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Babble Voices: Mocha Momma Has Something to Say

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Friday
Jan052007

Lengthy Titles Tucked Neatly Inside

All these damn long titles. What was I thinking? Ok, since you've all been so nice in your comments, I'll tell you what I have been thinking (as opposed to why else you come here, you know, for me to consult you on a bathroom makeover).

Mail Bonding Takes On New Forms When You Open Your Life Up To Perfect Strangers And That's Good Because I Can No Longer Afford Therapy


I have a helluva lot more e-mails I've been answering after posting about my son than I do when I shamelessly pander to my demographic and drop words like "biznatch" and phrases like "Google me this" or when I post those pictures of myself in my old prom dresses. Oh, I haven't done that? Good. That would be embarrassing. I've been thinking that this is a greater thing than we normally allow as "normal" and yet still falls somewhere in the middle of The Unknown because of the variations and degrees of severity of ADHD.

In my e-mail lately I've had a lot of wonderful, supportive people. I love hearing your stories! Yet, I understand why not everyone wants to comment publicly. People have the most amazing stories and I'm grateful you want to share them with me. Some of them have already been written and many wonderful mothers are struggling day to day and if that brings comfort to anyone, then I'm happy with that.

Wherein I Cry Some More, Become A Feminist, And Put Up With Thoughtless Comments From Family And Friends

The first visit to the psychiatrist's office was mostly me crying. Again. This was me being guilty for having a son with ADHD. While we went through the list of symptoms of various mental disorders before settling on the Axis I disorder of "anxiety", I looked over at my husband and nodded in his direction. We discovered that he, too, dealt with an undiagnosed case. He self-medicated with nicotine, but his brain had learned to compensate because his family never dealt with it and there are many things for him which are still a struggle.

The only time we'd ever discussed it was when we were telling family members that we were seeing a doctor and they let us know how silly the whole thing was.

"Ken was the same way as a child. Mason's just a boy. Boys will be boys."

"You're not going to put him on medicine, are you? Because that is bad. Very bad."

"He's fine. There's nothing wrong with him. You probably need to spank or put him in 'time out' more."

"The two of you have taken him to a doctor? Oh, no. We don't air our dirty laundry, Kelly. We take care of these things on our own."

That last one was uttered by my father who has no idea that I blog. His knowledge of the internet is limited and if he ever found me I'm certain that hours and hours of "Daddy, it's fine. It's fine that I write a personal account of my life for the entire world to observe and pick apart" would follow.

Without a doubt I can say that the phrase "boys will be boys" is the reason I became a feminist. Perhaps the reason that it's not ever settled well with me is because it's not attributed to girls and I see so many 'bad boys' who grow up to be 'bad men' and then it's just one more excuse for "men will be men". Or maybe it's because I heard that stupid phrase about Richard Cranium when he decided to leave me with an infant. Umm... hard to tell.

Mocha Momma: The Redux - Because Even I Am Getting Weary From Writing Lengthy Posts About ADHD

Let me pimp myself out and possibly introduce you to something cool and new. There is this new magazine called JPG where they publish photos that people, real people like you and me, submit and then vote on which should be used. To see my one and only entry go here. The see that one and only entry on a large format, go here. If you're so inclined, you should vote. There are some excellent entries. I never thought my picture looked that great until I saw it with their logo on it and I thought, Yes, I could be published!

Now, why haven't you clicked that link yet? Fine, I'll show you the original photo:


Skater profiles

These guys allowed me to snap pictures of them when I first got the Digital Rebel camera and I am still grateful to them for allowing a strange woman to get right in their faces and take pictures.

I'm doing a picture-a-day this year and decided not to mention it until we were well into 2007 (what? this is day five!) and so far I realized that I have been doing alternating black-and-white and color photos. In any case, if you're interested in that set, click here.

What else is new? With you, I mean. Are you doing well? Are you eating YOUR vegetables? Are you trying on YOUR old prom dresses?
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Reader Comments (30)

I haven't tried on my old prom dress much.

I'm currently reading Raising Your Spirited Child and dealing with ADHD-like symptoms with my little buddy. He amazed me how bright he is and how he can hyper focus at times on activities he really enjoys.

"Boys will be boys" (in it's various forms) usually leads to buffoonery or skulduggery I forget which.

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterfuriousball

i still have my old prom dress. it's a nice ballgown, and i still go to balls at least once or twice a year, so it's good to have around.

what's new with me? i moved out of the home i shared with the man i expected to marry, and now i live in a tiny apartment, i'm still not unpacked, i'm lonely, i'm scared, and i'm exhausted because work started up again and i'm already behind.

oh, crap. was i just "that girl" - the one who brings everyone down by giving an honest answer to the "how are you?" question?

my bad. :-P

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterlara

Yes, I am eating my veggies, but, no, I am NOT trying on my old prom dresses. Considering I was then less than a size 3 I don't think it would go very well these days. There might be some ripping and tearing going on. Yeah, scary.

