• Katie Marie Strong

"Sticks and Stoned."

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

Not even the helicopter parents living in Suburia could have seen this coming.

Aug. 25th, 2019//by Chelsi Mellie//Photo by unknown//

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a mom. I could’t wait to start a family. When B and I were finally blessed with having our son N, it was the greatest day of my life. And when A was born, my perfect million dollar family was complete. One boy, one girl.

But being a mom now, is different than our moms had it. It’s now about the cute - perfect baby photos, the pressure of constant judgement of others on social media and everyone thinking they’re doing it the “perfect way”. Breast feed - don’t, vaccinate or not, blend your own organic food vs. baby food from a jar, have the perfect Pinterest worthy birthday parties - Okay I enjoy that one, but it’s because I love a good themed party! And doing it all while being a size 2 and looking perfect. Screw all that, I thought. I was doing it my way. My main goal as a mom was to raise them with my village- because that’s what it takes- and not let my kids grow up to be assholes. We also wanted to try and find the perfect balance of letting them grow, learn and make mistakes without letting them get tainted by the big scary world that’s out there. Eat dirt, play outside, enjoy all the delicious ice cream and laugh- a lot! Fall down scrape your knee, likely break a bone. We are not perfect, but we have a good, solid, loving family and a stable life. I knew I could protect them from all the REAL bad things in life and what we couldn’t protect them from, we could prepare them for.

Well, so I thought.

The day of A’s 4th birthday party is one that will now go down as one of the worst days of our lives. This is the day we could have lost our baby girl, and let’s be honest- it was closer to happening than we still want to admit.

It was a perfect day. Pinterest worthy Unicorn themed birthday party out at her grandparents camper with all of our closest family and a few friends. Showering her with love, presents and glitter. We ate rainbow cake and opened all the presents. Everyone headed home and we stayed with both sets of grandparents to clean up and load all the gifts. We were all standing out at the road while my husband loaded up the trailer and we loaded gifts into the car. We forgot to send a goodie bag home with one of her friends, so we were about to take the golf cart to go run it over to her. As we were standing talking, A was playing on the ground and on the golf cart, N was eating a giant piece of cake. Out of the blue A started spitting, saying that something was yucky. Both grandmas and I jumped into action thinking she put a rock into her mouth or licked something she shouldn’t - she’s 4, they do that. We asked her what it was. She opened her tiny little hand and there it was. A little glass jar with a white powdery substance inside. Instantly I got a sick feeling.




N jumped up, “mommy here’s the lid!” Scratched into the top was the words “FUCK IT”..... I think my heart stopped beating.

Now, I don’t know much about drugs. I spent my whole life avoiding them but something in my mom instincts knew— this was not fucking good and not to be taken lightly. I screamed for my husband, "I THINK A JUST ATE DRUGS!!!!!!” N was crying, both sets of grandparents panicking- everyone jumped into action. We threw A into the car and broke some speed records getting to the hospital. I knew my husband would get her there faster than any ambulance could. I called on our way letting them know we were coming and what was going on. Even though I didn’t know for sure what this was, I wasn’t taking any chances. This was my baby. How could I let something like this happen?

I could almost see the drugs kicking in. She started blinking a lot. I was praying to God every single second of that drive. I was talking to her, asking about her presents and what part was her favourite of the day - all while trying to hold my shit together. When we got to the hospital, they kicked into high gear. They did every test imaginable, called the police and got them to come test the bottle that my husband was smart enough to bring. My poor little girl got stoned for her first time at the age of 4. She told me she felt “sugary” and said she couldn’t move her arms, while she moved them at the same time. Police came, took the jar, took our story and went to do the proper testing. All we could do was wait for the lab results. They shifted us upstairs for constant observation and possibly an overnight stay. While A thought this was an adventure of popsicles and a new unicorn stuffy, I prayed for negative results. That prayer never came. B left to get us some PJ’s for our sleepover and to check on N, who was beyond scared for his baby sister. I heard the unit phone ring and the nurse say, “Okay. Are the police coming to tell her or do I?”.... that’s when I knew. It wasn’t just baking soda in that jar.

“Im so sorry Chelsi, they did more tests and it came back as crystal meth..”

Excuse me.... Crystal Meth!!?!? Like the shit they made on Breaking Bad!? Because that was my extent of knowledge of this drug. I had no clue what it looked like, no clue it came in a powder. I thought just cocaine looked like that. How was I to know?

See, I thought if I surrounded myself and kids with great people, people who weren’t involved in drugs, that I could protect them from that awful scary part of the world. Out of site, out of mind. I would be able to have the right conversations with them as teens— make good choices, make good friends, say no to drugs.... I NEVER thought that I would have to protect them from drugs at 4. This is that awful story you hear on the news of some kid finding edibles, or that live in a shitty part of a big city, with drug addict parents who aren’t watching them. This does not happen at a beautiful campground, surrounded by the people who have 0 knowledge of drugs and would die for my child. My head swam as the nurse let me head out into the hallway to cry, completely breakdown and call B to break the news. How the fuck could this happen to us? If I can’t protect my baby, who can? I just failed at being a mom....

"We just watch her Chelsi. We wait for the effects to wear off, and treat her for any symptoms that come our way. It should wear off in 4 hours or so." I was reassured there shouldn’t be any lasting side effects. But, how do you know?! How does ANYONE KNOW? Have you tested Meth on a 4 year old?! Is my baby going to seize and die?


Thankfully, other than being a little stoned, A was just fine. She got to leave the hospital after her heart rate went back to normal, with a new unicorn stuffy and a story to tell. I will never be able to thank God enough for that.

My dad doesn’t have facebook, or even a cell phone - but he said to me “it’s time you use that facebook for some good and tell your story. No one wants to feel how we did, so I did. I wanted people to know, it doesn’t just happen in a bad part of town or big city. Or to a kid who has access to drugs. See, it happened to my kid- at her birthday party, surrounded by the people who love her most because someone was careless and either dropped their drugs or threw them out the window.

My post blew up, almost 4000 shares to be exact. News stations from all over the country ran with my story. But here’s the thing about social media, there is always going to be trolls. I was far from prepared for that. I only thought about the good it could do. Start conversations between parents and kids you never thought you needed to have, protect another mom from being scared shitless like I was. Remember when I talked about mom shaming at the beginning? Let me tell you, those perfect people came out in full force. “Bet it was mom and dads meth” “How do you NOT see your kid eating meth?” “Someone should call social services on those parents”.....Okay people, I am blaming myself worse than you ever could, but seriously?!

Each day after was a struggle. B struggled. I struggled. I didn’t sleep for days making sure she was still breathing in her sleeping. B wanted to crawl under a rock and die. I even wished I hadn’t made the post. We struggled to let them out of our site, all the while having the whole world pick us apart for being the “worst parents”. Looking back now, the good comments far out weigh the bad comments. There was support, love and people taking down the trolls one at a time in our honour. Because my tribe is good, and strong. The people who actually knew us, knew we would die for our kids. That I am a good momma. Now, the struggle is my kids aren’t used to having helicopter parents. We are trying our best to still let them live their lives. Grow. Make mistakes. But now to me, the stories you hear that “would never happen to me”, are real. I don’t pretend it won’t happen to me. It can and it did. I’m a bit more cautious because of it. I also will never make another comment on social media again, because the person who made the “sticks and stones may break your bones..” saying, didn’t have to deal with facebook trolls cutting down your very existence in this world.

We are blessed. Beyond Blessed. Blessed she didn’t take more. Blessed it wasn’t laced with an even worse drug out there thats taken the lives of other children. Blessed we have our daughter for another day.



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