Tropical Nut Island

Three-year-old RR gave us the saying Tropical Nut Island. Long time readers will remember that it’s how she referred to herself over a short period of time, usually shouting at the top of her lungs, “I’m a TROPICAL NUT ISLAND!” The non-nut island folks near and dear to her have never figured out where this came from but we can dissect its meaning well enough. When she was three, it meant running around, hair flying, arms waving, laughing. Craziness, we called it. Now, at nine, it feels more like Enough Already.

The other day she brought her Tropical Nut Island self to the observatory where we were having an intimate gathering of co-workers and their families to sky gaze through the giant telescope. There were other children there – a 4 and 5 year old – and a few adults, all of whom were ushering the little ones calmly from place to place. Our child eventually laid on the floor and spun herself in a circle. I don’t think she was bored, rather the opposite. She just had nowhere for the enthusiasm to go. Now we call it ADHD but not I’m going to take you home right now. I truly think she was doing the best she could to find an outlet for the bouncing inside her head.

I’m probably the stricter of the two of us, with a (probably needless) focus on manners and seemliness. But even my wife’s body language was WTF even though she, mostly calmly, snapped at RR to get up. RR was a bit dismayed as being sharply spoken to but I’m 100% with my wife on this one. There’s no floor spinning outside of your own house. At home, with just your family, spin all you want. Not that she ever has. This was…new.

Mostly her ADHD manifests as distraction and wandering. She either has a laser-like focus on what she’s doing or she has no focus. There’s no middle of the road. The resurgence of Tropical Nut Island made me question whether we’re doing her a disservice by not looking into medication. I have really complicated feelings about that and it wasn’t recommended, not yet, so I have a spit of time to wonder about why my feelings are so complicated and what we’re going to do about that. In the meantime, welcome to Tropical Nut Island.

3 Responses

  1. Having spent a lot of time in the medicated ADHD rabbit hole over the last few years, here’s my 2 cents on it.
    Medicating my girl all the time changed her personality in ways she didn’t like, disrupted her sleep, killed her appetite and triggered her anxiety in some pretty big ways. We tried a few medications (we let her lead the way on this, I was anti-meds) and basically had the same results with all of them. We’ve finally settled on her taking lower doses that wear off in a few hours for when she needs the help focusing, but not so that it upsets the apple cart.

  2. I spent three years trying to avoid giving my son medications and doing all the alternative things that they recommended in doing so. For us, it came down to when the school came to us and said what a hard time he was having and how was expressing to them that he felt “dumb.” He echoed the same thing at home and starting talking very negatively about himself. We did the meds and it all changed. He starting doing amazing in school and getting all A’s and B’s and overall his opinion of himself went through the roof. It was the absolute right decision for us and he thanks us all the time for how much better his life is with his meds.

    Only down side for us. He is very short in stature and low in weight. Always has been. Diagnosed with failure to thrive for years. I am 5’3″ and his donor was 5’6″ so it isn’t like he was going to be six feet or anything. But at 14 he is 83 pounds and 55″ tall. So he just had to go OFF his meds in the hope that he will grow. And being 14 and off meds is a REALLY rough thing for this guy. We are all trying to adjust.

    Whatever you decide will be perfectly right for your family. Just wanted to share my experience because I too had a hard time deciding on meds.

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