Who Said Rashes Aren’t Fun?

I’m starting a new feature on this blog, and it will be more regularly updated than any other meme I’ve followed because of the natural abundance of material. (Note to self: check if I’ve followed any memes in the past, and if so, give them cool names, which will double this blog’s readership in no time.)

Anyway, the title of this feature is “Jan is a Bad Mother Because______”

The “_______” will be the part I’ll add to gain your pity, laughter, and permit you a supercilious sneer, because it’s a true-fact that supercilious sneers are the best way to clear your respiratory system, and we’re all about the health on Tartitude. (When we’re not about the cool memes, which I still have to check on and rename. How does “Jan eschews leprosy as a ________” sound? I think that could be a winner.)

This week’s contribution comes courtesy of Frank. It is entitled “Jan is a Bad Mother Because She Remembers Some Medicine.” Apologies to those who’ve heard the story elsewhere:

This weekend I took the kids shopping and we stopped at Starbucks for a bite on the way. Frank, who is quickly compensating for his sister’s teenaged placidity, began to scratch his face and his neck. I said to him, “Are you feeling any shortness of breath? Is your throat closing in? Tell me if that happens.”

He mocked my over-protectiveness.

I told him he was about to break out in hives.

He told me he’s not allergic to anything.

I reminded him he was allergic to everything when he was a baby, but it doesn’t matter, not all hives come from allergies.

He told me I’m insane.

About thirty seconds later he broke out in HUGE hives everywhere, but the ones I mostly cared about were the ones on his face and neck because they confirmed my motherly omnipotence. Of course Molly and I laughed, which only made him more annoyed and flushed, and the hives even bigger.

The good news would be: I didn’t have to locate an Epi-pen or demonstrate my competence in more dramatic ways. The bad news? Starbucks is freaking expensive. Next time I will be a bad mother in Tim Horton’s, which is easily half the cost for the same quantity of trans fats and mockery.

How was your relationship with your mother when you were fifteen? And what do you think of the coffee at Starbucks? (I’m thinking “burnt dregs” would be applicable, but then, I’m still in a good mood from the weekend.)

30 thoughts on “Who Said Rashes Aren’t Fun?

  1. Ah, it feels good to laugh with you this morning, my friend. You sound like yourself again, which brightens my day (not that being yourself means being neurotically over-protective, just… Damn funny, I guess). I can’t even dredge up a supercilious sneer (as healthful as that would be), I’m just plain grinning.

    I sort of missed out on being around my mom at fifteen, and I’m thinking it’s a good thing. My parents divorced when I was fourteen (I was youngest, and they informed me they’d been ‘waiting for me,’ whatever that means. As if fourteen is better than, say, twelve). I got to choose, and chose to live with my dad in the house I grew up in. We became great friends as well as closer as father and son in my high school years. He was a great dad, but one thing he was not was over-protective. My dad was beloved by my friends, and even into my early 20’s, after a night out with the guys, we all crashed in my dad’s family room basement, and while we slept until noon, he would make these huge, amazing breakfasts for everybody. I miss him dearly (but he’s still with me, too). Sorry, that’s sort of a downer. To end on a sort-of up-note, since his and my step-dad’s deaths, my mom and I have never been closer.

    Thanks again for the grin! Great to see the Tart in prime form!

  2. Sounds like a moment that you’ll all remember later on. That’s the kind of moment we sit back and remember now actually. Not hives necessarily. It’s usually broken bones or head wounds in my case.

    Any idea what caused the hives?

    1. Stephanie, I have a terrible memory. There are blog posts here about my kids I almost don’t remember writing. Weird that this might be my new diary, huh?

      As for the cause, it was probably a combination of being overheated (the beverage and sitting in sunshine), scratching, and that he’d had a recent cold. Some viruses make the immune system go wonky for a while.

  3. We’re not going to talk about a) me at fifteen; or b) my mother; or c) my mother and I at fifteen, because those were not good times for either of us for a variety of reasons. 😉

    You made me laugh, Jan. Even though HIVES ARE NOT FUNNY, FRANK, YOU TELL YOUR MOM I SAID THAT!


    So let us speak of coffee. Starbucks is an overpriced hot flash for me, but I love the Starbucks coffee my sister-in-law gives for Christmas every year (*hint* *hint* *hint*). We don’t have a Tim Horton’s around here. We are Hortonless. Which sounds a bit creepy now that I reread that.

