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12 July 2008

What special things did your parents do for you when you were sick? Gingerale in aspecial glass? Special permission to sleep in their big bed? Unlimted tv? Tell me.
Sugar water. My mom would let me drink sugar water only when I was sick (although she later explained that I would run fevers so high that I wouldn't drink or eat and she needed to get calories into me somehow).

Also, she did have a bunch of mugs that she only used when we were sick.

She was also very big on the baths and clean sheets all the time when we had fevers. It was lovely to get into a bed with nice clean sheets after being gross and sweaty all day.
posted by Fuzzbean 12 July | 00:20
There was this special blanket my folks kept in their cedar chest. It was a downy, silky thing. My mom only dragged it out when I was sick. Felt so good to lie on the couch and watch unlimited TV with that blanket.

Also, Lipton noodle soup. In a box.
posted by mudpuppie 12 July | 00:21
My mother would bring the tv into my room so that I could watch Electric Company (and other things, I think, but I remember Electric Company), and she'd bring me beef broth and buttered white bread.

I seem to remember ginger ale, as well. But mostly I remember the taste and texture of cold butter and hot broth.
posted by occhiblu 12 July | 00:22
Oh, and when I got older and had a cough or sore throat, I qualified for my mother's grandmother's special restorative drink -- hot tea with lemon, honey, and a belt of whiskey.

The whiskey was mainly to make complainy kids sleepy, I found out later. At the time, it felt like ancient Lithuanian wisdom. :-)
posted by occhiblu 12 July | 00:23
(Actually, I suppose that finding a way to make complainy kids fall asleep probably *is* ancient Lithuanian wisdom.)
posted by occhiblu 12 July | 00:26
Got to curl up in a sleeping bag on the couch, with unlimited TV. If I was really sick (which was fairly often, as I was actually the proverbial sickly child for a while), dad would bring home a little treat like paper dolls or something.

on preview: occhiblu, we got the same special restorative drink! Though my dad always told us it was an old Irish remedy.
posted by scody 12 July | 00:27
I likethat bit of Lithuanian wisdom and may adopt that treatment for everything from sore throat to sass mouth

Box of Liptoncures all. I like mine in ring-o-noodle form
posted by jrossi4r 12 July | 00:29
My dad only *threatened* me with the whiskey. This was fairly appropriate since a) I was a very good kid, and was afraid of accidentally committing some major wrong, and b) he hoarded his whiskey.
posted by mudpuppie 12 July | 00:29
Paper dolls! I'm pretty sure I only eer got them when I wassick
posted by jrossi4r 12 July | 00:32
"whiskey = punishment" is not computing. :-)
posted by occhiblu 12 July | 00:33
"whiskey = punishment" is not computing. :-)

And there is fodder for your therapy files.
posted by mudpuppie 12 July | 00:41
Jello in liquid form. I got a lot of strep throats when I was a kid and my mom would have me drink jello.

I've always been one of those people who will ignore illness and discomfort until it has blown up into "oh look, the coffee table is doing a soft shoe... I guess I've hit 103 degrees." stage, though. so I would usually be kept home because I was contagious, not because I wanted to stay in bed. Sick days were nice since I got to either sit with mom, maybe make cookies or something, that sort of thing. Or grandma would come over, and we'd watch her stories and she would teach me to cook or show me a sewing technique or something.

I remember once my mom returned home from work to find we'd removed all the stitch witchery (iron-on stuff) from her white nurse's work pants and hemmed them properly.
shame I'd used red thread on a pair before my grandmother noticed.
posted by kellydamnit 12 July | 00:48
Chased me with a syringe.
posted by ethylene 12 July | 00:49
Claim to the couch and a stack of Disney movies all day.
7up in a glass with a bendy straw.
And cinnamon sugar toast.
posted by rhapsodie 12 July | 01:07
posted by kellydamnit 12 July | 01:27
When I was sick about a month ago I bemoaned the lack of bendy straws in my apartment. How can anyone be sick without bendy straws!? I whined so much that my mother mailed me a whole box of them. Next time I will be PREPARED!
posted by rhapsodie 12 July | 01:39
Strawberry jello with bananas in it, chicken noodle soup with saltines, ginger ale. Bendy straws are to be classified as vital medical equipment.
posted by sysinfo 12 July | 01:51
Orange Gatorade! The only flavor worth drinking. It's still the only thing I drink when I'm sick...I have a feeling that my mom and the Gatorade people must have had some sort of electrolyte-centered cabal.

