I used to think there was something gone awry with my youngest child. Is it possible to have ADD only at home, I wondered? He seemed to be doing just fine at school. He’s social and gets the occasional reprimand from teachers for talking too much but I never got reports of difficulty staying focused on work or grades that were dropping. Yet, at home, to get him to focus on a task, one single task, was next to impossible. Ask him to get a pair of socks and 10 minutes later he’s still in his room, no socks on feet, listening to music and playing with his toys. Getting him to take a shower is another lesson for me in patience. I’ll check on him after I hear the water running and, is he in the shower? Nope. He’s playing with water in the sink or styling his hair. And once he gets in the shower, you might expect washing to happen. Oh, you silly, silly people. Many a time, I will come upstairs 15 minutes later and there is nary a sud of soap on his body. He’s just been standing there…singing. Holy Lord, give me strength!
Mornings are the worst. Getting ready for school is always a fight. We have tried setting out clothes the night before. We have tried using an egg timer to give him a sense of the time he has remaining. We have tried threatening loss of technology time. We have tried a reward system if he runs on time. Nothin’ doin’. At least he has graduated past the “It doesn’t feel good” stage of dressing… or maybe he’s just trained us not to buy clothes with tags in them. The frustrating thing is, I know he can get ready quickly. The other day, he wanted to gift his teacher some books for the classroom that he had finished reading. He set his alarm (Wait. What? He knows how to work that thing?) for 30 minutes before he normally gets up. He got dressed, brushed teeth, made his bed, AND wrapped a present, all in the space of about 20 minutes. Is he trying to drive me insane?
I seriously was contemplating having him tested for ADD until my husband and I were talking about it one day and he said “There’s nothing wrong with him. He’s just like ____ (I will not name names).” Ah ha! Light bulb! That makes total sense. My husband, my eldest son, and I are all Type A personalities and my youngest is just a Type B. It’s not that he’s purposefully being slow or not listening to me. It’s just his nature. He knows not the constraints of time. Neither order, nor regiment binds him. His is the laid back, carefree life of which I sometimes dream. While I am known to have a mini panic attack if running late, he takes life at a leisurely pace. I have begun to appreciate him for the amazing Type B traits that he possesses. He is creative and curious. He enjoys the journey. He feels fewer social pressures. He is a friend to all. And he is the sweetest of boys who still loves to snuggle with his Mom. To understand this has been freeing for me. It helps me to be less frustrated by his slowness and distractibility. The key word here is “less”. I am not entirely frustration free, mind you. I am still Type A, after all.