I 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?