It's been interesting reading about ADHD in your last few posts. I haven't had much experience with it in my own life so it's good to know some things just in case the situation arises. Thanks for sharing!

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Prom Dress? Me? Never ever ever! Aside the fact that here in the UK we didn't do Proms and very rarely balls etc, though I'm led to believe they are now becoming popular, surely its another enviroment for more teenage angst? As I recall the school disco was the closest thing me thinks and Prom Dresses would never be suitable attire. Mind you if I had one, I reckon there would be no way I'd fit into it now.

I'm trying to eat my veggies amongst other things, though the flu/virus thing which I blame you for [I'm sure these things can pass via the internet and yes I know I had it first, but I need to blame someone and as you are so highly thought of I thought you could take it! lol :-)] is lingering in my body and appears to be removing my tastebuds. Although this is not a reason for my trying horrid veggies such as brussel sprouts, I don't care that I can't taste them, they are yucky.

Thank you for making me smile so much when I read your blog and for sharing your life with us all. I have great admiration for you hun, big {{{{{}}}} to you!

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMoley123

I am doing the take a picture every day thing too this year! Except I am not taking pictures of myself, but instead am taking pictures of something that sums up each day. It is going well so far, except that last night at 11 pm, I realized I hadn't taken a picture yet, so I just took a picture of my home office. Only 360 days to go!

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter-R-

I worry about my son, and I don't really have a doctor I trust. I don't know how to get him unobtrusive help that will get him toward being the best "him" he can be. I adore him... and he is difficult. He feels things bigger, and deeper. His emotions are so accessible. When he is angry, he is Angry. When he is happy, he is Ridiculous. And he is often put-upon. At 7, he has chronic insomnia.

My prom dress was my mother's formal from college. I think it was a size four. I am six feet tall and 175 pounds on skinny days. No chance of trying it on, but i do still think it's pretty.

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCat

I didn't think it was possible, but declaring your feminism has made you even hotter. Right on, sister!

And your picture is great - I need to start trolling the skateparks myself...

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjenny

Let's see, this has been the week that my grandparents moved into a retirement home. Since I'm stuck up here due to work commitments, my mom's had to deal with the two of them and all the details on her own (while being sick with the same crud you had, by the way). We're both so angry with them, not just because of what's gone on for the last three months but really for their actions over the last 30-40 years.

Did I mention that my grandmother told my mom that if my mom had taken as good care of my dad (my grandmother's only son) as my grandmother has taken of my grandfather, that my dad would still be alive? 'Cause I guess living on banana sandwiches in a house without hot water for twenty years (when you have tons of money, are mentally and physically healthy, and are perfectly able to choose to do otherwise) is what it takes to prevent heart attacks.

I hate, like Lara said, to be a downer but I think I've spent more time in the last six months being angry than I have in the rest of my 33 years combined. And you know, I think...no I know, that I could take a random sampling of folks who read my blog, slap a common last name on them and call them a family and end up with a better result than the folks I'm actually kin to.

Other than that I'm fine.

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCaffeinated Librarian

I love how, in the photo, the guy in the middle looks like he's straight out of Dazed & Confused yet he's wired to an iPod. Nice picture, though.

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkapgar

What are these VEGETABLES of which you speak?

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Furiousall - I'll have to check out that book. You'll have to check out your old prom dresses. ;-)

Lara - Oh, it wasn't all that bad. I mean I asked, right?

Sarah - It's because I ate my vegetables that I had ADHD children. No, just kidding. But still...stay away from broccoli. Nothing ever good came from eating it.

Moley - I have never thanked you for the Christmas card! I loved it! Getting mail all the way from England...cool. I would pay big money (i.e. - fly all the way across the ocean) to see you in a dress, though. Any dress.

R - I'll get to the point where I'm sick of turning the camera on myself, but I sort of want to see how I change over the course of a year. I'll have to check your photos out. Can I?

Cat - It's quite a roller coaster, this thing. And I think it's AWESOME you wore your mother's dress.

Jenny - It would be a change from the cemeteries you frequent. Livelier, too! All feminists are sexy, you know?

Libby - Wow. You need a prize or something for dealing with all that. Geez. Also, anger turns into bitterness. Watch out for that. Yoda said something like that once. ;-)

Kevin - I know! You're so right! I should have titled it something better.

Susan - Oh, you know which ones I'm talking about, missy! The green ones! And the yellow ones! And the red ones! ALL THE ONES OUR BOYS WON'T EAT.

