This guest post is part of our Month of Mothering. In recognition that all mothers want what’s best for their baby, and knowing we all have different ways of achieving that, we welcome commentaries and experiences from mothers of all different philosophies and practices.
“I can’t get him to drink anything but Gatorade,” I told Dr. Wright, our seasoned pediatrician.
We were back at his office again after several bouts with ear infections, numerous rounds of antibiotics, and the awful and endless ensuing diarrhea. My first born was only a year old at the time, and I was at my wit’s end. After getting tired of purchasing the brand name electrolyte replacements, I had resorted to Gatorade, and now this child, who had only ever had breast or cow’s milk, would drink nothing but the red, yellow, or orange stuff. Naively, I thought this was a legitimate health issue, and that my pediatrician would most certainly have some scientific strategy to deal with it.
“You are the mom,” he firmly, but gently stated. “He will drink what you give him. Trust me. No child ever dehydrates or starves when there is food and water in the house.”
Suddenly, I was brought back to my maternal senses. How had I ever lost them? He’s absolutely right, I thought to myself. How had I forgotten this? With a renewed confidence in my authority, we returned home and I began the loving battle of only offering milk and water. Miraculously, a craving for healthy beverages emerged in only about two days. Eventually, we even added the occasional sippy cup of juice without slipping into addiction.
Having now been a mom for 16 years (Gatorade Boy is now taking Driver’s Ed), I have learned over and over that the incredulous protests of children can cause you to begin to question your sanity, or even to lose it temporarily.
Is it unreasonable to require a fresh, clean pair of pants every third day?
Maybe naps for 2 year olds are torture?
Are dusting and vacuuming delineated as unfair and illegal child labor?
Several years back, all three of my children became enamored with the movie The Music Man ~ watching the VHS vidoetape over and over. When the Broadway production came to the stage at our local university, I knew I wanted to treat them to the live version and promptly ordered tickets. They were simply elated until the day of the performance arrived, and I informed them that we would be “dressing up” to go to the theater ~ a matter of protocol, I instructed.
“Then we aren’t going,” the older two declared. Khakis and collared polos were so overwhelming to their t-shirt-and-sweat-pant-loving-hearts, that they were even willing to sacrifice third row orchestra seats to their all-time favorite movie ~ live, and on stage. Discussions, protests, and tears followed, and again I questioned my good sense, but Dr. Wright’s admonition remained in the back of my mind. I patiently stood my ground (and protected my $200 investment) and we arrived at the theater looking fairly shiny and put together, but definitely not happy.
The lights dimmed, the music began, and we could see both the orchestral instruments and the sweat on each actor’s brow because of our fabulous seats. My kids were completely mesmerized, and my oft-wavering confidence was restored. At intermission, they needed a restroom break. While waiting in line, Gatorade Boy (about 8 years old at the time) could not contain his excitement: “This is the best night of my whole life, Mom!”
Thrilled at this and feeling playful, I started in with a little game I like to play ~ sort of a soft I-Told-You-So sort of game.
“What? What was that I heard you say? You’re the best mom in the whole………….. what?”
“You’re the best mom in the whole universe,” he grinned and knowingly played along.
Well, maybe not the best, but I AM the mom.
Melanie Krumrey is a native Texan and University of Texas alum, but has enjoyed living in beautiful New England for the last 12 years. Happily married for 19 years to her pastor husband, and mom to Kory (16), Cooper(14), and Kayla(11), Melanie can usually be found in the kitchen feeding her kids, at the dining room table homeschooling them, or in her mini-van transporting them to dance, baseball, piano, guitar, and various other activities. When she can escape her apron, textbooks, and taxi service, she also loves to read, run, blog, study and teach the Bible, travel, and look at magazines over iced coffee in a sunny window of the Barnes and Noble cafe near her house. You can find her over at Gluten Free Krums.