Mother of the Year

On September 30, 2010 by Eden M. Kennedy

The other morning, in addition to Jackson’s regular breakfast of — oh, let’s say oat bran and prune juice, since no matter what I say someone will judge me for it so I might as well pretend I give him one of those gerontological diets whose entire point is to pass through your body and out your colon completely unnoticed. So, the other morning in addition to all the foods he normally eats without the slightest reaction, I gave Jackson a nice, ripe pear. He ate it. And ten minutes later he had itchy red splotches on his legs, elbows, armpits, face cheeks, and butt cheeks.

“God is punishing you for touching yourself,” I said calmly. No, I didn’t. Ha ha! I took a wild guess and told him he might be having a reaction to something he ate, quite possibly the pear. I went and got him a Benadryl.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” he asked, looking at the little pink pill in his hand.

“Swallow it,” I said.

He swallowed it. “That was easy,” he said.

“You have a great career in corporate catchphrases ahead of you,” I said.

I didn’t want to take him to school looking like he’d suffered through some sort of inscrutable beating, so since I didn’t have to be at work for another two hours, we just sat around and waited to see whether Team Rocket would defeat Pokemon for once. (Spoiler alert: Team Rocket’s victory was once again foiled by ineptitude and ego, and bizarre voice acting, and atrocious fashion sense.)

An hour later Jackson’s rashes, or hives, or whatever they were, were all gone.

“Great!” I said, rubbing my hands together gleefully. “Let’s get you dressed and get you to school.”

“I’m sleepy,” he said, burrowing into his bed. He began to weep softly. “Sooo sleeeeepy.”

Oh, Benadryl, you are so magical, with your healing properties and the way you make my son flop from side to side when I shake him.

I don’t endorse substance abuse in the under-twelve set, but desperate times. “I’ll get you a Coke.”

Just saying the word Coke perked him up. “Really?”

“Yes. Put your pants on.” I sprinted to the refrigerator: nothing but milk, beer, and an old Vitamin Water. I sprinted to the laundry closet: Cherry 7-Up with Antioxidants? Who the hell bought that? Back to the refrigerator, I dug deeper, pushing past a giant container of olives, and gasped.

“Okay,” I said, walking back into Jackson’s room, “I know I gave your father a speech about going to BevMo and buying this horrible crap, but it seems the time has come.” I held out a bottle of Jolt. Blue Jolt, to be exact. All the sugar and twice the caffeine.

In Jackson’s excitement to be chugging a Jolt at 9:30 in the morning, he managed to knock the bottle over and spill half of it, thank GOD. He drank the rest up, got dressed, and ran to the car. Once we got on the road, however, he was sort of unnervingly quiet.

“Are you feeling alright?” I asked.

“I feel kind of nervous,” he said, grinding his teeth into nubs.

When we got to school, Jackson zipped off to class and I went into the office to confess to the school secretary what I’d done.

“His poor little body!” she cried, “He probably doesn’t know whether to fall asleep or run around in circles like his ass is on fire!” No, she didn’t say that, OF COURSE SHE DIDN’T SAY THAT, but she did hoot with laughter, and when she was done wiping the tears from her eyes she promised they’d keep an eye on him and call if he did, in fact, catch fire.



55 Responses to “Mother of the Year”

  • I am also hooting with laughter and wiping tears from my eyes.

  • As am I.

    Holy guacamole is he ever going to have a day.

  • Jolt! Cool! It’s like the alternative crystal meth for the preteen set. I actually had to cut way back on caffeine recently due to my blood pressure, but I haven’t given up the habit completely.

  • this might be the funniest thing i’ve ever read. in my life. excuse me while i go to the bathroom so i don’t wet my pants…

  • Dude, this was awesome. Consider yourself nominated. :)

  • I had that day pretty much every day of my high school career. He may grow to like it.

  • Best day ever!

  • AWESOME! This is an actual scenario that has been played out in my house as well! Allergic reaction, Benadryl, crazy child and all. Not the Blue Jolt, though, just a regular Coke, so I still think you win at the Mothering Thing.

  • If he’s anything like me, he’ll still be jumpy later on. Antihistimines make me dead sleepy, and then four hours later I have “jumpy legs”. I do admire your problem-solving abilities, however. Rock on.

  • This is how I self-medicate on a daily basis. Do you mean not everyone does this?

  • I thank God every day that that little pink pill is so easy for kids to swallow. EVERY. DAY. (Not that I give it to my kids every day.)(As far as you know.)

  • Holy cow, intense highs and lows aside, I had no idea that you dealt with the whole Pokémon phenomenon in your house. So that means you have Benadryl AND Jolt AND Pokémon. It’s like your house is an opium den plus strippers, except for the under 13 version. It’s like it’s HEAVEN.

  • You’ve got my vote!

  • OMG the tears, the funny, funny tears bursting forth.
    Lady, you kill me.

    Ya know, pears seem so innocuous. It’s kinda surprising he would react adversely to that, and not, say, some other more suspect “food”. Jolt, let’s say.

  • Crying with laughter. Talk about better living through chemistry.

    Also, I too think it’s odd that a pear gave him hives, but Jolt was just fine (except for the nerves part).

  • So nice to hear from you again! Hope you have the video camera ready when he starts running around with his ass on fire. Oh … you only said “like … fire”. Well, one can hope?

  • Is it odd that I’m filing this away for any future instances that my kids have an allergic reaction to something?

