Sculpey Clay Poison Dart Frog And Personal Story About ADHD


What does a Dart Frog and ADHD have in common?
I never intended to write all the personal things I wrote below but I just couldn't help myself.  It's just a frog made from clay but this tiny creation stirred up a few memories and emotions while I was making it. I had to let it out or explode! I'd rather not explode today so you get a story.

So my friends, what does a tiny frog and ADHD have in common?  I'll get to that but first I'll tell you a little bit about making this frog.

The making of the clay frog,
Yesterday (June 20th/2019) I found some old Sculpey clay, unopened, in my stash. I believe it's been in there for over a year so I was surprised it was soft enough to work with.  It was the wrong color, a granite with sparkles, but decided I would use it anyway and then paint it.

I had been thinking about a tiny frog for a few days now, one that I could set free in the tunnel of the Gnome Home. So I went to work thinking to myself, "I'll make a dozen frogs!" After all, it should be easy enough to throw one together. That thought is always nice. 😂




Tiny frog legs are hard to sculpt then position,
The body came together rather quickly, smooth sailing there, it was the legs and toes that proved to be the biggest challenge. It's the very small size of the frog that made this part more difficult.

You will notice in close ups that one toe got a more rounded tip than the others. I actually spent the bulk of the time on these tiny toes! For being the first tiny frog I ever made I am proud of him. I won't complain or pick out all the mistakes.
After it was all done I got an idea that would make making toes easier. If I make another one I'll take work in progress photos for you. I think I can do it again, I think I can! lol

I got some help,
I had my ipad in front of me with pictures of  Dart Frogs from different angles but I had such a difficult time with positioning it kept messing up those toes so I ended up searching for a tutorial and found one!
It is a speed thru, no instructions, but it clearly showed how to fold in the back legs which was the break through I needed. Sometimes we just need a little help to think about a situation differently.
Once I got the positioning of the back legs without wrecking the other parts the rest was easy enough to finish up. Thank you Stephanie Kilgast!


Painting the frog,

I painted on a few coats of acrylic craft paint in red. It took a few coats to cover up that granite. Once that was dry I dotted on the black spots. The frog  came to life when I added the top coat using a clear sealer, what a difference the shine makes!

EDIT: I found out after this post that you have to use a water based sealer  to add a shine or seal in polymer clay. Many of us newbies to this type of clay use clear nail polish to add a shine and that will eventually eat through your clay. Any water based sealer, even mod podge, will work.




Now about that ADHD,
My little brother had serious ADHD as a child which went undiagnosed until he was well into adulthood. Poor little guy, he suffered terribly in school. Teachers that had enough to deal with already didn't know how to handle a boy who couldn't sit still or focus. A term comes to mind as I'm writing this,  "bouncing off the walls".

Back in those days there just wasn't enough information or knowledge when it came to children's behavior or mental health issues. I shudder to think how many children suffered being misunderstood.  How many were told they were bad, unwanted, or mistreated because they had a condition that made them act differently than other children.


Johnny was often in trouble at school, he was made to sit in time out or got punished in other ways. This "special treatment" from teachers spilled over to the other children and they bullied him something awful.
I did my best to protect him because he was my little buddy and I loved him so much. I often got punched, kicked and even spit on coming to his defense. And I would gladly do it all again if he ever needed me to help him. Anytime brother, I'm there for you!

Thankfully my parents were patient with him. I remember them talking kindly to him, taking him on long walks, playing with him, giving him things to do to use up that energy and I also remember them trying hard to stifle giggles at his antics as they did their best to get him through a day. This made a lasting  impression on me!
I'm sure they had their days even if they didn't show it outwardly to him. Dealing with a child who just can't sit still, focus, or listen, is exhausting for anyone.

I am thankful for parents who dealt with these issues without screaming or harsh punishments as I ended up with a boy just like him, not hyper, but he has ADHD along with other mental health issues that require understanding and patience. I learned how to cope with these things while growing up watching my parents cope with it all.
I am blessed to have some extremely helpful tools in my parental backpack thanks to my mom's never-ending understanding and my dad's patience and sense of humor.

Me and my little buddy,


Little Frog,

If Johnny had any sugar, a chocolate bar, apple juice, even breakfast cereal, his condition went into complete overdrive and he would actually bounce instead of walk. He would 'bounce, bounce, bounce' just like a frog so we started affectionately calling him "Little Frog".

If my parents could go back in time they said they would have restricted his sugar intake and this would have helped him, we're all sure of that. There's still much to learn but at least we're getting the general understanding that diet does affect a child's behavior.

Fun fact about frogs and what they eat,
Did you know that real life Poison Dart Frogs are among the top 10 most poisonous animals on the planet. It's unknown for sure where the toxicity comes from but it's believed to be plant poisons carried by their prey. If you raise a Dart Frog in captivity and away from bugs in their natural habitat they will not develop poison. See more info from National Geographic here.

Just like those frogs children are affected by what they eat,
There's so many things I could write here about this subject but every situation is different and requires research and I'm no expert.
If you are reading this and have a child with behavioral issues like my parents had or like I have,  please know there is hope for you and that precious little human.

Patience and understanding go a long, long way. I know some days it's easier said than done but try to remember at the end of the day they are as exhausted as you are. They are trying super hard to cope inside a body that will not listen to reason.
Imagine knowing that what you do causes people to get mad or give you unpleasant consequences  but you.just.can't.stop no matter how much you tell yourself to stop.
Also imagine that there's an edible poison being fed to you every single day that's fueling this problem just like gasoline on a fire.

Gather as much information as you can. There's so much research out there that proves that certain foods, sugar, and unnatural things found in our food  is directly related to behavioral issues. You can drastically reduce a behavioral problem with the right food and see huge changes in a short amount of time. After all you've been through it doesn't hurt to try!




I'm in love with my little frog,
As soon as I got the body together I felt to call him Johnny. I just had to! The memories of the boy we lovingly called Little Frog came flooding back as I worked hard at those legs and toes.

Once I got that final clear top coat on him and he came to life, oh my, I fell in love.
It was meant to be and I was meant to tell you this personal story today. It would be so amazing to me if you found a little bit of hope here today in this unplanned blog post.

I set the tiny frog free on the grounds of the Gnome Home. 


The next morning,
Gnomey was heading to the B&B for a morning coffee when he spotted Johnny sitting by the creek. He was surprised and happy to see him there. He hasn't seen any tiny frogs for a long time!
"Well bless my boots, it's a tiny frog! Hello there, little guy."

Johnny didn't say anything he just blinked and let out a little 'croak'.
He liked this place indeed! Everyone seems friendly enough and there are many hiding places should he need one in a hurry.





Comments

  1. What a wonderful story. I love your little frog and I'm glad you named him Johnny <3

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story about Johnny the Little Frog. <3

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  3. Yep I get it. I was the frog when I was a kid. And thankfully My Mom and Dad helped too.

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  4. Beautifully written. I hope you keep a journal filled with your thoughts and stories to go along with photos of your art.

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