Eat your vitamins


With asthma, allergies, and a mom whose interest in herbal and homeopathic supplements keeps the local health food store in business, the Maiden is no stranger to pills. She has morning vitamins and pills and evening meds and pills. Liquids, chewables, meltaways, she’s had them all. And of course, there’s the inevitable inhaler and, on very unfortunate nights when the Maiden fakes an asthma attack to get the chance to watch TV at 9 p.m. needs it, the drama of the nebulizer.

She’s usually a trooper and downs the meds if not with a smile, then with a shrug. Of course, the fact that most of the stuff tastes like candy or soda doesn’t hurt either, and she often cons me into half-believing that no, she really didn’t get the gummie vitamins today, Mommy, and can I have yesterday’s because you forgot those too?

Nice try, kid. Have Mommy’s nasty ones if you’re so keen on health.

Even for the less delicious stuff, the pain is minimized by my standing over her like a drill sergeant with a bottle, a spoon, and a look on my face that suggests that she’d better plug her nose and glug it down, because otherwise she might end up consuming the entire metal spoon with a little assistance from Mommie Dearest.

So when I bought the tablet version of a supplement she told me she didn’t like taking in liquid form, I was thrown for a loop by her antics. She hid them. Ground them into the chair fabric. Gagged over them. Spit them out. Refused to look at them. Somebody, save her from these tiny orbs of poison!

Oh, the drama.

Tonight, I’d had it. But I was in a mellow mood because she had come home from school with a good report. So instead of starting my tirade, I decided to show her up: Grow up a little, will you? See, I’ll try them. They aren’t that bad.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I whirled around, bent over the sink, and gagged out the nasty brownish-green slime. Without doubt, these were the vilest-tasting things on the planet. Worse than Brussels sprouts smothered in egg yolks smothered in mayonnaise smothered in tater tots smothered in moldy lettuce smothered in stinky ground turkey. No one, human, animal, or even plant, should ever be required to eat them. I wouldn’t feed them to a cockroach.

Okay, I might. But I’d still feel badly about it.

The Maiden said, “They kind of taste like eating someone’s farts, don’t they, Mommy?”

They did.

I took a long drink of water. The bottle went into the trash. I now defer to my daughter’s tastes in medicines.

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