All of my bloggy friends have been so busy with yuletide fun. Claire and Stephanie are starting their advent calendar projects and Hillary is decking her halls. I'm seeing hints of Christmas festive-ness everywhere, it seems. Creative Jenny has even decorated her blog for the holiday! I wish some of their seasonal joy would rub off on me! I've been busy with mundane tasks. Laundry and such. No dollmaking.
I am in the midst of parent-teacher conferences for the boys. Max's conference was upsetting. He is such an awesome and bright kid, but to see his grades, you'd think he was disabled. I guess some people do see ADD as a disability, but I don't. I like him just the way he is. Unfortunately, just the way he is doesn't cut it in a classroom setting. He's been taking Ritalin for two years and at first, the difference was amazing! He started really doing well at school and it was so nice to NOT get phone calls from the teacher about poor behavior. That was second grade. Third grade went well too. But fourth grade has been something else! In California, kindergarten through third grade are limited to a class size of twenty students. I don't know where the limit is for fourth through sixth, but it seems to land in the thirty-five range. That's a big jump. I think that may be part of the problem. Also, I've been in his classroom, and it is chaotic! I would have a hard time concentrating in there. I think his teacher is doing a fine job and is genuinely doing all she can do, but this particular group has an energy about it that is chaotic. Max says that the other kids are mean to him, but his teacher says that he is usually the one to start the trouble. The other kids get exasperated with him. He has begun to get a lot of "sore throats" and "stomaches" which I know are a sign of his anxiety. This is so hard for me to watch. If you knew Max, you would think how fun and clever and inventive he is. I used to have a really tough time in elementary school myself. Especially in grades 2, 3 and 4. In fifth grade we moved and I started in a new school. Dear Sandra befriended me right away. It really helped me to think of myself in a new light. Before then, I really didn't like myself at all. And I thought the rest of the world hated me. I thought I could never be "normal". I continued to have some trouble with impulsivity and with behaving properly in social settings, but it improved over time. Now I mostly struggle with getting "swamped" by life. Feelings of being overwhelmed by the stuff most people seem to have no problem with. Of course, when I was little, I don't remember ever hearing about Attention Deficit Disorders.
Anyway, Max will be seeing the doctor today and next week I will be attending a parenting class for kids with ADD. I've also ordered a couple of books from Amazon, including one for him. I am mostly concerned with making sure Max knows that there is nothing "wrong" with him. He's not broken and I really hope he knows that. I think the world needs people like Max-super creative, energetic, able to visualize things that the rest of us can't even begin to imagine. Mark my words: if I don't mess him up completely in childhood, he will grow up to do great things!