Ooh, and I would always request the bubble-gum flavor for amoxicillin, because I couldn't swallow pills, and always got it! Loved that too. Would have glugged the whole bottle had I had the chance.
posted by mdonley 12 July | 02:08
I don't think they ever did anything special. Once I got a cold cloth to put on my forehead when I had a fever. That was about it for the nurturing and caring.

Stuff I do for my kids:

> Make them a pot of tea in their own teapot
> Let them sleep in my bed
> The cold cloth....
> Give them back rubs
> Lots of cartoons and old movies
> Constant supply of oj and ice water
> Homemade chicken noodle soup
> Let them eat all of their meals in bed with a big bed tray in their lap
posted by iconomy 12 July | 02:10
My parents let me sleep on the couch with ginger ale and they always bought me a new coloring book and crayons.
posted by LoriFLA 12 July | 02:26
When we were sick, Mom would give us Coca-Colas with the caps still on them, which she had poked a couple of holes in with a nail and hammer. (This was back when a Coke was a 6-ounce drink in a glass bottle.)

For some reason, my brother and I thought this was the coolest thing ever, getting to drink a Coke with the cap still on it, so somehow that got to be our cool treat when we were sick on the couch. And we loved it.
posted by BoringPostcards 12 July | 04:18
My mother was Hooky Queen of the Universe. I missed so, so much school when I was sick. Or barely feigning sick.

When I was really sick, yes, it was all about the Lipton soup and ginger ale. My twinmom also introduced me to the swoon-inducing combination of Sprite + orange juice. Also: unlimited time with the TV/VCR, which almost always meant MTV (circa 1983-1988). In my later childhood, this was often augmented with a hot mug of TheraFlu.

When I wasn't actually sick, it meant long, fast drives in the countryside with the Go-Go's blaring and the windows down. Those were some days.
posted by mykescipark 12 July | 04:44
This is now one of my favorite threads on MeCha.

Campbell's soup before the HFCS was added. The chicken with stars soup was my favorite. I loved chicken gumbo soup and saltines, too.

All day couch time. The last time I got this at my parents' was when I had my wisdom teeth out at the age of 19. They've moved since then. Sometimes, if I'm sick, I claim it at my house now. Also, dibs on the TV.

I have to stock up on bendy straws now.
Thanks for the tip.

posted by lilywing13 12 July | 04:50
My parents were fairly neglectful. After we came to England from Australia, when I was about 7 years old, and it was icy cold in the winter, my mum'd give me a wine glass full of port before I went to school, and a warning not to say anything about it to anyone. I remember I loved the feeling of the port warming me, and I would always ask if I could have another one. Sometimes the answer was yes, sometimes no, depending on whether or not there'd be any left for my dad when he got up.

Of course, the obvious solution when your kid is freezing is to buy them a new coat, but my dad drank the money away and I had to wait until my sister grew out of her winter coat a couple of years later, as there was only enough money for one set of new clothes, and I got the hand-me-downs.

When I was about 13 I got an abscess on my upper arm from a vaccination that went bad. It used to burst and make my school blouse stick to my skin. In the end it left a crater in my upper arm that took months to heal, and not once did my parents think of taking me to the doctor. Nor was it mentioned by any of the staff at school. I think pastoral care in schools was non-existent in my day.

Fortunately I'm a tough old bird and survived my childhood without too many physical ill-effects. I still have a faint scar from the abscess. And, of course, I became an alcoholic. But apart from that, it was all good.
posted by essexjan 12 July | 05:00
We'd spend all day at Grandma's watching soaps and cartoons. Mostly we all got the same cold, so the doctor would give my mom a huge prescription, and she had one bottle of cough medicine and one spoon that she'd use to dish it out to all of us. I was disgusted and always contrived to be the first in line.

When we were littler, she used a spoon my Grandfather had modified to scale fish - it had sharp teeth not unlike a grapefruit spoon. We called it the "dragon spoon" because we couldn't push it out of our mouths when we didn't like the taste of the medicine. 'Tweren't any flavored meds in those days.

posted by lysdexic 12 July | 06:14
"Gingerale in aspecial glass? Special permission to sleep in their big bed? Unlimted tv?"

Yep. All of the above. Wow. That is weird. Also saltine crackers.
posted by CitrusFreak12 12 July | 08:16
Not much was different. My mom yelled at me for being sick and grudgingly brought me chicken soup from time to time.
posted by reenum 12 July | 08:23
I remember when I was about 4 I was sick and lying on the couch in the tv room, kind of half asleep, and my father came home from work with a big stuffed Snoopy for me. I had that for years.

