Not all children who misbehave have parents don’t actually parent. I’m a mother to four children. One of my children has severe ADHD. He is on a ritalin patch. The reason for the patch is because the medication is administered steadily through out the day versus a pill that gives him a quick dosage and then rapidly wears off. There are a number of problems with the patch usage, among them is that it burns his skin to the point that his skin can blister and sometimes bleed, and it also comes off, and he’s simply not medicated once that occurs. We haven’t any other choice other than to use this form of medication for my child as much as I wish we didn’t have to. I’m giving you this background to relay my scenario. Last Saturday we were at Mass. We always sit in the front so my children can watch the priest and servers and not become distracted on what others are doing. We had just come from a birthday party at a bounce house. I hadn’t realized it, but my little guy’s patch must have come off while he was bouncing away for a few hours. In Mass, he was all over the place and was speaking very loudly. Soon he began to roar. This is what happens when he is not on medication, he actually roars like a lion. It’s embarrassing, but it is what it is. He then announced very loudly that he had to go to the restroom. Our altar is in the front of our parish. My son has to walk past the altar, roaring, while he left for the restroom. I stayed behind with my little girl who then decides that she too must go to the restroom. For whatever reason she just takes off and runs down the aisle. She never acts like this so I don’t know what’s going on. We were sitting on a different side of the church than he customarily do, so perhaps this is what caused her to run down the aisle (not walk mind you, but run). In the meantime, I can hear my son roaring off down by the bathrooms. My daughter runs down the aisle and runs over to the organist to ask where the restroom is, all the while Mass is going on. I’m mortified. I get up from the front of church, retrieve my daughter and walk her past the altar, and out to grab my son and wait for my little girl to go to the bathroom. I decide to stay out of the church until it’s time for Communion as to not distrupt the service any longer. As I’m walking back into church in hopes to get in line, a woman comes up and just hugs me. I’m sure it’s obvious how stressed out I am. Had I been smart, I would have grabbed my purse and just left with my children, but I was a little frustrated and hadn’t thought that clearly at that moment. After Mass, I apologize to everyone around me and to our priest. Our priest kindly tells me everything was ok, and a number of people came up to me after church to tell me that my children are just children, but many parishioners just glared at me. I’m not a bad mom, and I’m certainly not a bad parent. It upsets me when I know people are judging us, yet haven’t any clue as to what is really going on. I do the best I can do, and it seems as if we encounter our biggest challenges at the most inopportune moments. My son knows he has problems, and tries his best, but he’s only in first grade, and still really hasn’t the experience to get it together at times when he knows things aren’t going well. I just ask for people to maybe step back at times before they judge what they see, because there may be a lot more to the story than what seems to be just another bratty child.