Guest post: “Unattended Children Will Be Given Espresso and a Free Puppy””

Cup of CoffeeI will never forget taking our first family vacation shortly after my son started taking his medication. It as just a quick weekend trip to Pennsylvania Dutch Country and I forgot to pack the medicine. After many moments of panic, phone calls to pharmacies and doctors the self loathing set in. How could I forget something so crucial to making this a good weekend?

Always eager to make the best of a situation, we decided to do our own little experiment. I had worked with a woman who was diagnosed ADHD and swore that caffeine helped to calm her. Logically it makes sense- caffeine is a stimulant and that is what we’re giving him every day in prescribed pill form. So Saturday morning we walked into a diner for breakfast and when the waitress looked at my husband and I and said, “2 coffees?”, we eagerly replied, “No, 3 please,” as we pointed across the table to our five year old son.

By the look on her face you would have thought she was going to call Child Protective Services on us. Her attitude towards us changed in that moment and she gave rude service for the remainder of our breakfast. But we stayed the course. Coffee, Mountain Dew, iced tea, etc got us through that trip. And granted, no amount of Coca-Cola can measure up to Adderall but my husband and I would both say that it helped as a short term solution.

It reminded my of a sign posted on the wall of one of our favorite restaurants:

“Unattended Children Will Be Given Espresso and a Free Puppy”

Of course the intention of this sign is to remind parents to maintain close supervision of their children at all times but the comedy hit a different note for me, as many things in our non-ADHD familiar world often will. There are MANY times during dinner at a restaurant I would LOVE for someone to give my son a shot of espresso. Just not a puppy.

And it also made me think of all the creative problem solving we do as parents of children with ADHD to survive moment to moment. Coffee for a five year old sounds so crazy in most normal situations to most normal people but seemed completely reasonable to us at the time. What about you? What outrageous things have you tried in a pinch?

Kim is a stay at home mom to two boys. She came to parenthood through adoption and was a teacher and school administrator before taking the plunge to stay home full time. She lives in New Jersey. Her previous guest blog for this site was Diagnosis: Relief or Despair?

Adrienne Ehlert Bashista is the co-editor of and contributor to Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories, and is also the author of two picture books about Russian adoption. She’s had stories, essays, and articles published in a variety of journals, both print and on-line. She is the owner of DRT Press. She was a school librarian for many years before giving it up to devote more time to the rest of her life. She chronicles her adventures raising her son, recently diagnosed with FASD in her blog, A Square Peg, a Round Hole. She also writes for the blog for Easy to Love but Hard to Raise and her writing/speaking website is adriennebashista.net. She lives in central North Carolina with her husband, two sons, two dogs, 21 chickens, and a lot of bees.

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About the author

Adrienne Ehlert Bashista is the co-editor of and contributor to Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories, and is also the author of two picture books about Russian adoption. She’s had stories, essays, and articles published in a variety of journals, both print and on-line. She is the owner of DRT Press. She was a school librarian for many years before giving it up to devote more time to the rest of her life. She chronicles her adventures raising her son, recently diagnosed with FASD in her blog, A Square Peg, a Round Hole. She also writes for the blog for Easy to Love but Hard to Raise and her writing/speaking website is adriennebashista.net. She lives in central North Carolina with her husband, two sons, two dogs, 21 chickens, and a lot of bees.

7 Comments

  1. Andy Drouin says:

    long before we even thought of ADHD as a diagnosis, we used to make a “latté” for my 2 year old!  Half milk half coffee in a sippy cup….. we didn’t know why (and we didn’t care!) but it sure helped!

    Reply
  2. Andy Drouin says:

    Another one we us now…. sour keys (gummy candy).  Something in the OMG sour of the candies has the same stimulating effect.  Always keep a bag of them in your purse.

    Reply
  3. Lori says:

    My son takes a non-stimulant ADHD medication (Straterra) because the stimulants gave him tics.  It is works generally, but for situations where he really needs to concentrate (kung fu lessons, etc.) we let him have a half a can of Coke beforehand.  It makes a HUGE difference.  It doesn’t last as long as medication would, but it gets him through the event.  I got the idea from NY Times article about ADHD that talked about using caffeine. 

    I talked to his doc about it and she thought it was a good idea.  One Coke a week isn’t going to hurt him.

    Reply
  4. Zac Erickson says:

    Haha. I love this. As an adult with ADHD, I still use caffeinated beverages as a booster when I need it.

    Reply
  5. Dee says:

    Hate that you got bad service for doing the right thing!

    Reply

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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