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMocha Momma

Veggies and feminism and ADHD all in one post? Wow. And somehow they all fit together.
Husband used to proclaim that he "didn't believe in Ritalin" until I described to him how much the right meds can help a child who needs them. Or was it when I described what the same kid looked like when he was off his meds? Oh, I know, the kid was off his vegetables! That's it!

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy

I clicked on the picture and looked. I thought the boy had a nice face too. I also picked up on the fact that you're doing a photo a day. One suggestion...maybe a smile here and there?

I am not trying on my prom dresses as I don't own any because I was never invited to a dance/prom during high school. In fact I was never asked out on a date during high school. Gee thanks for the memories mocha! That's ok I got over it, I guess...Never had a real wedding either. Thanks for reminding me of that too! Geeze, why am I reading your blog?

Because I love it!

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Foirst (yes that's foirst) of all, I have no prom dresses because I never went to prom. I wasn't cool enough. :)

But I'm doing my weight watchers again and I've already dropped 7 lbs. of water.

And I love my new job.

And I'm counting down the days until I'm a size 10 so that YOU can take me shopping, in Chicago, around BlogHer time, for a new outfit or twenty-seven.

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Yes, I'm eating my veggies...does eating them through Chinese food count, though? And, I actually didn't have a prom, since I was home-schooled. But, I had a night-before-graduation dance with other graduating home-school'ers, but that didn't involve a special dress. Wow, that was too long-winded!

I just wanted to say that I think you're amazing. :)

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPointlessBallyhoo

Your name is KELLY? I had "Mocha" so firmly planted in my mind that it is kind of a shock to hear your real name. Yes, I KNOW Mocha is an unlikely name, but I hadn't thought it through that far...

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSuebob

Come on, show us the old prom dress pictures!!!!!!

Nice work with the camera, by the way. You got my vote.

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRWA

There's a book out by Tom Daly - ADHD Solutions. It's supposed to be pretty good. I'm working through it right now. He has a website also - www.adhdsolutions.com. It could be helpful if you want to look at it.

From what I have read...you're a great mother...I wish I had a mother like you (unfortunately, I wasn't that lucky). Hang in there...it will be ok. I had a student who was ADHD...he was a HUGE challenge for me - that was only for last year. I couldn't imagine having a child like that.

Man, I can remember when my brother and I wouldn't eat ANY veggies at all. It drove my dad insane...plus he usually had to cook something that we would both eat (that was kind of difficult - we fought over what we liked and didn't like)

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Hmmm you may want to rethink that question. Yes I am eating my veggies, I always do. The children however are another matter. After 2 days of my boys trying to maim or kill their cousins, we were hinted at/told to go home.

So the walking on eggshells whilst trying to have some fun has backfired AS USUAL. And I am sitting here with my husband, sulking, pulling bits of eggshell out of my face. I should have seen the faceplant coming and I didnt. I thought there would be so much cool stuff to do, they would be okay.

I think I will just wait until they are teenegers before I even consider leaving the house with them again. Talk about the walk of shame, anger, hurt and betrayal.

Love Y

January 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdragon-mum

The one and only thing i do right in this life is that i eat my fruit and veggies.

Way more than 10 servings a day.

That photo is awesome. Way better the second time around.

Please come over with jammies. I need you.

January 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjess

I have a few old bridesmaid dresses YOU can try on....and I voted for you pic....that will be one skinny hot chocolate without whip cream from Starbucks, please. :-)

January 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJ to the Wall

Hmmm. Wise that Yoda. *grin* But dare I counter with a little Alanis?

"Anger is a vital life force. Channeled artistically or nondestructively, it has the power to move worlds." - Alanis Morissette

Don't think I'm going to try moving any worlds today, however. I'll simply settle for moving my Christmas crap up to the guest room closet.

January 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCaffeinated Librarian

Mocha- eating my veggies? No. Eating cookies, crap and too much wine? Maybe. And have an extra 10 lbs to show for it.

I just took some time to read through your last three posts, and they are beautifully written and yet another layer to your life. One that wasn't as transparent, one I didn't know. I can't imagine the years, the life or what it's like to determine at this point that Kennimus and son share a trait in common that's difficult to deal with. At the same time? You're the one person who can probably deal with the challenges with grace and understanding your limits in the fact of such hurdles.

ADHD is hard to deal with. Hard for Mason, too. Don't know where you are all with the treatment, but thanks for being so barebones honest about something that's personal and hard to write about.

-Fiz. Whose Moved in to a Los Angeles Loft on her Own.

