A wise friend of mine with no medical training, other than raising her own five children, once gave me this gross advice:
“If your child has an upset stomach and needs to throw up but just can’t, feed ’em a hot dog. Works every time.”
I know. I warned you it was gross.
But do you know how many hot dogs my children consumed over this past extra long 4th of July weekend? Way too many. Now can you figure out how many times they vomited NOT in a toilet in somebody else’s house this weekend? Interestingly enough, about the same number.
But what other easy main course option is there when feeding dozens of kids on a hot summer day on a budget? It seems to be everyone’s go-to.
It wouldn’t be fair to dump all our digestive troubles onto our beloved, mysterious friend the Hot Dog. I mean, there were the chips, the candy, the cookies and various other members of the tippy top of the food guide pyramid that made up 97% of my kids’ diets this weekend. (Watermelon was the only thing keeping that percentage down in the two digits. Bless you watermelon!!)
But this seems to be a pattern of ours at every family get together. My kids are as healthy as colts and fillies 360 days out of the year. Then the one long weekend we travel to spend with cousins, their white blood cells decide to take a vacation as well. Their tummies distend disturbingly after only two hot dogs, a slushie, cotton candy, a bag of popcorn, 8 Tootsie Rolls, 4 Now ‘n’ Laters, and a soda pop, all followed up by a 45 minute romp in the air inflated bounce house–I mean, come on! Metabolize your junk food like a man!
Then when I try to step in and play Junk Food Police, I’m the meanest mommy ever.
“Mom, it’s a HOLIDAY??” they sass.
I guess it must be some sort of rite of passage, having your children throw up in other people’s houses repeatedly. Some cruel, twisted, mommy rite of passage.
Upon our departure, the minivan’s beverage service was limited to water and a few sticks of sugarless gum. And what do you know? Today everyone’s all better.
How do you think all those kids would feel about spring rolls next year? Maybe veggie wraps? Perhaps a nice bed of romaine topped with walnuts, cucumbers, dotted with fresh goat cheese and splashed with lemon juice? Reaching for the stars? Probably.
But at the very least, might I suggest a new tradition of a watermelon eating contest at the beginning of every meal? That juicy fruit’s so filling, our daily junk food percentage could dip as low as the high 50s! That would be enough for me.
And I volunteer to clean up all those seeds and rinds. It just has to be less gross than cleaning up the alternative.