Monday, March 14, 2011

Oh, the Things I Teach

Since Oz left on a trip for work today and won't be back till late Friday, the kids and I had a lazy day. We watched 'Fantasia 2000.' M1 made bubble gum from a kit he had. M2 created designs with Perler beads, which Oz had never even heard of until this week. That kind of blew my mind. We did do laundry and M2 practiced her violin, but that was the extent of the 'work' around here today.

Spring Break is loverly.

After lunch, I broke out The Book. I have been reading the Little House books to my children. I started this months ago, so you'd think that we would be well into the series by now, but no. Life happened, we skipped a few weeks (or more), and we're just now in the middle of "Little House on the Prairie."

The third or fourth chapter that we read today was entitled Fever 'n' Ague. Halfway through, Dr. Tan appeared with his magical powder that was so, so bitter. I interrupted myself - I do this frequently to explain references or further clarify something the kids don't understand, and they often ask questions, too - to let the kids know that I'd tell them what the powder was once we got to the end of the chapter.

I reached the end of the chapter, where it explains that the Ingalls family had caught malaria from the mosquito swarms, and stopped.

"What was it??" M1 instantly wanted to know. "What was the powder?"

I got up and wandered to the kitchen. The children followed. I reached up on top of the fridge and got down a small glass bottle with a yellow label.

I showed them the bottle and asked M1 to read the small print under the company name. "Contains quinine," he read. "What's quinine?"

"That's what the powder had in it," I explained. "Quinine can also be mixed into a liquid. It can help treat malaria. Even mixed into a liquid and in a lesser concentration, it's still pretty bitter, though. Want to try it?"

M1 was game; M2 was skeptical but not about to be outdone by her brother. I broke out a small glass and poured a tiny amount into the bottom. I offered it to M1. He wet his lips but didn't really try it. I laughed. "If you're going to try it, TRY it," I told him. "Don't do it halfway." He grimaced but sucked up his courage and took a real sip.

[pause]

"I LIKE it!" he exclaimed.

"WHAT?? No, you don't," I protested. "It's okay to not like it. I don't like it, either."

"No, I really like it!" he insisted. To prove his point, he finished the glass.

I couldn't stop laughing. I got out a second glass and poured an equal amount for M2, who completely hated it and wouldn't take more than the tiniest sip, even after I added some lime juice. M1 was more than happy to finish that up for her.

Now I know what to hide when he gets older. No gin for him!

1 comment:

Mom on the Verge said...

I too like tonic. Maybe it's a lack of refinement or something. Lock up the liquor cabinet... ;)