We had another foster care placement this past weekend, this time with one seven-year-old boy. Here’s what I learned:
- I don’t understand ADHD. This little boy has been diagnosed with ADHD which, at least this past weekend, meant that he wanted to try every game/toy in our house for about a minute before moving on to the next game/toy. This was most frustrating to me after we’d spent about 5 minutes setting up a game of Battleship only for him to quit the game after we’d each had only two turns. I do not understand this. I finish books I don’t like. I finish bad movies. I play a game until there’s a winner. It hurts me a little inside to walk away from an unfinished game.
- There are ways to conquer ADHD, at least for a while. On Saturday afternoon, after he gave up on Battleship, none of our video games could hold his attention, we’d already been to the zoo and Chick-fil-A, and we were going to be home for the rest of the evening because of the approaching storms, I texted my therapist friend about how in the world to keep a kid with ADHD sane. She recommended baking, and she was so correct. He loved baking cookies, even before I let him lick the beater. Also this weekend we made some little boats with a kit I bought a while ago. After gluing and coloring and stickering our boats we put them all in the bathtub so they could battle the Evil Rubber Ducky. And then they all tipped onto their sides, ruining their sails. That kit was such a rip off. But the boats’ demise (demises?) led into an extended “Will It Float?” segment in our bathroom, which kept the little man interested for a very long time. And made nearly everything on our second floor made of plastic very wet.
- Little boys can be rather judgmental. Particularly about the number of items one has in his/her home that serve no defined purpose other than being pretty. Particularly if those items are little boxes that don’t actually hold anything. Seriously, little boys can be very judgmental about these types of things.
- Little boys can be impatient. Especially when you’re playing Cooking Show while baking cookies and you tell the viewing audience that you’ll see them next time when you were actually just supposed to go to a commercial break so the little boy could use the restroom. I don’t think he understood the thickness of his lisp or else he would’ve been a lot more understanding of my failure to understand his whispered instructions.
- Do not let little boys see you checking the weather map. Doing so will lead to questions such as, “Are we going to be alive?”
- Baby orangutans are the best. This has nothing to do with the little boy other than the fact that I used him as an excuse to get Todd to take me to the zoo. But there was a baby orangutan at the zoo that I could’ve looked at all day. Seriously. I’m barely exaggerating.