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Mediocre Mom Manual: It Costs WHAT? The High Price Of Pain Relief..

Last night my youngest daughter was awake intermittently from 11:30 p.m. on screaming and crying because her ear hurt. Since she was sleeping with me, I piggy-backed Tylenol and Motrin all night, getting some sleep in the rare hours where the medication overlapped. We are now out of Tylenol.

The doctor confirmed today what I had known, that she has a terrible ear infection—I think his exact words were, “Her ear looks like hamburger.” Not a pleasant visual, but at least I know I’m not crazy. This prompts a trip to our local drug store to purchase pain reliever, since my youngest sucks it down with all her fevers like it’s maple syrup. Regardless of how many times I purchase pain reliever, I’m still always shocked at how much it costs. I suppose the makers of Tylenol and Motrin know that when your kid is in pain, no amount of money will keep you from purchasing their product—you simply want your children to shut up. I mean stop crying. I mean feel better. Yes, you really want them to feel better. So you fork over eight or nine bucks for a four ounce bottle of flavored sugar A.K.A. medication because you have no choice.

It doesn’t seem quite fair to me. I know that this is capitalism at its finest, but making an enormous profit off the fact that I need a product NOW doesn’t seem quite fair. Not in five days when I find a coupon. Not in a week after waiting for the advertisements to come out. Not when I get paid, but NOW. This very moment, even if I have to use the credit card.

PREGNANCY TESTS

Now, I’ll admit it’s been some months since I used one, but last I checked the going rate for these was about $23. It probably costs about 54 cents to make these suckers since it’s a plastic wand with litmus paper (albeit special litmus paper). I suppose First Response and Clear Blue have employees, overhead, and benefits to pay out, but it seems a little unfair to make such a hefty profit based solely on the fact that I am teetering on the precipice of total life change. When you need a pregnancy test you need a pregnancy test. Let’s be honest, sometimes you leave the store with one of every brand just to eliminate the potential for error.  No woman I’ve ever known has clipped pregnancy test coupons, or after “being late” says to herself, “You know, maybe it’s stress. I’ll wait another week or two. I bet those pregnancy tests will go on sale and then I’ll run and grab a couple. No biggie.” Because finding out if you arepregnant or not is a deal so big you’re willing to fork over the 23-bucks numerous times. Or until you’re willing to admit to the results.

YEAST INFECTION CREAM

Sorry to leave you out gentlemen, but this is for women only, so if you get squeamish reading about girlie issues you may want to pass this paragraph up. Having a yeast infection is something along the lines of having a raging fire in your “good girl” area, the likes that no amount of water could ever squelch.  When it comes to yeast infections time is not your friend and hoping it will go away is not an option. Yeast is yeast—bread, beer, or otherwise, and as the minutes tick by it expands exponentially causing millions of females worldwide to go running to their local pharmacies. We try to walk casually through the aisles until we come to the land of “forbidden products” (because yeast infection medication and condoms are so similar), and try to act nonchalant as we discern if we want to wait overnight, three days, five days, or seven days until we feel like we don’t want to rip out our “good girl.” This medication is anywhere from $20-$35 dollars a box. This is also not one of those moments when women whip out a coupon they’ve clipped two weeks ago in hopes they might have a yeast infection and be able to save two dollars on medication. You do not ask the cashier if he or she knows when Monistat is going on sale. Need-profiteering at its best here ladies and gentlemen. We fork over the $35 dollars quickly and with a smile because we need to get home, apply, and lay horizontal for about 8 hours.

TOW TRUCKS

Welcome back gentlemen, no girly stuff in this paragraph. It occurred to me that another place people are willing to fork over large sums of money without question is when they need to have their car towed. It’s a service not a product, but one I have needed to utilize in the past year. The battery totally dies. A tire blows and you have no spare. The engine overheats because you failed to fill it with water and you’ve been driving up hill with the air conditioner on for three hours. These things happen and if you are anything like me, they happen with kids in the car and in extreme weather. Sure I have AAA, but even this isn’t much of a help. With my current $80 plan, I get three free miles of towing and pay for all the additional miles. My luck also is such that my vehicle will break down 45 miles from the nearest service station. Three free miles is a joke. But you make the AAA phone call, they tell you what your coverage allows and then inform you that you can upgrade your plan for twenty more dollars which will include completely free towing. Well, okay sign me up. But you can’t get that today, they tell you. You can order it today, but it won’t go into effect today because it takes a few business days to process the paper work. But just so you know, for the next time.  The next time? Yes, the next time I plan to have car troubles requiring me to need towing assistance I will make sure I call AAA and upgrade my $80 plan I don’t use all year to the $100 plan that gives me free towing. Sounds good.  The tow truck driver pulls up and you sign his papers. For all you know you’re signing that you’ll pay $25 a mile plus a case of beer and pack of cigarettes on arrival. And you don’t really care. It’s not like you’re going to say, “You know what, I think your towing prices are too high. I’m gonna call around while my children’s eyes roll back in their head from heat exhaustion, because darnit, I’m an American and I have choices.” And let’s face it, a twelve, ten, and four-year old can only push a minivan so far. You grab the credit card, pay the bill, and move on.

What outrageous products have you purchased lately because you needed them NOW?

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Rachel Vidoni is a professional writer and blogger and former classroom teacher. She is a mediocre mother to three pretty neat kids. You can follow her humor and family blog at www.eastcoastmusings.blogspot.com. You might not be a better parent after reading her blog, but you will feel like one.

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