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How I Silenced A Room Of Mothers With the Word Ritalin

Today, I took paintbrushes in hand and went to Art Docent training at my son’s school. I love his teacher and I used worked with her two companies ago. This is my time to be that school mom for my son. By God, if I didn’t exactly get the married family life I dreamed of, I can damn well attempt to be that PTA mom – even if I am the redhead with the big tits!

I sign in at the school office and proudly follow a group of mothers to room 28 for our Art Docent training. I am the only mother with cleavage. It isn’t my intent; just that I have 6 inches of cleavage and hate button front shirts. I notice I am the only mom with frayed bell-bottom jeans, high black leather platform shoes and a New York style black leather jacket.

I feel like My Cousin Vinney just dropped me off.

Before too long I am deep in art training and creating Monet flowers. These kind women suddenly look at my flowers and decide I am the funky artist type, which makes me an interesting kind of mom. They will overlook my leather as they sit their in their perfectly matching gym outfits with matching shoes. I can see their minds working, as they discuss their stucco homes and Girl Scout meetings.

There has to be more interesting conversations than this. LADIES.

By the end of the Art Docent training we are a bonded group. I let my guard down. This is never good when you are the Erin Brokovich of the group trying to be Mary Poppins.

The subject of ADD\ADHD comes up – probably started by me. I open my mouth and out falls, “I have an issue with teaching our kids to just say no to drugs, but the ‘system’ wants the children who don’t fit in the box to go on drugs to control the classroom. I want to tell these kids stories.”

You know you could have heard a pin drop, as I finished this sentence with a brush stroke and looked up to see them all looking at me.


(Sometimes when you resemble a slot machine and someone pulls your arm, thoughts roll around and around in your head, and you should just deliver a ‘no match’ rather than let your opinion roll out like coin from your mouth.)


Turns out all the mothers in the room have their kids on drugs. Yep, parents of ‘special needs’ kids who can’t sit still or focus surrounded me. That coin once dispensed cannot roll back up into my mouth … it just lays there all over the floor. Parents of kids on Ritalin surround me.

Can we say “Back pedal”?

Suddenly these women are on the defensive, defending the benefit of the drugs and what the drugs have done for their children’s grades. They are conforming. I can’t help but wonder where we would all be if Thomas Edison took Ritalin. Would we still be sitting in the dark? I say nothing, as the LAST thing I ever want to do is make a parent feel bad for making a choice out of love for their child.

They have no idea of what I have been through with Brian, the research and the hours spent pouring through medical books, library books, web sites, Drs books, countless tests and interviews with medical professionals. I am a research hound and made a different choice for my son. I want more choices for these amazing kids too, not just the choice to drug or not to drug. I want more choices for these parents and I want the world talking about this very subject.

I take drugs for my thyroid. I know first hand what drugs can and cannot do. They are not the complete answer to everything. They are difficult to modify for each individual,because everyone on this planet is different. As we all know, I have my good days and really bad days. I worry a lot about the quality of my future life and whether a man will someday come along and love me, even though I am sick and take tiny pills every day just to get out of bed. I know first hand how fragile this makes a person feel and how little perfectly healthy people understand what living like this is like. It must be so hard on a child to have to take a drug, and incredibly strong parents who go down this road with them.

But I was not about to say all this. I already felt bad that I had made them feel defensive. I obviously hit a nerve. Leave it to me … oiy. I am so different from the typical Leave it To Beaver moms; yet I create a home life few could even begin to touch. I know how to create happiness, love and beauty in a home. Brian and I live in such peace and a quiet, simple life. It was all I wanted for us after my divorce.

Maybe I am like the soldier who has returned from battle who feels forever changed by what he has seen. But I am like these women – more like them then they realize. I am fighting their same fight, just from a different hill.

I am just fighting it in black leather while they do it in matching gym outfits.

Until next time –


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About Catherine, the redhead mom blogger

Catherine’s hopes to make this blog a safe place for thyroid sufferers to come laugh and share the funnier side of thyroid disease while raising awareness around the world. She is a published author, known for her humorous speeches on finding your dream life and blogging for fun and profit. Catherine writes about her dream life at, 8 Women Dream and several online marketing publications. She would also like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations. Catherine posts on M/W/F. Join me on Google+ rapieress@aol.com
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