Sunday, November 27, 2011


Maybe it was today's wind....why not? These Chinook winds bring headaches and all sorts of maladies to people. Which on a blustery day like today, well, it's no wonder. Crazy winds! Close downtown Calgary due to the winds & danger, kind of winds....but no, it's not due to the wind...'s the ADHD monster.

Grocery shopping on a sunday can test the patience of ANYONE just based on volume. Today was weird. I was calm. The rest of the world was not. Signs and garbage and grocery carts and such were blowing everywhere ( I do not exaggerate!). Debit machines were down. People were huffy. I was calm.

Shocking, I know!

My W was not. He was FAST. His engine was running on overdrive. Dialled up. Happy. Just High. Singing Christmas songs.....walking fast....on the cart, off the cart, on the cart, off the cart...but staying with me.

The second grocery store which we desperately needed as it's the only one in our community that carries spelt or kamut bread....was a strange experience. There was hardly anyone there....and the debit/credit machines were not working so there was a 7 person line up for the in-store bank machine.

The ATM machine is in an entrance with automatic doors and a large pop and microwave popcorn display. Welllllll......while we waited one boy sat on the window sill wearing his Santa hat and eating his bun.

The other boy circled the pop display....sneaking behind and around....trying to trick me....smiling away....eventually I asked him to show me how he can be the best listener and sit down (because he had went out the doors & wasn't this time we're getting a look or two from other patrons....& I frankly don't care). So down he sits beside his little brother....glancing and smirking at me....until he couldn't handle it anymore.....

.....and he snuck behind the pop display with a light giggle. I had just finished saying "Come on out"...when he KNOCKED OVER the popcorn display.

Oh mannnn!

People were not pleased. Goodness adults can be passive-aggressive crusties! I ignored them, calmly walked over to W, and advised him to pick it all up. Which he did. Without complaint. Bup and I helped with the last few boxes and off we went to purchase our bread.

And that's when he said it. Holding my hand, bouncing around....

"I feel helpless."

Ugh. Right into the heart. A spike.

I can hardly see due to the shining lightbulb that just went off in my head.

As I crouch down, hold him by the hand, and ask W to look me in the eye, I respond,
"You are. "
"What?! You're say I'm helpless??!!"
"Where's your engine?"
"Yes, it's FAST W. I know this. I know you can't help it. I know you aren't making it this way. That's why I agree that you are helpless. I am NOT mad at you. I know you don't want to be fast. I know it's hard for you right now. BUT I have to help you. I have to correct you, protect you and help you with that fast engine. Okay? Look in my eyes. Okay?"

Oh! That realization (again) that W can feel he's out of control, but cannot stop it and does not like it......well, what can I say?

It's headshaking.....wrong....sad.....frustrating....heartbreaking.....and screams VOLUMES to me.
My little man.

So, if you see a child bouncing to no end out there....and a mom just going along, trying to adjust as she can.....stop before you judge. Maybe that child is feeling "helpless" like my 6 yr old did today.


  1. I feel guilty for saying this...on most days I find that ADHD is way more exhausting than the Seizures. By the way, have you read the book "How Does Your Engine Run?"...when you asked your son about his engine I didn't know if you got it from this book.

  2. Hi Elaine!
    Yes....I agree wholeheartedly and until March when we were notified of Rhett's upcoming neuro surgery...the ADHD always took over. It's much more difficult and just as heartwrenching....just in a different way.
    I haven't read that book! We were introduced to the Engine concept by the Psychologist and OT. Our son really resonated with that concept and the Red, White and Blue Anger concepts.

  3. I teared up reading this. Thanks for sharing in such a way that people can "feel" your experiences. I truly believe that you are an inspiration to all who do not have the patience to realize things sometimes just aren't how we think they should be. You taught me to be more open minded when I see a child "misbehaving" by understanding sometimes they just can't control themselves. I feel for you and your poor little man. I am certain that you will one day look back and think of all you learned from these challenges and know that he has changed the lives of many just by being perfect little W.

  4. I'm always amazed at how articulate and self aware W can be. He's such a bright kid with so much whirling and swirling inside of him.
    We all have a lot to learn about being patient and not judging.
    YOu do have a talent for sharing your experiences and putting them into words. Thanks for your willingness to share - hugs.