Tuesday Tip: Drink your water kids!February 5th, 2013 | Posted by in Tips and Quips
When I was a little girl, I used to follow (or possibly chase!) my grandparents’ dog around chanting, “Drink your water puppy! Drink your water puppy!” I also thought this particular dog — a regal Irish Setter named Barney — was a pony and as such, I would often try to ride him. That dog hated me. But, to this day, my parents and grandparents still remind me of my little chant. I suppose it was memorable. Or, more likely, extremely annoying! Now that I’m a parent myself, I’m sure the sing-songy, relentless voice of a kid stuck on repeat saying “Drink your water puppy!” wasn’t exactly music to the ears! With that said, I think I was on to something. At a very early age, I apparently recognized how important it is to “drink your water” and today, I am singing that same little chant to the little people in our house. And if I had a puppy, I’m sure I’d remind him too. Why? Because I’ve learned the hard way what happens when your children don’t drink enough water. They don’t poop. And that, my friends, is no good at all.
Of our five children, at least three have had problems in this area. When they were babies, it was worrisome but typically a little Vaseline up the rear (try it, it really works!) would do the trick. When they were toddlers, it was time-consuming and we often chalked it up to the perils of potty training. “It’s going to take some time,” we told ourselves as we waited and waited for the poop to arrive. And, eventually, it did. (If you added up all the hours, I’ve probably spent years of my life being held hostage by a small person on a big potty who just “needs one more story” in order to poop!) When they get to grammar school, it gets a bit more concerning. When you realize your kid hasn’t pooped in a week and the nurse calls to inform you that “he says his stomach really hurts and frankly, I think there’s a gas problem,” it’s time to go to the doctor. Sure, maybe you would have gone to the doctor sooner but honestly, with five kids, a dog and a job, I’m just doing my best to make it through any given day and can’t really keep a tally on who is pooping when — until the nurse calls, which brings me back to my point.
We finally go to the doctor. We are asked about our diet, which I’ve always thought is pretty good. “Do you eat a lot of vegetables?” Yes. “Fruit?” Yes. “Fiber?” Yes. “Water? Do you drink a lot of water?” Um, uh, well, you see…. Huh. That would be a no. When did I forget? Why didn’t the water bottles that come home from school full not set off any warning bells?! How did I miss the fact that they drink nothing at breakfast? (For the record, it turns out that milk in the cereal doesn’t count!) As it turns out, our kids are a lot like Barney. The aforementioned dog, not the purple dinosaur. They need water! Lots and lots of water. Eight glasses a day. It’s not just for dewy skin and healthy hydration, it’s to keep things moving in there! Who knew? Maybe you did. Apparently I did too. But I forgot. And have now been reminded once again… and, after my first experience administering and enema to “jumpstart the system”, I won’t be likely to forget!