Sweet and Sour

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.

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15 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour”

  1. Kids don’t have a lot of self-control when it comes to sweets. I’m sure he’ll be climbing the shelves soon looking for the hidden treats, so you might want to get rid of them entirely.

  2. We go through this all the time with Zachary. The lastest discovery is that he ate an ENTIRE jar of nutella. I can’t even imagine it – as about a spoonful of that stuff is enough to make me gag – but nope – the whole jar. We will find cans of soda hidden wherever he can think to stash it. Before we moved, we found a half eat CAN OF CORN hidden in his laundry. He has taken ketchup bottles down from my storage shelf where I keep all of my extras (I buy a lot on sale), and he drank (ate?) half a bottle of ketchup. It’s ridiculous. We are talking a med change at this point – but need to get to August when he has his yearly well child.

    Sorry you’re having to go through it too. Has to be one of the most frustrating things ever.

  3. So sorry you had a tough day! Sugar highs are horrible and I absolutely hate ridiculous studies that try to disprove what every parent and teacher knows to be true: Sugar has a direct affect on children and behavior!

  4. I wrote a long comment on my husband’s computer and he closed the window when I got up to answer the door. Jerk.

    Anyway, my point was that kids have almost unlimited access to sweets these days. It was not like that when I was a kid. Also, kids will make bad choices for a long time. That’s why you’re responsible for them until they turn 18. Has nothing to do with ADHD, although I doubt that makes things easier. I rarely got caught doing stuff I shouldn’t. My sister was of the opinion that when she was doing stuff wrong, my parents shouldn’t dare question her and she would just get defensive and angry when caught. That’s the cycle though – you trust them, they fuck up, you restrict them.

    As I said, I rarely got caught, but there is a memorable incident that my mom still complains about. She used to buy Fannie May candy for our Easter baskets and when I was about 12 or 13, she bought a bunch of stuff and “hid” it in the back of the refrigerator. Between whenever she purchased it and Easter, my sister and I ate almost 5 lb of mint meltaways.

    Some of this stuff is basic kid stuff. It’s not that he doesn’t worry about disappointing you. It’s that his impulse control is in development and will be for a long time to come. Today it’s candy; tomorrow it’s video games; in a few years, it will be sex. You’re in for a fun ride, because he’s just a kid who needs more monitoring in that department. High maintenance. Can’t be relied upon to police himself. Maybe someday…

    1. I agree that his decision skills are lacking more due to his age and immaturity. The ADHD reference was more about how all that junk made the symptoms worse to the point it was as if he hadn’t received his normal dosage at all.

      1. Actually, kids with ADHD tend to have a harder time with impulse control than non-ADHD kids – so it does make a difference.

  5. What does Dood do during the day over the summer????

    I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate today…. I know my kids are RAVENOUS during the summer.

    They swim every day at Summer Camp, they are outside running around (PLAYING!! OUTSIDE!!)all day. They only have a bowl of cereal in the morning before we leave the house….it’s all they want in the morning.
    For lunch I pack: a PB&J, 2 juice boxes, a bottle of water, a bottle of gatorade in their Sports-bottle, 2 snacks consisting of a piece of fruit (Banana, apple slices, a peach or nectarine, cup of berries or carrots & celery sticks with dip….)
    and some junk food snacks :(either a bag of Doritos & a portion of cookies or a pudding cup or or a granola bar or trail mix or a pre-packaged brownie etc….)

    They are like wolves when we hit the house. I’ve barely had time to hang up the car keys before I hear, “Mom, can we have a snack?” Maggie is already in the fridge or the pantry scanning the shelves for something… ANYTHING to scarf down. She resorted to eating Oyster Crackers the other day when I hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet & they’d already eaten everything snack-worthy in the house.
    To make matters worse (?) they are taking extra swimming lessons at the swim-club two nights a week so there is more hunger inducing exercise and since it’s been so frigging hot here lately, we’ve been going to the pool at night after dinner. It’s either bring a bag of chips/cookies/cheetos to the pool or buy them snack-bar crap at inflated prices and being the cheap-ass that I am…..

    aaannnyyway…..I’m sorry your day was so stressful.

    1. Most days, he’s in daycare and I can certainly understand being hungrier, which is ironic since the food is strictly portioned on the days he plays the most. At home, he won’t go and play outside. He’d rather stay at home playing video games than go to the pool (which I don’t allow).

      Yes, he does seem to be in the middle of some kind of growth spurt, and that’s normal. But he’s so particular about food that some days he’ll go all day long without eating because we “don’t have what I like!” and when we ask him what he likes? “I don’t know!!” And even if he says he loves the taste of something one day, the next day he’ll say he doesn’t like it.

  6. We’ve caught a kid or two sneaking sweets after bedtime, which SENDS me: not only the sneaking, but the idea of them doing it after they brushed their teeth, and then going to sleep with that stuff on their teeth. It makes me feel so crazy that even the things I feel like I can control (making sure their teeth get brushed) are totally out of my control because they have certain levels of free will.

  7. It sounds like his need to obsessively indulge himself is greater than his need to please, which is sad. I’m sorry you all are having a hard time with this.

  8. I saw your update about this on FB and wondered what it was about. Now, that I know…yikes! It sounds absolutely awful the day you had! I can’t believe the amount of sugar Doodicus must have gone through this weekend and yet I wonder too if he just needs to learn his lesson the hard way. I remember when I was about his age, maybe a little older, and I came home one afternoon from school and was hungry. I knew there were “good” snacks my parents left for me (I was a latch key kid then) but I didn’t want them. When I looked to see what else there was to eat, I saw a bag of cookies and knew that’s what I wanted to eat. I knew if I opened that bag, though, I would have to eat everything because if I left a partially eaten bag my parents would know. So, I did and it felt wonderful to eat cookie after cookie after cookie. Until, that is, about half an hour later and I had the worst stomach ache for the rest of the night. Not only did I learn my lesson but to this day, I have never eaten those cookies again. I think there are some things kids have to learn themselves and no amount of lecturing from you or SP will get through to them until they have experienced the consequences. Maybe this is one of those things for Doodicus? I don’t know how or if the ADHD would affect whether this is a good way for him to learn this lesson or not.

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