  • you rock.

    as a very boring aside, it’s probably pectin that he’s allergic to.

  • Angella – not odd, just smart.

  • That is hilarious. I can really relate to the whole “Oh no, you can’t stay home sick. I have too much going on at work. That would be inconvenient for me!”

  • Dammit, for ONCE I put on eye make-up today and I am laughing so hard I’m crying. Great post. Goooo Jackson!

  • Oh my. This is priceless. Thank you for my daily laugh!

  • This was the awesomest story ever. Knowing my kids, it would be the one day they’d politely refuse an offer of caffienated beverage. Too funny, hope he survives the day intact.

  • Too funny! I especially like how you treated J’s true breakfast as a red herring for the rest of the tale.

    I wonder if it was the pear, or some pesticide the pear was treated with. (I don’t want to assume you didn’t (of course!) feed him organic, but….) I have eaten apples before that made my tongue and gums itchy as hell and I suspect it was because the peel was carrying something that didn’t come off when washed.

  • His poor unsuspecting teacher. Hahahaha

    When you ask him later what he did today and he can’t tell you a thing, just go with it. Snort. We had a Monster incident once. Not pretty.

  • So glad I was alone for the crying and laughing and straining of the postpartum pelvic floor muscles. Thank you!

  • I always knew you guys seemed calm but partied like rock stars. xoxo Awesome. Jolt.

  • As a working mother, I can attest to the fact that this is a brilliant way to get everyone where they need to be, especially when the bill-paying adult has no personal days remaining. As a teacher, I am pretty sure that this scenario has been perpetrated by the parents of one or more of my students. Fun times were had by all.

  • This is the most awesome thing I have read all day.

  • Hilarious. Thank you.

  • and you thought people would complain about what you feed him for breakfast!

  • LMAO…. That is what I act like on Jolt (or Coke, as in COCA COLA, or even coffee –which is why I don’t drink it). I like to describe it as that Robert Goulet commercial where he’s climbing on the ceiling…? Yeah…

  • Dear Eden,
    I love you.
    The end.

  • You should have given him that beer to bring him down from the Jolt.

  • “I’ll get you a Coke.”
    You, madam are a ROCK STAR.

  • Thank you–I can total judge you on this one and that does not happen often…hardly ever…this may be the second time in my fourteen year’s old life where I have ever been able to be high and mighty—JOLT! For God’s Sake!! JOLT!! Now about the Bendryal, they now have the drowsy and the non-drowsey—parents of younger kids these days are so lucky!

  • No judgment, here, nope. Not gonna tell you what I’ve done either! You must tell us how the rest of his day went, and if he’s developed a Jolt habit.

  • Totally hilarious. Of course, I’m dying to know what you did to help him fall asleep that night… I suspect a little warm milk and “Goodnight Moon” might not have done the trick.

  • I was sorry to hear that he’d spilled half the Jolt (especially because I worry about the blue stain), but it’s probably just as well he didn’t drink all of it, you know? Heh.

    This is excellent information, though.

  • I’ve got to get me some Jolt.

  • OMG! I had that day last week MYSELF!

    3 cups of coffee, bad client call. Racing heart. Recalled that I accidentally double dosed myself with Synthroid 1 week prior. Google Synthroid doses. Get worried. Google “synthroid toxicity.” Freak out, heart pounds harder. Google “heart attacks for women.” Freak out. Try deep breathing….. Eventually bum a Benadryl off a secretary and drink about 60 oz of water to wash caffeine out of system. Feel very spacy. Have a double scotch at home before bed.

    Still alive today!

  • Wiping away tears.

    Thank you.

  • Jolt is blue?

    You are very brave to have posted this. I would have been afraid that someone would called child services or whatever on me.

    My luck just sucks that way.

    Your luck is awesome.

  • Wow, I haven’t heard of Jolt since my college days when it was all the rage during dead week. It tasted horrible but I remember it kept you awake. Of course now there’s Red Bull; which I turn to when I have to work overnights.

  • So, yeah, i think i love you even more now. I so very much needed the laughter tears that are rolling down my dimpled cheeks.

  • ack…the cute ones of course…

  • Alright– this one did it. I’m finally delurking to say:

    I really did — for real! I’m not lying! — laugh out loud.

  • Somehow, this makes me feel better about my puppy getting ahold of my Ambien bottle.

    I may have given my son Benadryl after he got the tip of his finger chopped off in a slamming door. That pink pill got us through his Kingergarten screening AND his stint as a ring bearer. Mother’s little helper, that stuff.

  • Poor Jackson, LOL. JOLT! I had a ladyboss who used to drink that stuff … and then REDBULL!! even worse. She told me her secretary at her previous job finally forbade her to drink it anymore because her instructions could no longer be considered intelligible by anyone with a reasonable IQ and a tape recorder on half-speed. I don’t even want to THINK what these drinks would do to kids!

  • our school secretary would have damn near died from the sneer this would have inspired. she hates me when my kid has to stay home because he’s puking. Jolt would send her quite literally over the judgmental edge.

  • Bwuahahahaha! That’s hilarious! Please make sure to have a jolt free house when Luna comes over to babysit…It’s bad enough that the babysitter is probably shorter than the babysitee, we definitely don’t need them all hopped up on drinkable speed :)

    BTW, Luna does want to babysit, just give us a call or email at the address I entered.


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