Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fretting, Fretting

Being a mom is tough. Being a mom to the oldest is horrible. Especially when the oldest has the personality quirks you worry about the most. Out of my 24 hour day - I probably spend more time worrying and fretting over MB than the other two put together. Its not that the other two don't deserve my fretting too - there just seems to be less there to fret over. It is the constant question in my mind: "Is this normal? Am I being paranoid?"

MB came pre-packaged wound-up tighter than a top. Awake, alert, fussy, active. She has a very active go-get personality and gets along relatively well with others. Other people rave about how much they like her personality. Of course, being with her so much, I do tend to get to experience more of the fallouts - but that is to be expected. Being that she comes from a long-line of high-demand, active children - we have just chalked her little behavior patterns to that and figured that she would grow out of them. (side note: Not to make her seem all bad - she can also be extremely sympathetic, very helpful and is wise beyond her years in some regards - but right now I am worried about the other end of her spectrum)

So, since I have had very little else to do but observe her instead of being in the battle with her, I am starting to wonder if there isn't more going on? I've noticed in recent conversations with her some esteem issues becoming apparent and she herself has wondered if she is different some way. I don't really care to have her 'diagnosed' at this point - as it really doesn't matter to me if she is ADHD, hyperkinesthetic, or hypoglycemic. They all have very similar behavioral patterns and are treatable in many of the same ways. Having her on meds for ADHD would not be an option for us - I will not put my child (a child of a parent with a history of substance abuse) on speed. It just isn't an option for me.

As I was saying before I went off to clarify my stance, I have been able to observe and try to make sense of some of the patterns I am seeing. And, I am really leaning toward dietary changes to begin with, and if we can get stabilized than work on behavior changes. Right now we seem to be so pitched in battle position that we cannot not even begin working on changes.

I am hoping to encourage a higher-protein diet. We are not sugar freaks around here, but I will try to limit that even more. MB generally makes good decisions regarding her diet - carrot sticks, bananas, apples, etc. In fact, I sometimes wonder if she gets enough 'fat' in her diet. So, I am trying to find lists of high-protein foods and menus , especially breakfast, that she will eat. Eggs are a wonderful source, except she only likes the white of the egg. I am also trying out milkshakes in the afternoon - a little before the time she normally goes into meltdown H*ll. I tried a little milk-coffee with her the other morning, but could not get her to take more than 3 sips.

I know I am rambling and probably not making much sense. I just finally have some quiet time around the house to be able to be on the computer and I wanted to get this out. I am really, really struggling with what to do with her. I love her so much. She is my first born and has so much potential, I just would hate to see something knock her off the path. At the same time, I can't spend so much of my day either in battle with her or tip-toeing around her. I have other children to love, raise and educate. I want to do the right thing - but I struggle so much with knowing what the right thing is with MB.




Dy said...

I think the firstborn are hard - they're the ones who must tread through unfamiliar waters with us. They are, as Jess puts it, the guinea pigs for our parenting. They hit the ages and stages first, simply by the nature of their birth order. And so, we parent those ages and stages for the first time, ever, with these precious children.

Sometimes it's difficult to stand back and notice that perhaps our wee ones need some adjustment or some help in areas we haven't seen before. But it's good to do just what you're doing, and you've got the right attitude about it. She's going to be a-okay, Mama! Keep plugging along and you'll find the right groove.

VK said...

My son sounds a lot like MB -- high-demand and very intelligent but, well, very tiring at times, too. Before we began hs'ing, his kindergarten teachers and others would ask if we'd had him evaluated for ADHD yet. Since I share your view on giving speed to kids (with or without a parental history), I decided to look into other options.

Oddly enough, I found some research indicating a link between glucose and ADHD symptoms. The data suggested higher protein diets, so I started monitoring my son's carb intake. (I'd already been monitoring the simple sugars.) What a difference it made!

Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you so you'd know that others have gone through it, too.

A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.