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Fun With ADHD Transition Time

Expecting a hungry kid with ADHD to transition from daycare to car ride, right before medicine time, is just plain stupid.

In earlier posts I wrote that big ‘ol bites marked, literally, two out of the three over-stimulating outings we’ve attempted as a family so far this summer.

Now I’ll tell you about the third.

We picked Natalie up from daycare on a Friday evening, and headed straight to Indianola to meet our dinner club friends at the Hot Air Balloon Classic.

What’s wrong with this picture, for a kid with ADHD? Well, for starters:

  • Can you say “transition time?”
  • “I’m H U N G R Y !”
  • Aaron turns his head, puts one fist up to his mouth, and coughs out one word: “RITALIN!” (That’s enough, Funny Boy.)
  • I know a fun game. Let’s see who can sit still for an hour and a half in a confined space! Ready? Go!

Nat was out of control from the very start, and I cursed myself for lobbying to bring her along. We usually don’t take her to Club Night. This night was an exception. Instead of sitting around a dining room table, the adults would be outside. Instead of playing video games and watching movies, the kids would be running around checking out carnival rides and games. The rides would keep her happy for hours.

So, Nat’s grabbing me, throwing toys, whining, and yelling. What’s the first thing I say? “If you do that one more time, you lose going on rides for the night!” Nat, surprise, surprise, lost going on rides for the night.

Now what the hell were we going to do with her?

When we arrived in Indianola, greeted our friends, ate a little supper, downed a little Ritalin (Nat, not me), Nat and I both relaxed. I suggested she might want to trade in her no rides punishment for a time out, and we’d start fresh. She did her time standing by the fence, all alone, and looked so pathetic I nearly cried. “Can she be finished now?” Don asked. “Sure,” I answered.

I broke the biggest law of parenting, by not following through, I know. But the punishment should fit the crime, and expecting a hungry kid with ADHD to transition from daycare to car, right before medicine time, is just plain stupid.

The rest of the evening was great. Nat had a blast going on ride after ride. Our friends got to see her for the first time in months. I even got a free hot air balloon ride. As I floated in the silent air above farms and fields, I thought of Nat. Let her feel this kind of peace, I wished. And let me feel peaceful with her.

ADHD Power Struggle