I am taking Nathan (my eight year old) to the Pediatrician on Wednesday because his First grade teacher last year and Second grade teacher this year have both agreed that because he is unusually distractable in class, needs to be constantly reminded to stay on task, and can not learn Math (literally, he goes to Resource Math and can just barely add), that he has ADD. We have been doing an IEP since September, and he's not getting any better, so now they want him to see his Doctor. Not only am I not convinced that he needs medication to learn Math, but every time I mention the appointment to Nathan, he bursts into tears. Do you have any suggestions for how to make all of this easier on Nathan?

January 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

There's bound to be something in our food or water now that is causing ADD/ADHD. I mean, when I was a kid we had people in our classes who "couldn't sit still" but nobody knew about ADD/ADHD. They were called "hyperactive" by the teachers, "spazzes" by us. (Very nice, but you know how cruel kids are.) Those kids usually got spanked a lot with "The Paddle" and were labeled as problems throughout the remainder of their public school careers. There were only a verrry few kids like this. Now there are so many kids in school who are taking ritalin or other medications. I personally wouldn't hesitate a minute to give my kid a medication that would help him/her feel better, act better, or learn better. The only thing that would concern me is the increased incidence of suicide by young patients taking certain medications used in the treatment of ADHD and depression. Until someone lives with a kid suffering from any condition, they shouldn't judge a parent for choosing a particular line of treatment. I truly do believe there are either dietary or other environmental causes of increased cases of ADD/ADHD and depression in our society now. But now I'm losing my focus on this topic and I must click on another website...

January 7, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermizangie

This is for Elizabeth. I understand that you were asking Mocha to guide you. However, can I also offer a little help?

I had the same problem with my son Bowen. The only difference is he was only 5 at the time and it was much harder to explain to him. My explanation was as simple as I could make it.

"We have to go and see a 'special doctor' to see if we need to get some tablets for you. Sometimes people's brain gets a bit sick and doesnt work like it should. And they take tablets to make it better"

Nathan being 9, will not need such a babyish explanation. But it is very scary for him (and for you) and I sympathise. He needs to know that it is NOT HIS FAULT, and it's not something he can control (until he is much older). For Bowen, the telling factor in his co-operation with medication was..... him NOT BEING "THE ONE" ANYMORE.

He is no longer the outcast who sits alone at lunch watching all the other kids play. He doesnt come home in tears because every OTHER kid but him got invited to so and so's b'day party. He is no longer a permanent fixture in the principals office, he stays in his classroom 98% of the time. He passed through to Year 1 this time and was not made to repeat the year AGAIN.

The only way to make it easier on Nathen is to lift the burden from his little shoulders. If his brain is not working like it should, how can he possibly learn maths? I dont have ADD or ADHD, but my Husband is ADHD and I see the dramas it causes him. He is dyslexic, has a minute attention span, and is the most brilliant person I have EVER met. Yet he CANNOT show you that side of himself unless he does it with his hands. Put a piece of paper in front of him and he cannot even add!

As a booster for Nathen, have you tried getting him to add actual objects he can touch? Like a bowl of fruit? I was amazed at how much of a difference it made to Bowen when he realised that the kids teasing him were wrong and HE COULD ADD. "One apple plus one apple makes TWO APPLES MUMMY! I can ADD I can DO IT." That moment will be etched into my mind forever.

Sorry I blathered on so much. But Kelly was the one who helped me through my first steps with Bowen. If meds are needed, just give them a trial for a month. YOU will know if they are helping or not within that time. When you see a change for the better, it makes all the soul searching worthwhile.

Best wishes for you both
Yvonne aka Dragon Mum

January 7, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdragon-mum

Sorry, didnt mean it to be so long. Just realised I should have clicked on Elizabeth's name and left the message there. Sorry Kelly :(

January 7, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdragon-mum

Ya know, I would have to OWN an old prom dress to try it on. Hmmm. I am doing better on that whole vege thing. Heading over to see your pictures! I am still learning about my little camera and some days I just don't have time to think about all those cool settings. BAH!

hugs,

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdeannie

I have been mulling over these Mason posts and it really has hit me what a moron I am. I mean seriously, there have been families I have known over the years with children that were "troublesome" and when I heard that they had ADD or ADHD, honestly, I didn't GET IT. I am just glad you kindly share things with those of us who didn't happen to experience this so we won't be so stupid the next time we bump into someone who happens to be attempting to come to grips with the challenges of their 'special' child. Thanks for teaching adults along with all your precious kids!

Hugs,

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdeannie

You all realize that I can't possibly comment back to everyone but that I'm reading and becoming saturated (isn't that a GREAT word?) with your thoughts.

Just one thing: Yvonne, dear, you may comment to anyone here. In fact, I think of this as a community effort to help others understand and I certainly don't have all the answers. We're all in this together whether it's as a parent, a person with ADD or ADHD, or as 'bystander' like Deannie just mentioned.

Elizabeth, let me think seriously before answering you. I'll probably do so privately.

January 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMocha Momma

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