‘ADD’ said the learned psychologist shaking his head.
Skimming my face for signs of recognition.
‘But you must accept the genetic endowment you’ve given this child!’
He’d only known me for five minutes whilst he psychoanalysed my child. As I hurriedly rattled off my daughter’s behaviours, and impatiently finished his sentences for him.
What had Dark Princess inherited from her mother?
Attention Deficit Disorder. Without the H bit.
Then he did his whole pharmaceutical company sponsored bit about the joys of Ritalin.
I just said NO. (Actually I said a lot more under my breath, most of which is unrepeatable, and potentially libelous.)
This was the second child I’d had at the psychologist. The first time I’d shuffled down clinic corridors holding Son’s pudgy little hand (aged three) the white coat had told me that he had Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
And so did I! I am the chattiest people-person you are likely to meet. I don’t think I have a problem with Theory of Mind issues.
Of course it was complete bollocks (on both accounts and that’s another blog post) but here I was again at the shrink with the girl child. At that stage everyone in our family had been to the mind-doctor, even the dog!
I didn’t put Dark Princess on Ritalin, I grabbed the sheets of instructions on ‘Heavy Duty Parenting’ and disappeared off into anonymity. Over the years this issue has arisen from time to time…
By the time she was three Dark Princess had sucked the muffler of my car, overdosed on Prozac, had a ride in an ambulance to replace part of her split forehead, eaten various trees in the back yard, chewed through her clothes, and snacked on a couple of baubles off the Christmas tree.
Of my three children, she is the most likely to run in front of a moving vehicle. Or burn the house down. Like yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon, the sand man came and sprinked sleepy dust into my eyes and heavy-lidded I popped a roast in the oven and turned into bed. I didn’t turn into a bed, I turned into bed becoming one with the duvet and the feather pillows and the quiet…
I woke about an hour and sixty five minutes later (not two hours! That would be lazy of me.) I woke to the smell of something burning. A heavy incense infused scent hanging in the still air. That will be the Star Anise!
Racing downstairs I screamed into the kitchen and retrieved from the oven £9 worth of cremated beef. The kitchen was heavy with smoke. A pall of smoke hung over the lounge, where sitting happily ensconced in a book sat Dark Princess.
Oblivious to anything outside of her book. Not paying attention to anything else, like my screaming, or the oven on fire. Would she have noticed if the house had burnt down?
I did the hippity-hoppity tantrum of the furious-but-incredulous-mother-of-selfish-teenagers! I screamed and ranted and turned shades of fetching purple. She looked up from her book and said in protest.
‘I didn’t know’.
Yeah. That’ll be the Attention Deficit Disorder thing. Or maybe the teenage thing? Or maybe she just really likes reading.
I’m not heading away overnight with my Englishman tonight. I can’t leave her and her little sister in the care of their big brother. She may not notice if the house burnt down around her. She may not get fed.
But I supppose I should be encouraged that at least she will be well-read.
Image Flickr by tanakawho