouragement to make mine more personal — thanks! Louise x

    1. a little bird made me Post author

      Thank you for your encouragement Louise. I think I might be expecting a bit too much from the medication at the moment! If it doesn’t take effect as we increase the dose then I will stop it and keep working with the doctors, psychologists and teachers to support him. As for the personal – I worry about ‘over-sharing’ but think that if I keep it all Pollyanna and sunshine then it isn’t authentic and that it will be a bit meaningless. Time will tell whether it is right or wrong I suppose. But I enjoy the insights you share in your blog, so do keep it up!

  3. Tia Giacomin

    I think you are the most amazing Mother! You always go above and beyond for your children. They are incredibly lucky to have you. I don’t know how you manage three children on your own, work full time in a demanding position, make the majority of your food from scratch and sew. You are SUPER WOMAN and I really admire you. Your Son will be fine, because he will always have you. xo

  4. cupandpenny

    I feel for you! I’ve seen many moms go through the same struggle as you. Once they get a diagnosis they often seem to be ashamed, like something is WRONG with their child. But it’s just part of who their children are, just as the color of their hair or the way they tie their shoes. And I notice ADHD, while making it hard for kids to succeed in school, also makes them special in ways other kids aren’t. Several of my ADHD kids have ADHD parents who are highly successful, creative, and charismatic because of the traits ADHD has given them. Your son has a bright future not despite ADHD but because of it. And because he’s got a very loving mom who is intensely involved and loving.

  5. LubbyGirl

    I wish I’d known about this when my son was your son’s age. He’s 32 now, and extremely smart, but could not sit still in a classroom either. I’d never heard of ADHD or ADD or any of that stuff, and I felt like a bad mother for not knowing. He’s doing well now, thank the Lord!! I do pray your sweet little fellow is doing better on the meds!!

    1. a little bird made me Post author

      Thank you Linda. Prayers are always welcome! My beautiful boy is doing better each day this week, so I am feeling more confident that we are on the right track. Being a parent is such a journey isn’t it? We learn, miss things, feel bad, celebrate the good things and hope that at the end of it that they get through it all as healthy happy individuals.

      1. LubbyGirl

        so true – and I am so blessed to have given birth to that boy — oh, did I call him a boy?? I mean to that MAN!! 🙂 I have a feeling your little one will grow up quite healthy and happy, with you loving him so much.

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