Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, August 13, 2007

In which I theorize that Maria had ADHD

I am a closet (not anymore, I guess) Sound of Music lover. I love, love, love that movie. I love Julie Andrews, I love Christopher Plummer. I love the whiskers on kittens song. I even love the bitchy Baroness and Rolfe, even though he broke Liesle's heart and betrayed them all the little Aryan bastard. I coveted those matching outfits made from curtains. For most of my life I longed to have a beautiful and exotic name like Brigitta. And that puppet theatre??? Swoon.

But I digress.

I think Maria had ADHD. Husband laughs at me. He asserts that now that both of my boys have been diagnosed with different subsets of the same condition, I think everybody has it.

It's true. I do diagnose a startling number of people. But it's surprisingly rampant and once you know the symptoms and co-morbid behaviors, it's really quite obvious. But I don't think everybody has it. Just most of the annoying people in the world.

So you're asking does the Sound of Music relate to ADHD? see, I've been trying to think of a way to explain Diminutive One to his new teacher. It's really not fair to thrust him into a classroom and onto an unsuspecting teacher without giving her a word of warning.

I want her to understand that he's challenging. I don't want her to be taken by surprise when he digs in his heels and refuses to perform a given task. Or when his little impulse control problem causes him to make a choice that is so monumentally bad he is certain to get in trouble, and yet when asked why, he will invariably respond, "I don't know". And he doesn't.

I don't want her to be caught completely off guard when she realizes that Diminutive one twirls, skips, gallops and hops, but never walks. Ever. I don't want her to be completely and thoroughly frustrated when she has to ask him for the 500th time to take his seat.

And yet, I fear if I tell her all these things, she will be prejudiced against him. I fear she will become blind to all his really good qualities. I fear she will never make an effort to know the creative, imaginative, sensitive and hungry little boy that lurks beneath the behavior problems.

Simply put, I want like him.

Because when you have a child like Diminutive One, you always worry that people will be unable to seperate the kid from the behavior. You always worry that nobody will know how fantastic your kid is...especially when there are days you are hard pressed to see it yourself.

Last year Diminutive One's teacher not only had no idea how to deal with him, she had no interest in learning. I asked time and time again for help in accomodating some of his needs, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. She said that she didn't have the time, but what it really came down to was that she just didn't care.

And perhaps...when I consider the challenges she is up against, I can't honestly blame her. She has too many kids, too little time, too few resources, and a really screwed up set of seemingly arbitrary hoops she has to jump through because of NCLB.

But I want this year to be better. And I'm not really sure how to accomplish that.

I spent three hours last night composing and revising an email to his teacher to try and describe Diminutive One. I tried to tell her how one minute you are ready to throttle him, and the next you are completely astounded by the depth of his insight and the scope of his understanding. How he can see into your soul and steal your heart while you're still trying to quell the anger that only a moment before had threatened to overwhelm your maternal instincts and compel you to say terribly hurtful things that you didn't really mean.

And after I sent it...still feeling it was wholly inadequate...I realize I could have just said this...

How do you solve a problem like Diminutive One? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?

He climbs a tree and scrapes his knee
His pants have got a tear
He waltzes on his way to school
And whistles on the stair
And underneath his ballcap
He has snarled and matted hair
I even heard hiim singing in the library

He's always late for dinner
But his penitence is real
He's always late for everything
Except for every meal
I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
Diminutive One's not an asset to his sex

I'd like to say a word in his behalf
Diminutive One makes me laugh

How do you solve a problem like Diminutive One?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Diminutive One?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell him
Many a thing he ought to understand
But how do you make him stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Diminutive One?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When I'm with him I'm confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
He's as flighty as a feather
He's a darling! He's a demon! He's a lamb!

He'd outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
He could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
He is gentle! He is wild!
He's a riddle! He's a child!
He's a headache! He's an angel!
He's a boy!

How do you solve a problem like Diminutive One?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Diminutive One?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell him
Many a thing he ought to understand
But how do you make him stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Diminutive One?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand?

Who knew Rodgers and Hammerstein were so insightful? I wonder...if one of them had a kid like Diminutive One. I wonder...if they ever stopped worrying about people liking their child or worrying that their child would never find their way in a world that doesn't really make room for different. I wish I could ask them.

How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? Indeed.


  • At 10:08 PM, Blogger Bea said…


    (There I go - the kind of fawning, content-free comment everybody hates. But I can't help it.)


    (Look. I did it again.)

  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger Girlplustwo said…

    What Bub said. And more. Because the achy parts of this make me want to ache too. Because DO is perfect and you shouldn't have to explain except this world calls for explanations. and that clouds are the best things ever.

