Goodness, I'm not even sure how to title this...but I'm really struggling lately to connect with this kid.
DD11 is such a sweet kid. She really is. I love her to pieces. It seems as though, over the last year, her social skills have tanked, and tanked hard.
She has always had learning disabilities (ADHD inattentive, dyscalculia, motor integration, receptive language), but her social skills were fine. She never struggled to fit in with her peers, they accepted her just fine, she engaged appropriately, etc.
But then she hit 10 and...I think the rest of her peer group made some big social jumps and she just has not made those. Neither is she even remotely ready.
She is still struggling with hygiene (hair combing, despite a shorter haircut, wiping her nose on her sleeve, sneezing boogers all over the place). Sometimes her laughter is off par (louder than it should be, or she'll laugh hilariously at something that's really not as funny as she's laughing, if that makes sense). Some of her social interactions are immature.
I'm seeing some of her peer group starting to leave her out, snigger behind her back. I saw a pair of slightly older twins mocking her.
At home, she is ALWAYS in trouble for something. She's not "bad". But she is irresponsible. Poorly completed chores...constant distraction...a complete and utter lack of common sense.
Seriously...the lack of common sense is driving me nuts. She took a frozen chicken water from one side of our chicken coop (a side with just a couple of chickens, so they don't drink it very quickly), and gave it to the main flock. Frozen. She often forgets to latch the chicken coop doors...and this has caused significant weather issues during snow storms.
Somehow, she has managed to lock herself into the coop more than once. I mean, the coop doors have eye hook latches...how in the world...I don't even know!!!
We have begun discussing upcoming tween and puberty issues. I gave her a book and we've gone over things. She wrote me a note in her journal asking, "So when does the egg hatch?" I was like, "Huh?" She thought the ovary would produce an egg like a chicken egg.
At the Y, she'll come out of the shower with the towel wrapped around her mid-section...bottom half and top half completely exposed.
I swear, I birthed Amelia Bedelia!
And I know that my reaction to her has been less than accepting. And she's picking up on it. Which...is awful. But I'm not really sure what in the world to do. I am going to see a counselor and we will discuss these things, but I thought I'd run it through here, because I can't be the only one struggling to "like" my difficult child. Can I? Please tell me I'm not. Please tell me how you managed to build up a kiddo who seems to always do the wrong thing.
And if somebody can tell me that kids like this grow up and successfully manage to navigate through the real world without burning down their homes, or walking off with strangers, please tell me. Because right now, I'm not sure how this child is going to survive on her own.
(Also, I'm SERIOUSLY considering ADHD meds...something I said I really didn't want to do...but I'm not sure I'll have any other choice).