Just when CC and I were kind of, maybe, sort of, reluctantly open to the idea of putting Ace on a medication to help control his ADHD, he goes and has a weekend like this past one and it sends us back to where we were before.
On Friday night, my sister took Ace to the circus. It was both of their 1st times ever going. On returning home, she told me that he behaved well and that she didn’t have any issues with him at all.
Early the next morning, CC and Ace left for an over night camping trip with the boy scouts. CC reported that Ace was very well behaved. He went on to say that Ace was among the best behaved of all the boys there. *insert shocked look* It’s not often that I hear that.
Sitting around the camp fire, after the kids had gone to bed, the adults began talking. There was some complaining about their wives I’m sure. You know, we make them do things besides sit on the couch and we buy too many shoes etc. There was also talk about their sons. CC heard over and over from these parents who see our Ace at the boy scout meetings and at the various events that (for the most part) he is a typical – very active – 6 year old. The parents of the older boys told stories about their own sons at that age and it all sounds pretty similar to what we are seeing. They said their kids eventually out grew those wild behaviours and that, like Ace, they were always able to maintain their school work. They told about numerous complaints from their childrens teachers … All the things that we are now dealing with.
On Sunday, CC and Ace came home fairly early. They had had enough of the cold. CC then went to see his mom which left me at home with the 2 kids all day.
Can I just tell you about my Ace? My quiet, well-behaved, didn’t knock anything over or get in trouble at all, Ace. The one who did his home work when I asked him to and who shared toys with his brother. The one who took a shower and ate dinner and brushed his teeth and went to bed with NO trouble and not too much talking or getting distracted. The one who was a pillar of patience with a little brother who was having a hard day.
Yeah that one.
We’ve come a long way together – Me and this boy who everybody says reminds them so much of me. I hope they’re right. I take it as quite the compliment if people think I was as amazing as this when I was 6 years old.
Once the kids were in bed, CC and I talked about how inconsistent Ace’s behaviour is. He will have stretches when he is exactly how we think he should be. We talked about whether or not that’s how ADHD works. Honestly, we don’t know. In fact, for the past 2 days he’s come home from school with good reports so that’s a 4 day run.
We talked about how physically intense last weekend was for him and maybe that’s what made the difference. He did lots of walking (up and down hills) and carrying heavy things and rock-wall climbing and basket ball playing and bb gun shooting.
We talked about how we do try to give him chances to get out his energy but the truth is that his activity is limited. He gets breaks at school but it’s on a small scale. He gets to “play” in the sensory gym at his Social Skills Group but that’s for about 20 minutes once a week. He does things with the boy scouts but again that’s sporadic. Every other week at best.
We talked about how when we were kids, growing up in the Caribbean, we spent so much of our time outside running and riding bikes and climbing trees. Our kiddos do not have that same opportunity. It’s made worse because we live in an apartment so in the evening when the kids get home from school we try to keep them from running around too much so as not to disturb our downstairs neighbour. In the winter, it’s extra difficult to spend a lot of time at parks or play grounds letting loose. My
excuse reason is that by the time we get home from school and work, it’s not only cold, but also dark. That’s no time to be going to the park.
CC and I talked about how unfamiliar we are with other little boys and their behaviour and how our boys have very little interaction with other boys outside of school. I definitely do not have a lot of experience with them. I grew up with a tight-knit group of girls and the only boy around was 3 years younger and we did everything we could not to involve him in our fun. While CC was a 6 year old boy at one time, he will tell you that he cannot compare himself to Ace, because he grew up in a VERY different place with a VERY different kind of mother.
Are we falling into that trap of putting too much weight on what Ace’s teachers complain about? Should we double, or triple our efforts to get Ace more exercise?
I had looked into it a couple of years ago and had remembered that the minimum age for membership to our towns Boys & Girls Club was 7. In my desperation to find something that Ace could be a part of that would provide him frequent access to exercise I checked their website again. (Cause every once in a long while, I’m wrong, but don’t tell anyone I said that.) It turns out, the minimum age isn’t 7. I remembered wrong and I’m so glad. The minimum age is 6!!!
With that one simple discovery, we’re back on the “no meds” track. We will wiggle a bit here and tug a lot on that and squeeze into this and find a way to finance signing him up for the Boys & Girls Club. We’re hoping he can begin on April 8th. Once there, he will have drama club – which I think is right up his alley – and he will play basket ball and (American) football and he will get a chance to swim and generally just run around a lot every day after school. Hopefully all that burning of energy will help to keep him regulated.
Side Note – Even though, this post may have sounded like I’m frustrated with the uncertainty about what to do (yes, there is a certain amount of frustration) … The real deal is that I’m glad that Ace had a good weekend and I’m glad that the Boys and Girls Club is avail to him and I’m also glad to try one more thing before we get a prescription for anything.