The Rough Side of Childhood Health Awareness


My growing up years were full of bad eating, a lack of real understanding about taking care of myself, and many tutorials in how to make german dishes. When I had my own daughter, I decided early on to remedy this by a constant stream of dialogue on how to care for one's own health.

So really, I guess I got what was coming to me.

The Vitamin Queen

We have Vitamin C, B-12, D, and gummy bear once a day vitamins. And then there are the iron pills that I take for anemia. I, unfortunately, have to eat the gummy vitamins because normal once a days upset my stomach.

When this health kick thing began, I made sure that Brandg and the Elf Princess [my 7 year old] got one of everything they needed. Granted they weren’t thrilled but they were good minions and bellied up to the vitamin bar. However, no one can keep being ‘the good mom’ for ever and eventually my memory began to fade.

“Have you had your vitamin today?” Her small, eerily chilling patter began.

“Not yet, but…”

She is not pleased. There is no remedy for this social snafu other than to bow one's head in shame as you get the feeling that she is, once more, vaguely disappointed that you care so little for your own health.

Ten minutes or so later, she is back with a handful of everything you need. 1 sub-lingual Vitamin B12 tab. Check. 2-3 Vitamin D capsules. Check. 2 Gummy bear vitamins. Check. 2 Gummy bear vitamins of the same flavor? Don’t ask questions, just take the darn things.

Sometimes, if you are lucky and have been a particularly amenable patient, she will trust you enough to not sit there and watch while you take them.

If you are truly lucky, this event only happens once a day. If, however, you are looking a bit peaked, you can still hear the patter of little feet drawing near to force feed you something healthy. Again.

We Are Gathered Here Today

The simple life we had before I foolishly taught her about self-health will never come back. I should be thrilled. I should be proud. Instead there is now a little bit of fond rememberance for those days when none of us were on the brink of imminent demise. For when the Vitamin Queen remembers, we are all warned what will occur should, god forbid, we miss another dose.

“Did you take your vitamins today?” Her perky chin is steeled and her bright blue eyes unwavering. Chills run up my spine. I know where this is headed, but it’s too late and I don’t lie to my child.

“Uh, no, but we did get to go to that free summer movie. Wasn’t that fun?” Even such a frank reminder doesn’t fulfill the need for the red herring this situation desperately requires.

“You know what will happen if you don’t take your vitamins don’t you?”

I nod my head and look shamefacedly to the floor. My toes need a new coat of nail polish.

She pronounces the doom. “If you don’t take them, you’ll die or something.”

I imagine Hermione of Harry Potter fame at these moments. That scene where she is letting Harry and Ron have it. “You’ll die, or worse be…expelled!!”That moment is channeled by the EP at these junctures of our lives.

There is still a moment of naiveté that is sweetly funny as she proceeds to tell me how the horrible moment will occur: I’ll break bones [we’ve discussed osteoporosis], or maybe I’ll get sick [Vitamin C discussion], or whatever else she foresees happening [latest medical horror she has heard of].

Then comes the chilling moment when I realize that my child really is prepared for all events.

“And if that happens, why I’ll have to get a Ziploc bag and put you in it!”

Ah yes, the love she bears me is most evident at that moment. It’s good to know that my seven year old is not only looking out for me in life, but fully prepared to dispose of me in death. And really, what more could any mother ask for?


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