Today was a bag full of shit just waiting to explode. And it did. Doodicus was exceptionally defiant and belligerent and several times I had to remind myself that I did indeed see Sparring Partner apply his medicated patch this morning. I can tell by 10:00 a.m. whether or not he’s had his medication, and today he just never showed much improvement behaviorally.
His play with Aitch was rougher and unfortunately he was shouted at more times today than I care to recall simply because he just couldn’t hear us telling him to back off. By that time, whether it was by SP or myself, we were pretty short-fused so Doodicus’s responses were shouted right back. One of the largest tell-tale signs that he just wasn’t acting normally to his meds was how angry he got over the simplest of things, like telling him to get the ketchup out of the fridge for the dinner table or waiting until it got a little darker to light fireworks. His angry? A combination of gritting his teeth and shouting, “GOD!!” while stomping away to his room followed closely by hysterical tears and dry-retching. Not pretty I assure you.
Bedtime is always a welcomed reprieve, to say the least. But it also brought the final melt-down of our day triggered by the fact he couldn’t find his iPod that he uses to listen to his music at night. We made an attempt to find it while he got ready for bed, and during that search I checked the cushions of the chair he usually sits in to play his games or watch TV. What I found in the chair was dozens (and I seriously mean DOZENS) of candy and fruit-snack wrappers crumpled and shoved inside. These weren’t an accumulation over weeks or days because that cushion is also the favorite place for the remote to disappear under as well the fact that the wrappers were mostly from the candy he had obtained from the parade we had attended earlier.
I was infuriated, to put it mildly. Doodicus was summoned from his room and given a tongue-lashing while he cleaned up the mess. After calming down, I returned to his room where he was once again settled in for the evening and I tried to express how we find it harder and harder to trust him as he continues to make the same mistakes over and over AND OVER again with no sign of remorse. NONE, which for Sparring Partner is the more disappointing than the actual rule-breaking. Doodicus just does not give a shit when he disappoints.
So while I’m trying to have this heart to hear talk, SP comes in and holding a nearly empty bag of marshmallows. One that I had just bought on Friday. One that I hadn’t opened. Not only that, but SP had bought a handful of those Laffy Taffy sticks as a treat for the kids…and found one remaining.
It explained why his medication seemed to have little effect on him; he was so fucking high on sweeteners and dyes that it would have put a “normal” adult in a sugar-coma. I suppose you could point out that we shouldn’t keep sweets in the house, but this has never been a problem before; this sneaking of candy and snacks. I can’t help but be reminded of those stories adoptive families tell of their child hoarding food because they were starving in orphanages. Since school has been out, which has been over a month, I have found candy wrappers in and under his bed, the garbage can in his room, the pockets of his clothes and scattered among toys. But tonight was the final straw.
I gathered up the remaining candy, fruit snacks, marshmallows, etc., and tossed them in a giant bowl and tucked it all away in an upper cabinet out of sight. Tomorrow morning when he wakes and starts trawling for sweets, he will find raisins, vanilla wafers and BBQ sauce on the shelf where the sweets were once kept.
While I am disappointed and frustrated, I feel guilty for not having done something sooner. I know a poor diet makes ADHD symptoms worse but I thought I could trust him. Now I’m just so angry, I even considered making him eat even more just so he’d end up sick enough to puke. Maybe he has to learn those kind of lessons the hard way because it seems I’ve failed to teach them in the hopes of making him more responsible.