Monday, 7 May 2018

My Life as an ABC Afterschool Special..

It was a sleepy Monday morning. I trudged into the kitchen. I needed coffee. I hadn’t slept very well. Either Tyler or Kate had woken me up multiple times, I can’t remember who it was. Maybe it was combined effort to sabotage my slumber. As I was waiting for my Kur.ig to warm up, I saw Kate’s snack bag was sitting on the counter. I peeked inside to see if there was anything left in the bag. I saw something that looked like a rolled up wrapper. Kate sometimes peels the sticker off her Sarg.ento snacks, which are a small little round tray of cheese and dried fruits. Except I hadn’t given her a Sarg.ento snack over the weekend and when I looked closer, I discovered that it was not a rolled up wrapper. It was a joint. A freshly rolled marijuana joint.

As a wave of panic hit, I started to retrace my steps. I packed her bag on Friday night. No drugs included. We did a 5K run on Saturday morning and I kept the bag strapped to the back of her jogging stroller and then zipped in the underneath compartment. I don’t think I left it unattended long enough for anyone to stash the hash. We went to Safe.way in the afternoon and Kate rode in the blue car cart and I gave her the snack bag while we shopped. I usually check the car before she gets in, but the joint was small enough that I could have easily missed it. Then I remembered that during the chaos of unloading the cart, checking out and bagging up the groceries, I saw Kate’s snack bag on the ground and I admonished her to pick up her bag and I’m guessing she picked up something else. At least I’m hoping that she found it on the floor, rather than someone left it on a car cart. I left the snack bag in the car on Saturday night and just added the snacks we picked up from our race goodie bag. Then on Sunday, as we were driving to the Farmer’s Market, I handed her the snack bag full of drugs.

I was freaking out big time, for many reasons; but firstly because I am very drug naïve. This was my first encounter being this close to an actual joint. I am totally drug and disease free. I often joke that I am the only person living in California who has never tried pot. I have no idea how a bong works, let alone figure out how you can make one out of an apple. (Now I’m curiously paying close attention to the lyrics of The Bing Bong song on Pig) I would probably still miss most of the drug references on Scooby Doo.  When I watched Dazed and Confused, I was dazed and confused. (Although I did go around repeating the line “hey man, do you have a joint?... Sure’d be a lot cooler if you did…” BTW: I now have a joint; IT’S NOT COOLER!) It’s not that I had some sort of moral stance against it; it was mostly a lack of opportunity. I wasn’t cool enough for anyone to offer it to me when I was in my impressionable years. Then I just became older and comfortable in my life to realize that I probably wasn’t missing out of anything.

It’s not that I’m against it either. I’m in favor of legalization. I believe there is inherent racism within our justice system that has lead to the unfair incarceration of blacks and other minorities for possession and distribution. (While I’m not sure if I support her candidacy, I do applaud Cynthia Nixon for calling attention for the fact that minorities get jail time for marijuana use, it’s effectively legal for white people. She should have added ‘rich’ white people, but if this country can elect Trump after all the shit her said, then they can listen to a woman who speaks some truth) I believe in the benefits of medical marijuana and I think medicinal marijuana may play a role in solving the opioid epidemic. I’m down with Mary Jane. I just don’t want it in my daughter’s lunch bag!

Seriously, I was so not expecting to find drugs in my two year old’s lunchbox. This may be the reality of #bayareaparenting. Hey, if we were across the bay, I’d be worried about her finding dirty syringes and needles. What is mostly freaking me out is anticipating that one day I may open the lunch box and find a joint that actually belongs to her. We need to have the DATS talk. (DATS was the acronym from my gymnastics coach who gave us the pre-prom talk warning about the dangers of Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco and Sex) It’s just coming a lot sooner than I ever thought it would. We went to watch Husband umpire a hockey match at UC Berk.eley on 4/20 day and as soon as we stepped out of the car, I noted that ‘a skunk had sprayed’ (I shared my story with a fellow day care mom, who described that her son must think that our city is infested with skunks as she blames a skunk whenever they smell weed). We walked into town to get some dinner and I saw a guy selling bongs outside a store and we saw two guys rolling a fattie (I do know some of the lingo). I applied the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell policy’ She didn’t ask any questions, so I didn’t offer any explanations. Now, I’m questioning, was that a ‘missed opportunity’? I would have laughed at the idea of discussing drugs with my two year old, but that was before I found a joint in her lunchbox. If I don’t have the talk with her, someone else will. I just didn’t think it would be so soon and I’m not ready.


  1. Yikes! I must admit the notion of a child picking up drugs hadn’t occurred to me, but yeah. It’s not so surprising really, but still upsetting.

    You might think you have time, but we had a cop talk to our school staff once, and he said people with drug issues often start before age 5. Scary and depressing as hell. Most of that is exposure to adults using in the home, so they try it.

    AJ hasn’t come across any pot but we have talked about pills and medications and how we never share them, because she’s seen them at home and at my mom’s and has asked. A more secure way of storing would be a good idea (right now out of reach suffices) but I also make a point of explaining because I don’t think hiding or avoiding the subject works. Like you say, someone will bring it up, I want her to understand why taking some substances is a very very bad idea.

  2. I'm drug naive too so my conversations with the kids will basically be "go ask your father." I'm pretty open with my kids about a lot of stuff but drugs hasn't come up yet because we don't have legalized pot here in IL (hopefully soon b/c I agree with your thoughts above).

  3. Totally drug naive here too, I was just too scared of what it would do to me to try it. I would have totally freaked out for sure!

  4. I might just be the only person in Oregon that has never tried pot! Seriously, we have a pot shop on pretty much every corner and billboards advertising it all over the place. While I don't mind the legalization, I do wish it wasn't quite so accessible and that we didn't have billboards saying "Get High, Oregon." My two are 4.5 years old, and I'm still working on getting them to not take food from strangers when we go to the park! I can't imagine having the drug conversation at this point, but I suppose it really needs to happen sooner than later.