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
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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?