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Oh look . . . a chicken!

March 30, 2009

by Jen Bakken

There are T-shirts everywhere with funny sayings on them, some favorites that come to my mind are:

“Out of my mind; back in five minutes.”

“Ever stop to think and forget to start again?”

“Procrastinate now!”

“That’s it! I’m calling grandma!” (on a child.)

“No sense in being pessimistic; it won’t work anyway.”

“I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.”

“You’re just jealous because the voices don’t talk to you.”

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.” (My son has this one, and it fits him perfectly.)

“Always remember you’re unique; just like everyone else.”

But my favorite, by far, is one that says, “Oh, look, a chicken!” Having children with Attention Deficit Disorder, (ADD), this saying isn’t just humorous – it’s reality.

They can be talking about something that happened in school and anything can cause them to lose their train of thought. I can’t count how many of our conversations have ended like this:

Mom – “So how was school today, what did you do?”

Child – “It was OK, in science we did this really cool experiment. We had partners and . . . ”

Mom – “And?”

Child – “Huh? Oh, hey, mom, did you know that in the Wizard of Oz Dorothy’s last name is Gail?”

Mom – “What?“

Child – “Yeah, they show her last name on the mailbox in the movie.”

Mom – “I did not know that, what made you think of that?”

Child – “Well, I just saw someone walking a dog outside and it made me think of Toto in the Wizard of Oz, then I saw the mail on the kitchen counter, then and it made me think of seeing Dorothy’s last name on the mailbox.”

Mom – “OK, so what kind of project did you do in science today?”

Child – “Huh? Oh I don’t remember.”

Homework presents quite a challenge in our household. Working on a writing assignment one time, my son was supposed to find mistakes in a sentence and then write it correctly.

When I looked at his paper, he had written the number “45.”

“That’s not a sentence,” I told him. “It’s not even words, it’s numbers, why did you write that?”

Apparently having the TV on in the background was too much of a distraction to him. He was listening to a commercial for the TV station channel 45.

I should admit that I am guilty of things like this too. One day while baking cookies, I noticed how messy my kitchen cupboards were and started organizing them.

While I took items off the shelves, I set them on the counter tops to sort, and I found out I was out of some “necessities.” When I arrived at Coborn’s grocery store, I realized I had forgotten my list and couldn’t remember what my “necessities” were.

Of course I had no trouble filling up my grocery cart and when I began to put my purchases away, at home, I thought I smelled something burning.

“Oh no! The cookies!” I exclaimed as I opened the oven to find round black rocks stuck to the baking sheet.

Let’s just say, my multi-tasking abilities are actually pretty good but only if I don’t get distracted.

In my family these have become known as “Oh, look, a chicken” moments. Though my dad has never formally been diagnosed with the disorder, he admits he must have adult ADD. (And no one in the family disagrees or tries to argue this point with him.)

A conversation with him can go in seemingly a million different directions. I can call him to tell him something about the kids and the next thing I know we are talking about the Beatles or some strange bird he saw in his Dassel backyard.

Honestly, there have been times that I have hung up the phone after talking to him and been unable to remember why I called in the first place.

I suppose it’s safe to say, in our case – following in someone’s footsteps has been unavoidable. At any given time you may hear my dad, my children or myself say, randomly and out of nowhere, “Oh look . . . a chicken!”