Friday, March 6, 2015

Chores are the Best Medicine

I am so blessed to have three incredibly healthy children. Who have "ailments" all the time. 

My kids get legitimately sick sometimes. They throw up, they get strep, pink eye, weird rashes, roseola, sore throats, and snotty noses.

I am a total fence rider as I have told you before. So when they are sick I do things like squirt garlic oil in their ear as I speed dial the pediatrician to call us in some magic amoxicillin. I will rub their feet with oregano oil and then have a sudden uncontrollable urge to pick up a pizza while I am running to the store for dye-laden grape-flavored ibuprofen. We put something called colloidal silver on a wart and then pour on some hydrochloric acid to burn it off. Fence riders.

But like I said, despite our best efforts, they get "sick" all the time. 

Like the time a girl said to me, "It feels like I have popcorn in my ear." Now I honestly tried to take her seriously. But really? Popcorn in your ear? I burst out laughing. When the child was offended, her father goes, "Come here, Baby. Mommy just doesn't understand what it feels like to have popcorn in your ear." Which made me laugh even harder. 

One child is constantly concerned her throat is going to close up. For a while we took this seriously, trying to figure out if she had an allergy to something. Then she spent the better part of last winter in Tonsillitis Hell despite all my witch's brews and Z packs. We ended up having her tonsils removed after a scary night in Paris and an amazing English speaking doctor, whom I really think might have been an angel. We thought the tonsillectomy would cure this throat closing up mess. Nope. 

So after lots of trial and error, we did discover an allergy. It's actually really common. Perhaps one of your kids has it. She is allergic to bedtime. And cleaning the bathroom. And clearing the table, folding laundry and picking up legos. Oh, and VERY allergic to feeding the dogs. All these things make her throat feel dangerously closed up and will cause her to need to be held and coddled. But we have found an antidote. And it doesn't involve an Epipen.

We also have had children talk about how the decibel level of the axe hitting a log while gathering a load of firewood gives them an unbearable headache. The thwack of the axe hitting the piece of wood is unbearable, but the "Tangled" soundtrack cranked to van-shaking volumes doesn't appear to affect her head.

One girl will definitely contract a stomach bug if broccoli is within her view/smell. Or any meat. Except chick-fil-a nuggets. That meat is apparently free of stomach bug causing germs. 

School days involving tests will bring on a 152 degree fever. (Are you sure you didn't hold that thermometer up to your book light? Because I think we may need to be concerned about spontaneous combustion here. Oh, you think I misread it? Well let's try that again while I stand beside you.)

And stomachaches. They are a real problem around here. They can come on from unloading the dishwasher, practicing piano, wiping down cabinets and washing baseboards. So I tell them I'm really concerned they have a leaky gut. This is a big buzz thing right now in health conscious venues, a few of which I like to read and keep up with, mostly so I can reaffirm all the things I am doing wrong. 

(Side note - does anyone else think in 20 years it will be coconut oil that is killing us all, and we will find out we should have been eating margarine and drinking Diet Coke the whole time? Or that someday soon there will be breaking news that kale causes cellulite? It seems like all this nutritional stuff is always changing. I'm just going to eat food that tastes good. It's working so far. Except I don't eat kale and have plenty of cellulite, so the whole kale/cellulite thing probably won't be a hypothesis proven correct.)

Back to the leaky gut. The girls don't read those gut health articles, so when I tell them I'm worried they might have a leaky gut they assume it means the food they eat will leak out of their bellybutton. Somehow this mental image and the threat that stomachaches are caused by sugar so I will be confiscating the insanely large solid chocolate hearts they received from Nana for Valentine's Day is medicine enough to make their stomachs feel better. 

Nana!!! Come on, now!

One time I did have a child complaining about not feeling well, but I assumed she was having an "allergic reaction" to the scrambled eggs she did not want, so I sent her to school. Wasn't long before I got the phone call telling me she had barfed, and they would appreciate it if I could come get her before she did it again.

Being the sweet, sympathetic mother I am I did not use the entire car trip home from school to lecture her about The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Well, maybe I did. A little.

It's really hard to know when a child is sick and when a child is "sick." They get bumped and whacked and jump out of trees and try to throw each other out of the wagon and flip their sibling out of the hammock and make it a point to double bounce one another off the trampoline and have a competition to see how many levels of the retaining wall they can jump off of before they reach the level that is high enough to break their ankle and my personal favorite, who can go to the top of thier cousin's climbing wall and back down without falling to their death. (This one often involves a child who makes it halfway up, cannot find a hold to move either up or down, so screams until a cousin/sister takes her seriously, who then is sent to fetch an adult to reach her down to safety, but when the child is advised against climbing this wall until she is a bit taller, she declares her bigness and scoffs at suggestions of safety. Whatever.) 

Yay! You made it!! Now what???

The only way I know to cure these "sicknesses" is to keep having them do the things that are causing the problems so they will build up immunity to them. Kind of like a vaccination against the "illness" feeding the dog and unloading the dishwasher brings on. But the real "cure" won't come until they get out of here and have "sick" children of their own. And then I will be the one with the giant hearts.

Grace for this season of "sickness,"


  1. Yeah, well, we made Logan Davis walk on a broken ankle for two weeks. We're excellent parents.

    1. Ooooh, we did that, too but only for 24 hours. Solidarity.


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