I know the exact moment I knew my son had ADHD. He was seventeen months old and I had been away from him for three days – the longest stretch ever in his young life. When I first saw him he came toddling over to me, I picked him up, and then the weirdest thing happened: he just stayed there. Yes he just stayed in my arms hugging me tightly. This couldn’t have lasted for more than 45 seconds but to a first time mom whose only child didn’t stop moving for even a nano-second I thought this is AWESOME! Then a split second later I thought uh-oh.
But like most first time moms I couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t want to admit that there might be anything “wrong” with my child. So in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – including his Montessori school requesting he get tested – I remained willingly blind to the obvious attention deficits in my son. Because not only was there nothing wrong with him. But more insidiously, I was not “that mom.”
You know “that mom.” The one who drugs her kids because she is a lazy parent, unwilling to do the hard work to give her child the structure and attention necessary to succeed in life. She’s the one who I’ve been judging for years now. And like my friend Dara says, we become what we judge (which is why we’ve sworn to only judge perfect women who have amazing marriages, flawless children, and spotless homes). So here I am, finally admitting that I am “that mother” (not the fantasy perfect one – the lazy one with disastrous children).
Which brings me to last Friday, when I finally take my oldest son to see a psychiatrist to get him the lazy mom drugs I seek. I was prepared to hate the psychiatrist, her recommendations, and pretty much anything she had to say since she is the devil who regularly conspires with us lazy moms to over-medicate our helpless children. So when I meet her of course I totally love her. She is in fact not the anti-Christ. And as I leave her office with the prescription and a heart full of hope I actually find myself feeling hopeful for the first time since, you know, when Jack was seventeen months old.
Here’s the game plan: take the long weekend to start the meds to figure out if they are going to work. I am committed now. I am in it to win it. This is going to be AWESOME!
Until that evening when I try to get the medication filled. First stop is my local Safeway pharmacy. The pharmacist tells me that they don’t have the drug but give me a list of alternate Safeway pharmacies that do. No problem, I ask the pharmacist to just enter the order into their system and I’ll have my husband pick it up on his way home. The sweet pharmacist informs me that with this type of drug I actually have to go to the pharmacy with the physical order. Exsqueeze me?
Red flag number one.
I calm myself down. I’m new to this whole lazy mom thing so I need to just learn the new rules. No biggie. Instead of going to an alternate Safeway, I call the local CVS pharmacy, explain the situation and they say no problem they have plenty in stock just come on down. So I drive over to CVS only to be told by the pharmacy tech that in fact they don’t have a whole order only a partial order. How can this be I ask, feeling my frustration level starting to rise. Well the tech explains, they can’t “open the secured cabinet” to actually verify the supply until the customer is in the store with the prescription. I tell her that is an insane policy and that I think she might be lying. No matter, I still have the local Walgreens to check out.
I call the local Walgreens pharmacy (so I think) and they verify that in fact the store has my order in stock. I make them triple check and explain I’ve been to two other stores both of which said the same thing and both of which lied to me. To which they respond that they have the medication in stock and to come on over.
Turns out Walgreens is also a bunch of big fat liars too.
After several minutes of “looking” the Walgreens pharmacy tech informs me that they too don’t have the medication. I ask how could this be as I just called in five minutes ago and was assured it could be filled. The tech informs me that I called into a call center and that they cannot physically check the supplies.
Red flag number two (and note to Walgreens): you may want to check and make sure no one on staff is hopped up on speed because Walgreens mainframe indicated you are a little light on what you should have in stock.
This is the point where I should let you fine readers know that I’ve been told on several occasions that I “don’t suffer fools gladly” which in fact means I’m a raving bitch if you are an idiot. The poor twelve-year-old pharmacy tech never knew what hit her.
When the twelve-year-old pharmacy tech asked me if she could call stores for me and which store would I like her to call I blew a gasket. I told her “How was I to know which store she should call!!”. No wait, please just call the store that won’t lie to me about having the drug in stock, yes that was my criteria, no liars behind the drug counter please. I think she may have peed her pants a little. And, folks I was just getting warmed up. When the head pharmacists steps in and explains – finally – that pharmacies aren’t allowed to verify to the public (only to each other) what they have in stock because of the potential to be robbed. Just when I thought I couldn’t hate meth heads more than I do.
Red flag number three: Meth addicts want what you are about to give your son.
Side note to pharmacies: How about when someone calls to ask if you have drugs in stock, you just tell them you can’t verify – only the pharmacist can. It would have nipped all this madness in the bud. And truly you need to be just as worried about having irate mothers like me showing up at your pharmacy window as drug crazed meth-heads.
But I digress. So I let the Walgreens pharmacist confirm that there is in fact a full supply of the drugs I seek about 25 minutes away. On my drive over, I listen to Christian music in a futile attempt to deaden the murderous rage I am now feeling. My husband calls to remind me that if we can’t get the medication tonight it is God’s way of letting us know our son shouldn’t start taking it this weekend. I crank up the Christian music because now I want to kill every local pharmacist and my husband.
I wish I were making this up but when I get to the next Walgreens there’s a fire truck out front and a deserted store inside. I find out why when I get to the pharmacy and see four firefighters talking to a deranged man wearing hospital bracelets and asking him why he wants to kill himself. Folks I can’t make this sh*t up.
Luckily, by urban girl survival skills (nice to know they still exist after years of suburban livings) kick in. Which means that no matter how insane the situation is you just ignore it and step over the vomiting crack-whore, or transgender prostitute, or in this case a raving lunatic.
The pharmacist tells me they need 25 minutes to fill the prescription which gives me just enough time to run over to a local restaurant and have a glass of wine and a light appetizer to both take the edge off my murderous rage and address my plummeting blood sugar. It also gives me 25 minutes to finally Google this medication which by now I’m not sure I should be giving to my kid at all. Though the Internet is not always my friend, but in this case it my research shows that: 1. The drug seems reasonably okay and 2. There are way more f*cked up kids out there than mine. Whew!
When I get home my husband has a glass of wine and an order of mozzarella sticks waiting for me. Life is good. And as I hug him I whisper in his ear: “God just wanted me to have good material for this week’s blog.”
If you like my blog you’ll love my book. Buy The Working Mommy’s Manual on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Working-Mommys-Manual-Nicole-Corning/dp/0615637418/ref=cm_sw_em_r_dp_6ZRcqb0QFT7P8_tt