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All the comforts of “not made at home”

Submitted by on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 No Comment

When Big Guy came home yesterday he said his head was “silly” – he blamed it on a 63-question bubble test at school that day, and I was inclined to agree until he staggered upstairs and fell asleep. He woke with an oh-so slight fever but begging to go to his holiday program at school.

We let him, but fearing the worse and remembering the Fourth of July plague that rampaged through our house and caught me with nary a saltine or soda on hand, we stocked up after the concert.

Chicken broth – check, though it galled me that MSG-free cost 72 percent more. Isn’t it great to pay more for manufacturers to take things out?

Sprite – check. Jello – check. Crackers – check. Loaf of bread – check.

Note that Big Guy had shown no sign of stomach problems. Note that it doesn’t matter. Also note that we already had broth in the freezer, Jello in the cabinet and bread on the counter. Note that that doesn’t matter either, because when the guys are sick, homemade simply won’t do.

My kids are strange.  I bake cookies, and they beg for Oreos. I spend hours creating a cake, and they want to hit the deli. Boxed macaroni and cheese is better than that slop I make – “It’s because the noodles are skinny,” Boots tells me. “Your noodles are fat.”

And if they’re under the weather, their cravings for manufactured food intensify. Maybe that’s because they know they’ll get away with it – what kind of cold, heartless mother would deny her babies comfort foods, even if the fare is something the ordinarily never enters the house.

The Jello craving in particular cracks me up. It has to be in the little refrigerated cups, not from a box. I guess Mom can’t boil water with the skill that a big company can.

Big Guy came home last night and gobbled three pieces of toast from store-bought bread – don’t tell him, but it still was whole grain. He chugged a 12-ounce can of chicken broth. He happily slurped his prefab gelatin.

He fell asleep until about 2 a.m., when he crawled into my bedroom and moaned that his head was silly again. Dad wanted to call an ambulance – there’s a filter in his brain that translates “head ache” to “brain tumor” – but cuddles and sips of Sprite made it better.

He was upset at having to miss school this morning, but even a holiday party can’t override a 101-degree temperature.  It was back to the couch for him, with crackers and broth to mollify him.

I did, however, have to prove that the broth was coming from a can.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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