It’s Not the Caffeine

Mrs. O’Donnell: Do you want some tea?

Me: No thanks.

Mrs. O’Donnell: Do you want some coffee?

Me: No thanks.

Mrs. O’Donnell: What do you drink in the morning?

This conversation took place in a small English town – Elsemere Port circa 1993.  My friend’s mother was doing her best to be a hostess – doesn’t everybody want caffeine? Well, I was just a confusing American who was content with some juice.

Odd me, I am one of those people who does not enjoy caffeine in the morning. However, we all know people who need caffeine in the morning. My wife springs to mind. You don’t want to get in her way before she gets her caffeine buzz. This reasonable decent woman is replaced by a cranky snippy thing who must be tiptoed around. Enough about this alternative personality, I don’t want to think about it.

BR, my older son, is very bright. He is sensitive. He is caring. He is silly. Now, most of the time my boys are friends with the same odd sense of humor.  Yes, of course they get into fights like brothers do – take it from someone who has three older brothers. The mornings, in particular, are difficult as the boys seem to be unable to coexist during this time of the day.  In fact, my wife typically keeps the children in separate rooms so some form of tranquility can exist. While SY can be content to completely zone out watching whatever – really whatever is on television, BR is off the wall.

You may be wondering why BR is so challenging in the morning.  No, my 8 year-old does not have a caffeine addiction. He has ADHD (emphasis on the H in his case) which affects people in different ways and often works in tandem with other issues. In the morning before his medicine kicks in, I imagine his brain as being incapable of handling all the stimuli. Therefore, his morning actions which are often unreasonable are practically out of his control. He hears my wife and I and even his little brother attempting to disciple, calm, and placate him but does not seem capable of acting upon those requests.

Once the medicine kicks in, BR’s positive traits noted above are more readily apparent. He can still be challenging, as boys his age can be, and has his challenges. So, my wife and I strive to recognize his needs and what will work to enable him to utilize his positive traits and fulfill his tremendous potential.  Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as caffeine.

16 thoughts on “It’s Not the Caffeine

  1. When I started reading this, I thought it was going to be light-hearted but it’s not, is it? Poor little guy. Thank God he has parents who are committed to his well-being. 🙂

  2. I wish it was as easy as caffeine. Maybe oxycodine will help, you and sara should take one every morning. You know Im joking. I for one as you know understand all the stresses of having children with issues and the toll it can take,and i totally empathize. I also know what great parents you and Sara are. BR & SY are two very lucky kids. The parents are a childs best advocate, and if the parents are not there, or refuse to see their childrens isssues, then the children are lost. The trampoline is waiting for them. A great way to release his extra energy. I enjoy seeing them when I do

    • Oxycodine – hmmm. That’s a thought.
      Thanks for the compliment. It is essential, as you say, for a parent to be the child’s best advocate. They must lead them.
      We might take you up on that trampoline offer very shortly. Much appreciated.

      • You’d be surprised how much variety there is available in coffee. Different shades of roast, different areas that the beans come from have different flavor characteristics. ME, I do black coffee most times, and green teas. Though if I’m fatigued, I really need something with some *POP* to it. And I am too often fatigued. Got to change that.

        Having a child that needs daily medication sucks. Best to you and yours!

  3. I can completely empathize with your situation, as you might already know. People have given me endless amounts of grief regarding the notion that we administer medication to our son for a “disorder” that they believe we have invented. The difference in the energy in our house on days when my son doesn’t take his medication is unbelievable. And, despite what others criticize, our son prefers how he feels when he takes the medication. I’m not sure how anyone can argue with that. You’re doing a great job. 🙂

    • I hear you. Some people think that parents simply can’t handle their child. If they could get a better grip on the child, they could up with some sort of solution. Clueless. The medicine is there for the reason and it helps in so many ways. The difference is immense.
      Thanks for sharing your situation.

  4. Enjoyed reading your post, although like your first comment I thought it was about something completely different 🙂 giving your son the support and dedication is admirable!

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