Friday, February 10, 2012

Tummy Trouble

Baby, baby, oh!  My little Charlotte has a tummy virus and is lying listlessly beside me, her cheeks ablaze and her heart pumping rapidly.  Every minute or two she moans pathetically, “Mommy, my tummy hurts.” 

As most parents would, if I could trade places with her and take away her pain, I would.  Unfortunately, I think I won’t be able take away her pain, but I may just be inheriting it.  As I write, there’s some suspicious roiling in my abdomen that doesn’t bode well.

My fingers and toes are crossed that our family will spend our weekend making merry, not all taking turns for the toilet and having cramping tummies cramp our style. 

One of my most visceral memories of stomach distress involves a family reunion on our patio on a spring Sunday and my first ever experience with spinach dip in a scooped out sourdough bread bowl.  I devoured a great quantity of it, reveling in the piquant, creaminess of it and how exquisitely its flavors melded with the chunks of bread I so exuberantly used as shovels to convey this manna to my mouth.

Many people pledge their allegiance and undying love to this popular mayonnaise and sour cream laden treat; I, on the other hand, have had it once in my life and never since.  Seeing it makes my stomach clench in terror and even writing about it is summoning dry heaves.

Of course, we always tend to get sick from things that we can happily live without. Who has ever had the good fortune of being violently food poisoned by chocolate cake or potato chips or ice cream sundaes and then sworn off those delectable treats forever?  I wonder if I would have the same gut-wrenching reaction today to those heavenly substances had they wreaked havoc on my insides?

As I write this, I suddenly have an “aha” moment: countless people get sick every weekend from the ambrosia otherwise known as alcohol. And will they rise from the ashes of their despotic ways and drink again?  Almost surely.  Probably the following weekend if not sooner. 

It’s Friday night as I write this, usually our date night, but aforementioned sick daughter has kept this homebody happily at home. (While I dearly love going out with my sweetie for our weekly “night on the town,” we usually go to local “Cheers,” have a grand old catch-up over dinner and are back home before nine pm.  Party girl I am not.)

As I lie beside my little sickie, I am clad in warm pajamas, robe and down booties, legion of people are out on the town making the slow descent into hangover hell. Will they have more fun than me tonight?  I guess that depends on what you define fun as. Lying beside my little bub and force-feeding her water is no party, but I’m here in the family-bubble and it’s exactly where I want to be. 

In my 46 years I’ve never been victim to anything even close to a hangover; I can probably thank my good Mennonite upbringing, anti social behavior and poor constitution for that.  Of course, I’ve been tipsy and acted with abandon, but I’ve never paid the piper/pipes in the morning for over indulgence in the way most people my age have at least a few times.

I guess my point is, it’s a lot easier to NEVER consider eating spinach dip again than it is to never consider having a Peanut Buster Parfait or a Butterfinger or a margarita again. People are always going to go back to their tried-and-true favorites: sugar and alcohol.  For many, those are worth the gamble and the repercussions, namely weight gain and morning stupor. On the other hand, there are plenty of other dips to choose from, thank you very much.  (Creamy artichoke dip with mayonnaise and Parmesan heated in the oven until bubbly is among my all-time favorites.)

I’ve digressed from my sweet daughter’s viral illness to intestinal distress of another nature.  I do hope that this sweet gal finds her energy and appetite tomorrow and can join the land of the living.  I also hope she never finds herself victim of a hangover.  I have a feeling that if she ever does, once will be enough for her.  Like her Mommy, she’s not a good sufferer. 

For tonight my pledge is to:
  • Steer clear of anything more than a small glass of red wine (that could go nicely with a soak in the tub along with a used copy of Anthony Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour).

  • Revel in the feeling of NOT feeling sick: it’s so easy to take feeling good for granted until you actually plummet into icky sicky territory.

  • Make Charlotte keep sipping water no matter how much she kicks up a fuss or kicks me. 

  • Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in my bathrobe pocket.

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