I watched a lot of tv when I was sick but my tv watching was never limited anyway. (Hurrah for growing up in the 60s and 70s!)
posted by JanetLand 12 July | 08:25
Unlimited ginger ale. Or, probably, it was unlimited fluids, alternating ginger ale with juice or water. I only remember the ginger ale, though.

Mom would move the smaller tv into the sick kid's room, which was a huge novelty for us. (This is how I first discovered David Letterman, back when he had his daytime show.)

If we were barfy-sick, I seem to recall we could use Mom & Dad's bathroom, not the heavily trafficked main bathroom.

Tea or Coke if I had a headache.

Sick-day lunch was a ritual: for the other four kids, a tray in bed with tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich with pickle relish.

But for me, the picky one, it was chicken noodle soup and a grilled cheese sandwich with no relish, because "relish --- yuck!" Chicken and stars (or the less desirable chicken & rice) if I was really sick, too sick to deal with slippery noodles.

Those soups were all Campbell's soup, incidentally. Woe to the child who got sick the day after Mom made homemade soup; it was tasty, but it didn't have the magical healing properties of canned soup. Crazy, yes.
posted by Elsa 12 July | 09:22
"Special"? Hahaha. Ha.

The treat to being sick was staying at home alone all day. It was the only peace I got while growing up. I faked being sick a lot.
posted by deborah 12 July | 12:14
I could use some paper dolls and some ginger ale at the moment. I am so hungover. I just took a second dose of aspirin. I'm queasy and headachey and there are four boys screaming in the backyard. I knew I shouldn't have had that shot of tequila.
posted by LoriFLA 12 July | 13:10
My grandmother has a theory that everything tastes better in a wine glass. When I was recovering from surgeries as a child, she would often come over to help look after me and served all my drinks in wine glasses.

My mother always made me Lipton chicken soup with the little stars in it, so even now I make it when I have a cold. And one of my parents would pick up videos for me at the local video rental place.

And with you Elsa on the canned soup thing-for some reason I prefer it when I'm sick.
posted by miss-lapin 12 July | 14:23
The treat to being sick was staying at home alone all day.

Amen. I associate Days of Our Lives and The Bold and the beautiful exclusively with being sick and off school. Days started at 1.30pm, so I'd read all morning then eat lunch while watching the soaps.

My mum used to crush a paracetamol tablet in honey and feed it to me that way. I still do this if I have a fever and an upset tummy, it's the only way to keep it down.
posted by goo 12 July | 16:25
I can't remember anything specific. Just the usual stay, lay on the couch, eat whatever I want deal, and watch whatever I want on TV (Price is Right, holla).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 July | 17:19
My mom was a single parent after I turned 10, and she was a bit stressed. But I remember being able to lie on the couch (we only had the one couch and an old recliner); she'd bring me cool washcloths for my forehead; make me Campbells chicken noodle soup (or light toast with honey).

The best part was the "mental health days". When my brother and I haven't had much time off from school in a long time, and there weren't any big tests to worry about, Mom would let us stay home and just be by ourselves. Never together - that was the beauty of it. Ahhh, alone time!
posted by redvixen 12 July | 18:36
Lime jello, demanding that I clean up my room "as long as I was home", ditto taking a bath "because it will make you feel better", chicken noodle soup from the can...I remember that it would always be my father I called for late at night when I was streaming from both ends.
posted by brujita 12 July | 18:48
Coca-cola. I never got to drink it unless I had a bad stomach. I still rarely drink it unless I have a bad stomach. (Jolt Cola on the other hand...)
That and the Vicks vaporrub + soft scarf around my neck and fluffy socks to putter about in when I was sick. God I love the smell of that stuff and I'm really annoyed that vicks vapor-rub is not allowed here for children under seven years old. I remember using it as young as four (at least) but the pharmacyhere won't sell it to you if you have a two-year-old in tow. They're very strict on the "not for children under seven" thing.
posted by dabitch 13 July | 03:45
Oh, and that whole not knowing you're sick thing I was like that unless I was projectile vomiting or caughing up my lungs.
So one day I woke up late, wandered into the kitchen to make Saturday morning breakfast. Two minutes later my mother walks in the door, with a gift for me and fresh baked bread. It was an entire floor for my doll house. I was so psyched about it, but said "Mom, it's not my name's day, nor my birthday, nor christmas - I shouldn't be getting such a big nice present right now..?" I was a little confused. My mother explained to me that it was actually Monday, and that I slept through the entire weekend with a high fever, and would need to stay home for the week so, here's a fun new toy to explore. I had no idea that I was sick, and still wonder where that weekend went to.
posted by dabitch 13 July | 03:55
For dinner: || Why can't we be friends?