Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One problem managed

On top of homework last night Miss 9 also had to fill out all her Valentine's. Normally this is something that I don't help her with other than to make sure she didn't forget anyone. This year she chose High School the Musical valentines. While she was tearing them apart and looking at the (oh my gosh!) tattoos that came with them, she decided that the boys really wouldn't like them. No problem says I; and I take out another box of valentine's from a previous year! Yay says she, and delves into the box, which also (oh my gosh!) has tattoos included.

Previously I had asked Miss 9 to do this at her desk in her room because I had already set the table for supper. No, she could do it at the table; it wouldn't take up much room. Ahem.... There on the table with 5 plates, 5 glasses, 5 forks, a giant bowl of grapes, 5 napkins, etc. sits piles of valentines, envelopes, tattoos, a pen, a pencil, a list, 2 boxes and beside that sits a very befuddled Miss 9. I was still finishing up our supper, but I watched her out of the corner of my eye. She stared at her mess for a while. I saw her posture slouch; and her hands fall to her lap. She looked at the floor, licked her lips and stared some more. As I watch I realize she is completely lost as to where she should start with this mess she has now made. She picks up the pen, sets it down, picks up the pencil, sets it down, then she looks at me.

"Maybe you should w.."

She suddenly grabs all the various valentine paraphernalia piles it in one big heap and announced, "I think I'll do this later," and sets it on the floor and runs out.

Miss 9, as I've written is a bit ADHD. She's not so much in the hyperactivity camp as she is in the anxiety camp. She could not see past the mess she had made and move on to the work part, even though she loves to do her valentine's. I felt for her at that moment, knowing that to her something was keeping her from working on something she enjoys, but also knowing that she had no idea what that something (the mess) might be. Very shortly she came back in the kitchen for a hug and I told her I'd be glad to help her with her valentine's after the table was cleared and she was done with homework.
Great! She was all for that idea.

We did homework, with only couple of dozen stops and starts instead of 100's. While she put her homework in her backpack I picked up the valentine pile and sorted it into several smaller piles: High School the Musical valentines, HSM tattoos, other valentines, other tattoos and envelopes. I put a bag of the suckers she was sharing with her friends beside those, and set a pen and pencil and her list of valentine friends at her spot at the table. Viola... organization!
Miss 9 came in, checked out the piles and promptly got to work on her valentines. As the process got running later, I stepped in and stuffed envelopes for her and put them all in one big bag. But, because things were organized and ready to go, this time Miss 9 wasn't frustrated or anxious. She got busy and completed her task.

This was a lesson for both of us in how her mind works.


DeeAnn said...

Way to go Mom!
Want to come and organize my messes?? ;-)

Lo said...

I'm with Dee. I need someone to organize my messes too. You are welcome to help anytime!