Every morning we go through the same routine. Alarm clock goes off, daughter stirs, falls back asleep. Shake daughter gently, daughter falls back asleep. Shake daughter vigorously, daughter falls back asleep. Turn on all the lights, throw the covers off daughter, threaten to start getting her up at the crack of dawn if she is not out of that bed in two seconds. Daughter finally up.
Mornings are rough. She often zones right out while in the process of putting on her clothes. Twenty five minutes after getting up, I can go in her room to find her with school uniform laid out beside her while she is staring blankly at the wall. Knowing this happens, if I’m calling to her every few minutes asking if she’s getting dressed, well, then I’m accused of nagging. There is a fine balance here, and I’m not always good at walking the tightrope. She made a “control journal” for herself. It lists everything she needs to do in the morning so she can see it and check it off as she goes. No zoning out, and everything done in a timely manner so she can get to school on time. She doesn’t remember to open it. I doubt she knows where it is. I’ve told her she needs to use the timer (that we now have!) and set a time limit for each task she needs to do in the morning and the ticking of the timer will be her reminder to stay on track. I don’t like to nag, but sometimes I have to. I also know that trying to hurry her along will cause a meltdown. The more I try to hurry her, the more the morning slips away amidst frustration and tears.
She doesn’t mean to zone out. She doesn’t mean to get frustrated. She doesn’t mean that I actually “nag” her, in the bad sense of the word. It’s just all part of living with ADHD.
Every morning, she will go into my bathroom and get my hairbrush. Nine times out of ten she won’t stand there and brush her hair, she will take the brush elsewhere. I have no idea why. She has a hairbrush. She has lots of hairbrushes. Somewhere. Like owners of a dog finding their pet’s stash of bones, someday I am going to come across this great pile of hairbrushes that exists somewhere in this home. So every morning she takes my hairbrush. Finally ready for school, we dash off, fearing we will be late.
I come home and then get ready to go to work. Hmm..now where is that hairbrush? Of course it isn’t in the drawer in the bathroom where I left it. The next ten minutes, (or more) I spend hunting down my hairbrush. Often it’s on the sofa, or the piano, or maybe lying on her bed. Sometimes it isn’t so easy to find. That brush has been under the couch, on the desk in the extra room, in her bathtub, on the porch, in the pantry, and yes, recently it showed up in the freezer. It’s like a scavenger hunt, without the clues. I guess I will have to start nagging and asking if she put the brush back where she got it. Of course I could always make it easy on myself and just get her another hairbrush (or ten). Better yet, maybe I should just get myself another hairbrush. A secret hairbrush that I keep in a secret hiding place just in case mine isn’t in the freezer. Now why didn’t I think of that before?