Friday, July 20, 2012

How To Ensure Your Kids Struggle With Your ADD In 8 Easy Steps

Step 1:  Marry someone with staggering ADD and have children with this person. 

When you and your husband meet, you thought you knew ADD.  You taught a kid who, on Ritalin, was calm to the point of comatose.  Same kid not on his meds was a crazy, shit-throwin' feral monkey.  You questioned the use of stimulants until that kid.  A year into your marriage, your husband was working on his doctoral internship at a college counseling center, testing college students for ADD.  "I think I might have this," he wondered aloud to his supervisor.  Her reply was something along the lines of, "No, duh."  Skip ahead several years.  Skip the part where you have two kids and go right to the part where you feel like your head is spinning around like Linda Blair, forgetting things people say to you as they say them, surfing the internet aimlessly, compulsively for hours late into the night.  "I think I might have this," you said to your husband.  "No, duh."


Step 2: Finish projects halfway and leave them around the house as glaringly bad examples.

Half-realized paintings, knitting that never made it past the fifth row, piles of laundry in need of mending, piles of laundry in need of stain removal, piles of laundry in need of dry cleaning, garden beds dug/weedy/barren, stacks of books you meant to read after college - things that have since gone out of print, toys with broken legs, mugs with broken handles.

Step 3: Never clean your own room, but expect your kids to clean theirs.

Never make the bed.  Never sweep behind the dressers or under the beds.  Never give away the clothes that don't fit, the painful shoes, the unflattering scarves.  Just let them stuff your drawers so full you cannot buy new clothes, or you do buy new clothes and just stack them on the bed and the dresser.  Never dust.

Step 4: Stare at your computer while your kids try to tell or show or sing you something.

It's really cute and you know you want to hear/see it.  Maybe just a peripheral viewing.  "Oh, that's really something."  They know you're not listening/watching.  Their souls die a little.

Step 5: Announce and retreat. (Consistency is for suckers.)

Say, "It's really late (at 9:00 PM). You need to go to bed."  At 9:15 continue reading or looking at magazine or pinning random stuff on Pinterest and reiterate how late it is and how they need to go to bed.  At 9:30, look at your husband and wonder why he isn't moving.  At 9:45, throw down book or magazine or phone and yell, "That's it!  We NEED to go to bed!" and huff up the stairs with loud stomps.  At 10:00 get passive aggressive and yell down the stairs, "I guess I'll start reading books all by myself," and see where that gets you.  When the kids and husband finally come upstairs close to 10:30, keep them up another hour reading picture books or playing games on your phone.

Step 6: Wait and see how long it takes for the kids to realize they are late for school. 

Kids never realize they are late for school.  Fifteen minutes before the school bell rings, head out of the house while brushing your daughter's hair and helping your son put on his shoes.

Step 7: Do all of these things every day.  

Without fail.  Unless you forget or get motivated, whichever happens first.

Step 8:  Go back to bed and deal with everything tomorrow.