  • At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I honestly think you've got something there (depending on the age and theatrical tendencies of the new teacher) that might actually work!

    You understand D.O.

    And he will always, always, know that.

  • At 10:32 PM, Blogger Carol said…

    Oh, can I ever relate!! You could have been describing my now 17-year-old son. I tore my heart out trying to get people to understand him... and trying to get him to understand the world in which he HAD to live.

    And I fought and fought and fought meds. For years and years. Until, when he had a particularly virulent meltdown in 7th grade, we decided we'd just try (Lexapro) for a few weeks. Within 2 weeks, he told us that "everything made sense" and he "could relax." I think meds have literally saved his life.

    Just my story. All kids are, of course, completely different! :-)


  • At 11:19 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    Have I mentioned to you lately that you're my girl crush? Yeah? ok.

  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger Liv said…

    hee hee. It makes me think of how my mom always wanted to play this song at her wedding to my dad, about my dad. Clearly it runs in the fam---ooh! look a bird!

  • At 12:05 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Just like D.O, my son has always been impossible for teachers to pin down. Most LOVE him despite the fact that he doesn't do a damn thing. No homework, no classwork, no projects, no reading...nothing. Absolutely nothing. And yet he passes every class, some with flying colors, because he's very smart and charming. He's had teachers say "Oh, you can skip the final" when I'm screaming STUDY you damn fool. I feel like the teachers are undermining me because they encourage him to do nothing.

    Anyhow, if D.O. is as delightful and charming as you portray him (and of course he is, mother's NEVER exaggerate!) he'll be fine. He'll get a few teachers that hate him because it increases their work load, but with those you just work around them by going to the principal and asking for special help. You'll be fine. I know you will act appropriately. And so will D.O.

  • At 4:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So I read your first paragraph and I was thinking ... I might love her even MORE now if that is possible. Then as you started into the ADHD theory of Maria I instantly got that song in my head that you later included.

    How do you hold a moon beam in your hand?

    And it is that about maria that makes her (and your sons) so irresistbly lovable.

  • At 7:37 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Love this, love the movie, and I have a subclinical ADD child (without hyperactivity, but whose dreaminess and absent-mindedness are potentially irritating to a teacher). Every year I want to tell his teacher, "If you can get past that other stuff, he has a heart of gold and is the nicest kid you'll ever met. It will be worth your while."

    But I never do. I'm too embarrassed.

    (Is there anything better than Christopher Plummer singing Edelweiss? Anything?)

  • At 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are so creative - a symptom of ADHD, no?

    The only point upon which I might disagree is that I think the annoying ones are those without some form ADHD

  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    First of all, I am also a SofM lover. Sigh.

    Second, brilliant song lyrics! Hopefully in the course of his academic years he'll find at least one teacher that really understands the beauty of a child like him. Maybe this is the year?

  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    I think that there will be teachers that will "get" him and appreciate him and there will be those that won't. I hope this is a good year for DO and that this teacher will make the time to understand him and teach him in a way that works for him so they don't butt heads.

  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger Blogversary said…

    I love it.

  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger Christine said…

    I agree with kvetch...the most important thing is that YOU get him.

    Edelweiss makes me cry every time I hear it.

  • At 7:55 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I just LOVE this movie (and just introduced it to the kiddos who are even more obsessed, if that is possible); that songs works amazingly well for what you are trying to say! I do hope his teacher can see all the wonderful things too.

    For me, that song always made me laugh b/c my mom is named Maria (and is Austrian!). Although she is way too practical to be considered 'flighty'. And she can't really sing.

  • At 12:27 PM, Blogger Namito said…

    "Climb Every Mountain" still makes me cry.

  • At 2:22 PM, Blogger Kathleen said…

    I love this movie too! I have no advice on talking to the teacher as my oldest is 19 months and neither have ADHD or any other special need but I LOVE the song! That's a great way to put it!

  • At 7:34 AM, Blogger Code Yellow Mom said…

    The Sound fo Music commentary is hilarious, and you really may have stumbled onto something concerning Maria.

    And oh - that ache for the other teachers in our kids' lives to like our kids and be patient with them, and see all the amazing things in them that we do...If only schools had the equivalent of kind and patient singing nuns who cared enough to wonder what to do with them and were accepting of the will o the wisp, the clown, the dreamer, the devil in each child. I hope DO's teacher this year will come close and that the three of you will find a way to work it out together! (I think it is a great first step to e-mail her - if you wrote the e-mail half as well as you wrote this post, she will already be on your side and you're off to a great start!)


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