Touch of spice

Is there a doctor in the house?


Alfred Adler said "it is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them."

I don't have a clue who Alfred Adler is, but he saw right into my soul and his words will live with me forever.

Particularly because I know first hand what he means.

I'm a big believer in natural health. I believe a healthy, well-fortified body will resist invasions by most all germs and bacteria.

For that reason, every morning I mix my girls a meal/protein shake that's chock full of vitamins and minerals and all that really, really good-for-you stuff.

It's in high demand, not becauses it's has nutritional value, but because it's chocolate flavored and that outweighs (in the minds of my girls) any potential benefits.

Those benefits are why I couldn't complain when I left the shake the counter and Katie pulled up a chair, moved the can to the floor, pried off the lid and started scooping powder into her mouth.

Well, I couldn't complain much. She was eating pure vitamins, but she was also spreading the stuff all over my kitchen floor and from one of her ears to the other.

The stuff's expensive, too, so I wasn't real pleased that I had to suck it into the Dustbuster.

Still, it gives me peace of mind on the days when the girls refuse to eat a single healthy meal, or on the days when they refuse to eat at all.

I follow the morning shake with a multivitamin, but I'm struggling for a way to make the liquid vegetables palatable.

See, natural health.

Despite my precautions (and probably helped by their love of chocolate) both girls boasted runny noses, fevers and slight coughs.

I believe in natural ways of taking care of those things, too.

Until about 2 a.m. when I'm beckoned from my warm bed (and a pretty deep sleep) by the sound of coughing.

That's when my resolve falters.

I stumble to the medicine cabinet where, behind the all-natural cough syrup and homeopathic remedies, I shamefully stock everything from Advil to Zantac, with several brands of children's cough, cold and sinus medicines tucked in.

Unfortunately I don't stock anything to bolster myself for the fight I'm in for.

Katie's not really a big fan of medicine. That, combined with her natural stubbornness caused me to arm myself with a wet washcloth before approaching her room.

I know the drill. Once, when administering medicine for an upset stomach, I left her sitting on the kitchen counter for a full 15 minutes while waiting for her to swallow the darn stuff.

That's after she let the first two doses dribble down her chin and onto her just-washed shirt. Did I mention that this all occurred as we're on our way out the door -- them to the baby-sitters and me to work?

There was a slight delay.

Anyway, the persistent coughing strengthened my resolve and I set forth to administer cherry-flavored relief. I walked into the room. Katie saw me and the gifts I was bearing and immediately buried her face in the pillow and began screaming.

Having already mastered the pin-her-down-to-wash-her-face technique, I was pretty sure I could handle the situation.

I was also pretty sure that I'd be washing most of the sticky stuff out of her sheets the next day.

My main concern was that she not wake her sister, who was also sporting mild cough, but with the added pleasure of a low-grade fever.

No such luck.

The good news was that Katie seemed resigned to swallowing after she awoke Nikki, and she finished the dosage willingly, rolled over and immediately fell back to sleep.

Being the polar opposite of Katie, Nikki started crying for her share the minute her sleepy-eyes focused. She is a big fan of medicine.

I hoped the few drops left over from Katie would satisfy her, which they did.

Having played doctor about as well as I knew how -- which was enough to suit the purpose at hand -- I, too stumbled back to bed, but not without a shot of Nyquil to fight the cough they'd passed on to me. I also reheated nearly a full cup of herbal tea -- my 9 p.m. attempt at drug-free healing that both girls took on sip of, then abandoned.

There's a lot of work behind fighting for your principals, and what you're willing to put into it, I believe, fully depends on which side of midnight you're aiming from.

I believe Mr. Adler would agree.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at

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