Ongoing tales from one woman's ongoing worldwide travels.
Friday, April 6, 2012
A Spoonful of What??
This guy had nothing on me. He never got the onions either.
I used to listen to a radio show every Sunday morning while driving to church, and then on to see my Mom. It was a Toronto paediatrician giving advice to all the parents out there at loose ends. He would say you will never win a fight with a child when it comes to food. Or much of anything you try to put in their mouths. Then I think back to my childhood. I would have a nasty hacking, spitting, sputtering chest cold. The kind that as we got older garnered me the nickname of "Honky the Christmas Goose". In the middle of the night, I would practically heave a lung into the mattress, my head covered tightly, in my estimation, by two pillows. And then I would hear the footsteps down the hall, the flick of the kitchen light, the sound of what seemed like a hand saw going through a log. Okay, I was young. The clink of a spoon against that little porcelain fruit nappie. It had a particular clink, different from all the other bowls. And then the footsteps treading ever so softly towards my room. I would hold my breath. See, I'm not coughing anymore, until I would explode into a cacophony of gurgles and rasps and, yuck, mucus. On with the light, and my Ma would magically appear, with her secret weapon, when the Benalyn with codeine (my favourite) had failed. Onion juice. A magical elixir of onions grated finely on that side of the cheese grater. Mixed with a spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice to make it taste better. As if. And even though the tears would be streaming down my face, I swallowed that stuff without a fight, because my Ma knew best. My brother and I respected her that way. And magically, the cough would disappear, and we would all sleep again. Fast forward to when I had a child of my own. Oh how I swore I would never torture her the way I was tortured, with raw onions. Ick. And they made so many better tasting cough preparations that worked better, didn't they? But one night, after a couple of very long, exasperating nights, that cough continued unabated. So I pulled out that grater, and that onion and the honey and the lemon. And while my daughter absolutely detested the stuff as much as I had, she swallowed it too, because she knew I knew best. And all was well.
Big hat, big brain, 'cause this Mama knows best.
So these days, we have all sorts of lovely antibiotics to give kids, with flavours like banana and raspberry. But the difference is, kids don't respect that their parents know best. I had a youngster in the clinic, and she was allergic to the banana flavoured stuff. So I had to give her the raspberry flavoured stuff, a different antibiotic. And she dutifully spat it out. Gave the syringe to Mom to give to her, and she spat it out some more. Then I was asked to give her the banana stuff, the one she was allergic to, because she doesn't like this one. After a couple of more tries (not the banana one) by Mom, I, the big mean nurse, forced her mouth open, shot the stuff into the back where she couldn't spit it out, held her mouth closed just for a second. Down and done. If looks could kill. Well, if Mama didn't know best, the nurse certainly did.