Thursday, July 6, 2006

Otter Pops=Strep Throat

When I was younger, I can't recall a time when I wasn't sick. It seemed that every week I was in school, there was at least one day that week where my mom had to call me in sick. This is least, for Kindergarten it was true.

I started Kindergarten in the fall of '84. Don't quote me on the exact year, because I am completely drawing a blank right now. You'll understand why, when you finish reading this.

Like most kids at that time, we had already been in pre-K and had already succumbed to the various ailments and diseases that lurked behind the sticky corners of a daycare or a preschool facility. For sure we would all be immune to anything by the time we were in real school...right?

In Kindergarten we were given awards weekly for perfect attendance. These cheap carbon copied awards with a lame "Way to Go" sticker on them, may have meant absolutely nothing to some kids at that time, but to me, it meant everything. Why, you should ask? Because I was the ONLY child in Kindergarten who NEVER received one. That's right! Lucky ol' me, NEVER made it to school for one full week in Kindergarten. How I ever made it past that grade level on my lack of attendance, I will never know.

When I was sick at home, my mom would give me something frozen to bring down my fever. That was probably the best part of being sick--frozen treats! I remember getting Otter Pops from my mom. These pops were amazing! They didn't drip, weren't messy, tasted great, PLUS, you got to choose which flavored character you wanted on your Otter Pop. Mine was always the female flavor, "Strawberry Short Kook", or "Little Orphan Orange". I tended to leave the male flavors for my brother, but he was rarely sick, so it didn't matter.

It was not too long after eating these pops that it appeared that my sickness would always take a turn for the worse, often ending me up in the Doctors office being diagnosed with strep throat. My mom discontinued the use.

In the summer, I would attend Cactus Club. A program that would keep my brother and I busy while my parents worked. On numerous occasions when my brother and I started getting sick, the first question my mother would ask was "Did you guys eat an Otter Pop?" Of course we would!! Cactus Club was too cheap to provide several kids with Dreyers frozen fruit bars....come on now!!!

My mom called these Otter Pops, "Strep Throat on a Stick". When she decided never to purchase Otter Pops again, we rarely ever got strep throat.

Flash Forward 20 years later
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Last week, Little A ended his summer swim class. He received an award for his efforts in swimming followed by a frozen treat. Last year it was popsicles in the form of crayons. This year? Otter Pops!! I hesitated in giving him his first Otter Pop, but I was certain that 20 years later, the company would have surely reformulated their ingredients, added a little UV to kill off bacteria and filtered the contents useing reverse osmosis. Oh how wrong I was! My son finished half the Otter Pop, and handed the other half to me which was composed of nothing more than the juice. It was hot. I was thirsty. I drank it.

3 days later. Strep throat for my son.

4 days later. Strep throat for me.

I am currently sick as a dog as I write this. I can't swallow, or think straight. I guess that's what I get for eating "Strep Throat on a Stick"...right?

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

The Ultimate Terror

Little A started his first day of daycare yesterday. Like most mothers, this is somewhat of a milestone. He has been watched and taken care of by my husband and I for the first 2 1/2 years of his life, and to see him off in a new environment in the hands of someone other us made me a little apprehensive.

I wondered what life was going to be like for him.

Was he going to play with other kids?

Were kids going to pick on him?

Was he going to be the shy one?

The funny one?

The stinky one?

I had hoped that things would be great for him. I had pictured him playing cars with other little boys or running around outside and giggling as he went down the slide.

On the other hand, I feared that nothing was going to go well. I pictured the teachers yelling at him because he was throwing food, or toys. And the one thing that added more fuel to my anxiety of him being in daycare yesterday was the fact that he started on 06/06/06. Could this day have been just completely hexed from the start? The answer is YES!

As it turns out, my son was the ultimate terror. My dreams of having him play those cars with other boys and running on the playground, and giggling down the slide were crushed as I came to learn that not only was he hitting other children, but he was punching them as well.

I arrived at the daycare with a huge smile on my face expecting to see a "fanatastic" progress report for the day. What I saw was not only a lack of check marks next to his behavior with other kids, but what warranted a huge "sad face" next to "interaction with other kids." I was devasted.

Was it my fault?

or my husbands fault for watching too many UFC shows with him?

This morning as he was dropped off for day 2 of his daycare experience, he grabbed a chair as other children were eating and threw the chair at them on table. My husband was only told "please call us later and we'll tell you how he's doing." How embarassing!

So now, I embark on a new journey. A journey to make sure my son is not the ultimate terror he is turning out to be, but to make sure that this hex of 06/06/06 doesn't effect him for the rest of his daycare days.

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