Pot. Weed. Reefer. Ganja. The Chronic. Marijuana was something that just never really appealed to me in my younger days. Even with the safety of a towel plugged college dorm room door, I could never quite get comfortable with it. It always felt wrong. Dirty. Illegal. Too risky.

Time went on, I had three babies, and during each pregnancy, I craved all the things I could not have. Unpasteurized cheese, sushi, wine, beer, and ultimately… pot. Of course I never smoked or ate it during my pregnancies – I was far too much of a rule follower for that. But I found after my child-bearing days were over, my rules surrounding pot loosened and, I suddenly wanted that forbidden fruit more than I ever had before.

And after three very painful and complicated pregnancies I was left with three healthy, beautiful babies, but a decidedly unhealthy back. And I discovered that pot – this highly illegal yet suddenly highly desirable delicacy – helped my aching back. It was quite by accident at first. My mother-in-law, a true hippie from the 60s who never quite lost her “hippiness”, naturally possessed skills that I did not, and helped me whip up a batch of pot cookies after we serendipitously received some of my neighbor’s home-grown pot. “Fois grass” he called it. And one day, after my back had seized, I tried one of those little treasures, and by God, my back pain completely went away. I need to get a medicinal marijuana card, I thought. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, my back troubles are over!

Fast forward 6 months later. My husband was out of town on business for four days in New York. I was on my own with three small children and on day two, my back completely seized up. My husband was 3000 miles away and I was completely alone and walking at a 45 degree angle. What’s a mom to do? Well if you’ve been paying attention so far, you can probably guess what I did.

Now before you judge, know that getting high was not the goal here. Not walking around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame was. And I was quite calculated in my decision to take the cookie right before my kids’ bedtime, so that I wouldn’t feel the effects while my children were still awake. I snuck the cookie out of the freezer while my children were in the other room, quickly took my self-prescribed dosage, and immediately after swallowing, I heard, “Mommy!!! Evie is eating the toothpaste!”

Say what?

I ran into the bathroom to find my 2-year-old guzzling fluoride toothpaste like it was a damn milkshake.

Oh. My. God.

My first call was to poison control: “Well ma’am, based on what you’ve told us, it doesn’t technically sound like the amount of toothpaste she ingested is toxic, however if she starts violently vomiting you will have to drive her to the emergency room immediately.” The emergency room? Drive her? Yeah, me and what non-pot-cookie-eating army???

My next call was to my husband. By now the pot-induced paranoia was starting to set in: “What do I do??? If I take her to the hospital and they can tell I’m high, they are going to think it was my negligence that led to her swallowing a full tube of toothpaste, and they will call Child Protective Services! They are going to take her away from me. You have to come home from New York right now.”

My husband just started laughing at me. Uncontrollably laughing at me. “Babe, they are not going to take her away from you. You don’t even know that she is going to throw up.”

“Oh, she is going to throw up. I know it. There is an entire tube of Toms Strawberry toothpaste swimming around in our two year old’s tummy. It’s happening. I’ve gotta go. I’ve got to prepare.”

I went to the bench by the front door and with military precision, I lined up my coat, shoes, purse, wallet, insurance card, and all three kids’ shoes and coats, all in a neat little row – I guess I was hoping my OCD organizational skills, skills that that were garnered by swallowing the very thing I was now trying to deny, were going to somehow make me feel less high. Next, I went to the closet and gathered every old towel I could find – and then I lined every square inch surrounding my daughter’s crib with the towels so that if she woke in the middle of the night with violent projectile vomiting, I wouldn’t have to clean the carpets.

Makes sense, right? I was so smart. So prepared. So. Damn. High. Fuck. What was I doing again? Oh yeah, preparing. Then, after my daughter fell asleep I checked on her 27 times between her bedtime and mine to be sure that she hadn’t thrown up or died.

The next morning I woke up to discover that my daughter had not thrown up, she was still alive, and my back pain was no better than it had been before eating the pot cookie.

The moral of the story is, whether it be toothpaste or pot cookies, it’s probably best to Just. Say. No.

About The Author
Jennifer Van Santvoord
Jennifer Van Santvoord

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