Well, let me tell you. Because sometimes life hands you a story that truly is stranger than fiction. And you don’t know where to begin, although disclaimers are always nice. DISCLAIMER: This story is only funny now, after she is clearly alright, healthy, unharmed. Please know that we immediately contacted medical professionals (plural), who told us she would be okay, that it just needed to work through her system. (Insert sense of foreboding here.)
Friday morning. Zoey and I woke up at my brother’s house at 7:00am. Everyone else is still asleep. At 7:30 my dad comes into the living room and says I can go back to sleep for a bit if I want, that he would watch Zoey. I want. I sleep. Apparently at 8:00 Zoey asks for Jello, having the razor-sharp memory of a child tracking the last place she had such a treat. Being a grandpa, my dad says yes, Jello is a fine meal to start the day, but cannot find it in the fridge. But stashed behind the acidopholus and vitamins he finds some chocolate macaroons and gives that to her instead. First one, then two, then three pieces. 8:15am. My brother wakes up and sees the chocolate wrappers on the coffee table. He storms into the kitchen yelling WHO ATE THAT CHOCOLATE? WHO?! My dad and Zoey are sitting at the table scarfing down bagels and dry Cheerios straight out of the box. Because of course on the wrapper in very fine print it lists the ingredients as shredded coconut, sugar, egg whites, bittersweet chocolate, cream, and the medical equivalent of 2.24 grams of dried cannabis sativa. You know, my brother has a bad back, insomnia or some such malady. 9:30am. I wake up.
This part of the story is boring. Me freaking out, pissed, scared, my brother stammering that he is so so sorry, that he called his doctor, a pharmacist, repeated assurances that Zoey would be fine, my dad giggling out apologies and referencing Hunter S. Thompson, then retiring to his room to take a nap. What is not boring but flat out wide-eyed funny strange (and funny ha ha only after she is okay) is a 4 year old stoned out of her mind. I took a video but after much soul-searching decided I do not want my daughter to be the new David After Dentist because the video would most certainly go viral. In it, she is cramming Cheerios into her mouth and laughing, laughing, waving one arm over her head and trying to talk. This went on all day. So instead of going to Disneyland on Friday we listened to Bob Marley, ate an entire box of dry Cheerios, a dozen bagels and watched cartoons. It is rare that the scariest thing that has ever happened in your life is also the funniest thing that has ever happened.
The next day we went to Disneyland. And as people ooohed and aaahhhhed over how cute the little Rapunzel girl was, we whispered to each other that if only they knew how high she had been not 24 hours before at the real happiest place on earth… She does not remember much of that day—her lost day—but has asked why we keep making such a big deal out of the chocolate.
And here is where I owe my mom an apology. I was so afraid that she’d be the one to misbehave. Little did I know that it would be my own father, the man with 19 years sobriety who would get my daughter high. And possibly himself since I’ve never seen him turn down a sweet, though he has denied, denied, denied.
Sometimes the lights all shinin on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.
*LAST DISCLAIMER: I do not smoke pot, eat pot, get high on anything, really. I don't even drink. There is no marijuana in our home. Zoey is safe. It was just the perfect storm of highly accidental events featuring someone else's house, very fine print and a grandfather without his reading glasses which then led to a very scary incident that is only funny in hindsight.