Pot made me the parent I am today...
THE youngest of my three daughters was born around the same time I became a card-carrying medical cannabis patient.
That's as opposed to regular cannabis. Wait, what?
Even though I was only 44, I'd been suffering from occasional back pain. I also suffered bouts of stress, compounded by anxiety.
Art dealing is a contact sport, I hear
The causes were unknown, but there seemed to be a correlation with work deadlines and flying coach with three children under the age of 5. Sometimes it got so bad I had trouble falling asleep at night, leaving me groggy and irritable.
Flying in the physical sense as with American Airlines, or flying in the metaphysical sense?
So, in 2010, I resolved to seek medical help. I received a thorough physical examination from my CannaMed doctor, who checked not only my pulse but my blood pressure as well.
Wow, man. He, like, checked my blood pressure. It was sooo kewl!
Examining the results, he concluded that I would benefit enormously from a cannabis-based treatment regimen and recommended that I use a brownie-based form of the drug to avoid the lung irritation associated with other modes of dose administration.
Other modes of dose administration: My guess: Toking up...
I soon had in my possession a shiny, state-sanctioned medical marijuana ID card, gaining me free access to the city's expanding array of quasi-legal cannabis dispensaries.
You should see it while listening to Hendrix, man...
After two years of treatment, I can state unequivocally that I feel much better about pretty much everything. Sure, my back still hurts, but I'm cool with it.
A stoner's credo if ever there was one...
But the best part is an amazing off-label benefit I call Parental Attention Surplus Syndrome.
Before beginning treatment, I was a dutiful if not particularly enthusiastic father. Workaday parental obligations were a necessary, unfortunate chore.
Workaday parental obligations: Just a guess; Means being a dad
I was so stressed out by the end of the day that bedtime, with its interminable pleas for more stories, songs, sips of water and potty breaks, felt like a labor to be endured and dispatched as quickly as possible.
I guess the writer never heard of the word no, or not tonight...
I swear I am a more loving, attentive and patient father when I take my medication as prescribed. Perhaps this isn't surprising. As anyone who inhaled during college can attest, cannabis enhances the ability to perceive beauty, complexity and novelty in otherwise mundane things (grout patterns in your bathroom floor, the Grateful Dead, Doritos), while simultaneously locking you into a prolonged state of rapt attention.
In my day we called that the o-zone and it didn't mean rapt attention, rather the lack of it...
You not only notice the subtle color variations in your cat's fur, you stare at them in loving awe for 20 solid minutes.
The cat politely not showing how creeped out he is...
I submit that this can be enormously salutary to the parent-toddler relationship. Beyond food, shelter and clothing, what do small children need most from their parents? Sustained, loving, participatory attention. Thank you, Doctor.
A watchful eye is just as effective, dude...
No doubt some of you are tut-tutting that I should use meditation or yoga or Zen mindfulness to achieve this.
Or a swift kick in the ass, either way works...
Point taken, and if I had a full-time staff of cooks and nannies, I'm sure I'd give all that a whirl. But the reality is that my wife and I are raising multiple tots on modest incomes in a small space in a very expensive city. No time for Tantra.
Certainly not when you are staring at your pecker in loving awe for 20 solid minutes
And I'm not suggesting that all stressed-out fathers should just get baked. You might even get a ticket for it in some states. And let's not forget the health risks, which are rumored to possibly exist. I've heard that even a small amount of marijuana can impair short-term memory function. It might also affect short-term memory function.
Which can be redundantly redundant...
But for me, at least, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. I find the time I spend with my children to be qualitatively different and simply more fun when I take my medicine (always in private, never in front of them, never too much).
File under responsible parenting, stoner style...
I am able to become a kid again, to see things through my daughters' eyes and experience, if I'm lucky, the wonder of each new game, each new object and sound, as they do.
20 years later paying for her therapy under Obamacare as she was too horrifyingly creeped out to tell Dad to get a hobby...
Deeply embedded voices of authority in my head do still caution that I may be hurting my kids in ways I can't see. But I just can't imagine how it could possibly be worse for them than the consequences of their father's former stress-fueled frustration and withdrawal. When I'm rolling around the floor with my giggling daughters, clicking into an easy dynamic of goofy happiness and love, I feel it's just what the doctor ordered.
I feel woozy, but to each their own, I guess.
What a creep.
Posted by: badanov