Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Soda Statement

I hate to be "that mom" but I volunteered to bring two bottles of soda to Seamus' orchestra concert tonight. I had to go to Whole Foods anyway, so I thought I'd get the soda there. Naturally, Whole Foods does not carry plastic, two-liter bottles of unwholesome soda. They have lots of interesting drinks in glass bottles, and for a minute I was tempted--plastic is so bad for the environment! But I knew that if I showed up with something European and fancy in glass bottles I wouldn't be "that mom," I'd be "who does she think she is?". I settled on some organic lemonade. What was I supposed to do? Make a separate trip to a different grocery store just so that I could show up with unpretentious drinks? Another mom might deliberately go to Whole Foods just to be seen donating European-fancy-glass-bottle soda or organic lemonade because she wants to make the statement that she is all perfect like that, whereas I felt I should make the statement that I don't use donated eatables to appear holier-than-thou. Yet much of our food comes from Whole Foods anyway! Maybe I AM that mom. Maybe I am the only mom who even thinks about the statement she is making when buying beverages. (I doubt that, actually.) What crazy contortions we put ourselves through over the stupidest things. Maybe what society needs is a nuclear winter or a plague so people like me will stop attaching massive significance to bottles of soda.

Speaking of plague, Seamus' pox are percolating ( I hope) and we should see a rash by Sunday. I realize--vaccine/no vaccine issues aside--that deliberately exposing an 11 year old child to a disease is not without some ethical issues. It's one thing with a two-year old, who doesn't understand what is happening, but when I told Seamus I had arranged for him to get chicken pox, his peculiar facial expression showed that he was thinking, "Hey--wait a minute!-- my mom is deliberately making me sick." In nursing school, we learned that the age of medical consent for children is really young--8 or thereabouts.

I changed my tack. I said that if it was alright with him, he would play with this chicken pox child, and after two weeks he'd feel a bit sick and have an itchy rash that he mustn't scratch and that as the rash cleared up he'd look scabby but would eventually look perfectly normal again. I pointed out that the disease was likely to pop up during his last week of school before Christmas break, thus extending his vacation to three glorious weeks and wouldn't that be fun? And he would get to take lots of lovely baths! And eat his favorite foods and generally be coddled and treated like a prince.

He consented, and I have stocked up on Tylenol. Watch him not get sick after all.


  1. If he does get sick, I'm tempted to bring my kids by your house on Monday, but we have family coming the week after Christmas and I don't think I could handle two sick kids plus a house full of relatives.

    If it makes you feel better, I flat-out refuse to bring sodas to any of the kids' activities. So yeah, I'm one of THOSE moms. :-)

  2. Yeah, you're absolutely right about being "that mom." Even if you showed up with a six-pack of Hansen's, *someone* would whisper about you. But I don't know that there's much you can do about it either way, aren't moms always competing somehow?

  3. I tend to overthink stuff like the beverage choice decision as well...

    I tried to expose my kid to chickenpox but she wouldn't get sick. I ended up having her vaccinated instead. Gosh, I had all of those childhood diseases, and she had none of them.

  4. Oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one obsessing over what to bring to functions--"too organic" and you come off as preachy, but "too plastic" and your own moral compass begins to fight back. THE DRAMA! I usually stick to 100% juice and pray...
    NO idea that the age of consent was 8. Wow. But I'm glad you had the chance to keep your son safe by exposing him so young.