Guest Blogs

Not Exactly Mom of the Year

I wouldn’t mind sharing a good stiff drink with The Captain himself right about now.

I thought I’d die of embarrassment the time Natalie announced to our pediatrician that she’d eaten ice cream for breakfast (and was telling the truth!). I won the “Miss Ugly” contest at Camp Fire Girls camp one year; I might as well win the “Worst Mom” award to go with it.

As if the ice cream for breakfast revelation wasn’t bad enough, Nat managed to raise the bar on the make-your-mom-look-awful competition Tuesday afternoon, during a visit from our case manager.

Our family receives services through a Children’s Mental Health waiver. We qualify for this assistance due to the challenges Nat’s ADHD presents. Tammy is the case manager who overseas the services.

Tammy and I sat at the kitchen table and talked about Natalie’s progress toward her goals. As we talked, Natalie and her friend Bekah divided their time between the kitchen and the front yard via the garage. They set up what looked like a make-believe store (but may have been a school), creating a huge mess in the garage as they did so. Nat emptied all the shoes and boots off some shelves in the garage so that she could move the shelves to the driveway. She took her art easel apart, used some parts in her creation, and piled the remaining pieces on the rear end of my car. She emptied everything from the kid-sized workbench that Don made for her onto the garage floor, and pushed the bench to the driveway. She pulled a couple of lawn chairs over, and she and Bekah were in business.

“Do not take one more thing out of the garage,” I admonished, before sitting down with Tammy to talk. “Play with what you already have out.”

The girls ran inside to make name tags to go with whatever it was they were playing.

“How do you spell Captain?” Bekah asked. She made Nat a name tag that said “Captain Natalie.” She made herself one that said “Mate Bekah.” Not store, not school — so, ship, maybe?

They returned to the garage for a few minutes, and then reappeared in the kitchen. Tammy and I looked over as they walked in.

Nat stood next to Tammy proudly holding a completely empty bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum.

“What do you have, Nat?” I asked. Then, “Oh, my God!”

Upon finding her eight-year-old client holding an empty booze bottle, Tammy sort of shrieked, and then laughed.

“Nat, how many times have we told you to leave the empty cans and bottles alone?” I said.

“But it’s a Captain!” Captain Natalie said, displaying the label.

It sure is, Natalie. That it is. And I wouldn’t mind sharing a good stiff drink with The Captain himself right about now.

What’s the most embarrassing thing your child with ADHD has said or done in front of a doctor, social worker, or teacher?