Guest Blogs

The Big Sleepover

Parents of “normal” kids don’t don’t understand children with ADHD. Will Natalie be invited back after this slumber party?

I’m doing my usual Monday morning routine, drinking coffee at Stomping Grounds and checking email before heading to work. My Mondays are 10-hour work days. I start with a staff meeting at 11:00, then stock the Bookmobile with books and other library materials, and work the 4:00 to 9:00 Bookmobile stop at Sawyer School.

So, it’s Don’s night to pick up the kids, do homework with Nat, get her to bed. If I’m lucky, that will all be done when I get home around 9:20.

Yes, I said kids. Did I mention we also have an 11-year-old son, Aaron? Neglect is the operative word here. I’ve hardly seen the kid in the 5 years since we adopted Natalie!

We had a good weekend. Nat’s friend Adrianna called Saturday morning and asked if Nat wanted to come to her house to play. She was at her dad’s house for the weekend. I’d met him in passing as we picked up kids from daycare, but the girls had never played together outside of the daycare center.

I talked to Dad on the phone. To tell, or not to tell? When you have a kid with ADHD, that is always the question. I decided to tell. Did he know Nat has ADHD? I asked. Would he mind giving her meds while she’s there?

“I’m a teacher,” he said. “That’s no problem.”

Nat has lots of friends, but most either have special needs, like her, or are a year or two younger. She’s been invited to birthday parties for her neuro-typical classmates in the past — but she’s never been invited back two years running. Parents of normal kids don’t seem to want to deal with, or don’t understand, the extra supervision required when Natalie’s around, or maybe it’s the mess she leaves in her wake that’s the deal breaker.

Nat’s time at Adrianna’s apparently went well. No reports of problems from Dad. And Nat didn’t complain that he was “mean” or that he “yelled at her,” typical signs that someone either doesn’t get it, or can’t take it.

Will they invite her back? I hope so. Time will tell.