Thursday, June 19, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen, Benny!

Although it was only a mere 13 days with Benny, it felt like I just spent (more like survived) an eternity with him. We developed a true love-hate relationship for each other over the past two weeks. I took him to summer school three mornings a week and the psychologist two afternoons each week. We spent endless hours in the sun kayaking, swimming and building sand castles! We played his Wii! We build forts! We played games! He flew his helicopter on the roof. He broke the glass table. He talked through every movie we went to. He locked me out of the house! I'm not sure if he listened to me once... Each evening I would leave his house with a splitting headache and go home to sleep for 12 hours before waking up and doing it all over again. I will say it was fun getting a little insight into the German culture- the chocolate was fabulous, Mrs. Grupe's cooking was unbelievable and her daughter (who is my age) was very sweet. The only word I learned is "nein" which means "no" but I used it so much in the short time I spent with him, it has become a part of my vocabulary. I think the thing that helped me through it the most was delving in the German custom that the woman drinks wine all throughout the day. "Cooks with a little bit of ice" might have been the reason I made it through each eight hour day with the devil. It helped take the edge off when Benny was driving his Vespa through their dining room, dragging the dog with one hand and waving a Pirate flag with the other. My time with Benny may have aged me about 15 years and I think I may have a permanent migraine from his amplified voice but I feel like I really learned a lot. I learned medication is not always a bad thing for kids with ADHD; some kids could really benefit from being turned into an inanimate object, like a lamp for instance, with the aide of some form of central nervous system stimulant. Without such methylphenidates, some children just will not be able to function in society, which in turn makes their care takers (like a babysitter) go insane and non-functioning too. I felt as though I was going to need a few therapy sessions myself just to regain my sanity after a day with him. I learned why some parents chose to send their children to boarding school. I learned why some fathers chose to work so much , if is gives them a reason to not have to be at home. One thing that I learned that you can't chose is you can't give kids like Benny back. They couldn't from a store. There's no exchange policy or any warranty ensuring that "if this child does not turn out like you expected, you can return him for a better behaved, less satanic one." You just have to take each battle with a grain of salt (and a shot of tequila and a wedge of lime). My heart goes out to Benny's next babysitter. I hope she discovers the antidote of a continuous wine infusion a lot sooner than I did.    

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