I was hopelessly frustrated with the sweetest, most oblivious thing on Earth this morning. My five-year-old daughter, Miss J.
Miss J lives life on her own little planet that's located somewhere inside of her pretty, blond-haired little head. If I had to guess, I'd say that her planet is probably pink and sparkly, and is perpetually overcast with fluffy pink and purple clouds. It's likely that there are unicorns galloping across its hills and valleys, and tiny winged fairies dancing in the mist, gathering moonbeams in heart-shaped baskets to share with all their tiny, glittering winged friends. Everyone is smiling, everyone is happy, everyone is singing, and everyone is eating lots and lots of candy.
Okay, so I don't actually know what goes on inside Miss J's head, but one thing I know for sure is that she spends an awful lot of time in a faraway place. LaLa Land, I've heard it called. And the problem with living in LaLa Land is that while you're there, you can't be fully present in this world. At all. You kind of float through life half-dazed, being distracted by every little noise...and movement...and bug...and falling leaf...and shiny object. And you never ever stay concentrated on one task for long. You have no sense of urgency, for there is no such thing as time in LaLa Land. You forget what you're doing. You stare off into space. You remain completely oblivious to the promptings of those around you, even those who are desperate to prod you on, speed you up, and kick your adorable little heiney out the door and into a waiting vehicle.
All this to say, Miss J is SLOW.
P a i n f u l l y s l o w .
And while I'm not a trained professional qualified to make such diagnoses, I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that my little girl has ADHD. Her frequent visits to a faraway place, her happy-but-somewhat-vacant expressions as she stares at absolutely nothing, her inability to remember what exactly it is that she's supposed to be doing at any given moment, her obvious lack of understanding of the concept of time, and the pace by which she accomplishes (or half-accomplishes) everything and anything that she sets out to do, are all eerily similar to someone else I know...someone I know very intimately.
Yes, ADHD is hereditary, and little Miss J comes by it honestly. Although undiagnosed, my maternal grandfather was almost assuredly a kindred spirit, who passed it on to a couple of his children, including my mother, who passed it on to my brother and myself. So basically, we are a family of people who are either scatterbrained ourselves, or have learned to live with someone who is scatterbrained. To my knowledge, not one of the ADHD people in my family have married a fellow ADHD person.
There is a reason for this.
You see, a house can only handle so much ADHD before it explodes. When I'm running around like a mad woman, trying to compensate in the final ten minutes for everything that I failed to plan for in the previous hour while I was vacationing in LaLa Land, I need attentive, capable children to quickly follow every frantic order that I holler in their direction.
I need efficiency.
I need initiative.
I need an army of little people that are on-task and ready to shine where I can't.
I do not need a child dancing around the room in her underwear.
This is why we are late for almost everything: my scatterbrained five-year-old refuses to compensate for her mother's ADHD. Totally inconsiderate, I know. Day after day, I bust my buttons for ten solid minutes trying to get a whole passel of kids out the door, and she insists on trying to cram everything I've told her to do into the last possible seconds before we're supposed to leave.
She should probably work on that.