We all want to teach our kids how to do the right things. How to act in different situations. But there are a few things I don’t want my kids to learn from me.At the top of that list would be what not to eat when you’re sick. I’m not sure how it’s happened, but I’ve gotten so off course in this area that even Scotty from Star Trek couldn’t help me find way back.
I think it started late one night about 20 some odd years ago. It was around 11, and my wife was lying on the couch, so sick to her stomach that the only thing she asked for from me was a bucket. The only thing, that is, until she asked me to go to the store and see if I could find something (ANYTHING) that would help.
Now keep in mind, 1993 wasn’t exactly prehistoric times (although when you think about the music of Michael Bolton being popular, you might think so), but in the small-town days before Wal-Mart Supercenters, it kind of felt that way. So instead, I found myself wandering the aisles of E-Z Mart in the small town of Horatio, Arkansas. I found what I needed, but while I was waiting to check out, I noticed one of those packaged cinnamon rolls with icing and raisins. And I remember thinking, “Mmmmm. A cinnamon roll sounds really good.”
So back at home, my wife is on the couch, puking in a bucket. And I’m sitting almost right next to her eating my cinnamon roll and drinking a coke.
And now, like Pavlov’s dogs, every time someone says they feel sick, I immediately start craving a cinnamon roll.
But it didn’t stop there . . .
The foods I crave when I’m sick are beyond bizarre. On the first day of any sickness, I crave Taco Bell. I can be hunched over the toilet most of the morning, but as soon as lunchtime hits, BOOM! – I’m craving tacos and burritos. I hate going to get food when I’m sick because I know what people would think if they saw me in the car. “Hey, isn’t that Mark up there in the drive-thru at Taco Bell. He’s not sick at all!!!
By the second day, I’m past this craving and have moved on – usually to pizza. My daughter, as I’m sure you can understand, thinks this is just a weeeee bit strange. And, if you can imagine, often REFUSES to go and purchase these foods for me!
AND I can always tell when I’m about to become sick. A day or two before, I start craving frozen pot pies. (Really, though, what other rational reason could you have for craving a pot pie?). And yes, I do purchase one. And yes, I admit, I do eat it, too.
Don’t worry. I’m never going to try to convince my kids to embrace my diet when they’re sick – I keep plenty of crackers and chicken noodle soup on hand for those occasions. But I also keep a cinnamon roll on hand, just in case . . .