      1. She buys a bag of Starbucks Columbian coffee at the grocery store and gives it to me every Christmas. I have to dilute it with another brand and it makes my coffee strong without causing instantaneous combustion of the hot flash variety. 😉

  4. I don’t dare recall 15, since it’s coming round again in my house with my daughter. But you did start my day off with a smile — thanks for that!

  5. Once, we took our boys to a hockey game and the oldest ordered a rootbeer. Shortly after the game started, he complained that he was itchy. We took the opposite avenue that you did with Frank. We simply told him not to scratch, then turned back to watch the game. A few minutes later, we looked back at him and his eyes were almost swoollen shut. Oops. Last time we ever ignored his complaints about being itchy.

    Starbuck’s coffee: Blech!
    Relationship with mom at 15: Yikes!

    Enjoyed your bad mom blog, Jan. Looking forward to many more. 🙂

  6. Welcome. You’ve just joined the coffee nation. (Whatever that means. I suspect it’s one of those ‘abandon hope, all ye who enter…’ kind of things.) On that note and in the spirit of the season, I’ll play the devil’s advocate. I detest Tim’s coffee. And right when they changed the recipe to make it even worse someone stole my sunglasses. Right there. In Tim’s. Which is really bad because I’m photo sensitive–or however you describe getting migraines from naked sunlight.
    It started when I was a teenager, about the same time I began drinking coffee. I’m certain it’s just a coincidence because there’s no way in Tim Horton’s I’m giving up coffee.
    I confess to having an unnatural affection for Starbucks’ grande wet cappuccino with whipped. The price is often what keeps me at bay. That, and the way Canadians keep hearing ‘wet’ as ‘white.’

    My dad passed away when I was ten, so my teenage relationship with my mom was one of mutual support. One segment of my friends thought she was the coolest mom ever. Their mothers, from what I could see, were largely indifferent. All my other friends liked her but those girls seemed extra appreciative.

    1. What’s a wet cappuccino, Phyllis? I assume it’s watered down, so like an Americano? If I’m going for something unsweetened and unmilked, that’s my preference over the regular Starbucks coffee, too.

      And I’m sorry, but I don’t think Tim Horton’s sells haterade. 😉

      1. I suspect it’s one of those code words revealed only to insiders. Kidding. You’re probably right, I think it’s more milk or cream, less coffee.

        Not sure what you mean by haterade, but at least one of my brothers likes Tim’s coffee as much as I dislike it. It’s one of the few things we strongly disagree on. He has his coffee and I get the peppermint tea.

        1. I like peppermint!

          “Haterade” is the beverage of choice for a “hater.” The “ade” bit comes from a reference to the Jim Jones massacre in which people drank KoolAid at his prompting. (I might be misspelling things, but the essence is true.)

  7. Fifteen? Which century was that? You really are asking me to stretch my memory there, Jan.

    As for Starbucks, don’t go there myself. When I returned from visiting Britain a couple of years ago, my first act on clearing customs was to seek out the nearest Timmy’s. Then I knew I was home.

  8. Have you ever gone in to Starbucks an said, “I’d like a small cup of coffee…” You can hear the sucking of breath and feel the sneers from workers and patrons alike. What a waste of money.

    As for my Mother. We’ve always gotten along, but I am a guy. My Father was a different story.

  9. Whenever we are travelling in Canada, we stop at Tim Horton’s. I love the coffee and I love the Iced Caps, especially when I need a caffeine hit while driving.

    But when I’m home, I like going to Starbucks. I like being able to rhyme off decafe grande non fat latte. I like walking around Chapters and looking at all the trivia. And I like getting “rewards” from them. I know, I know, it’s all marketing. But it’s marketing that is so well written. I go along with it. I feel like they really do care about me. And they send me mail. Real hard copy mail. With a card for a “free” drink.

    As for the hives: there is nothing worse than taking your three-year-old to see the Easter Bunny. And (considering myself a good mother) I let my kid choose the PLAIN M&Ms, instead of the PEANUT M&Ms. Then we are driving home, and he says, “my mouth hurts” and I’m in traffic. I get home as fast as I can and get some Benadryl into him and then I look at that wrapper and discover that one of the ingredients in PLAIN M&Ms is Peanuts!!! The child survived and so did his mother. I wrote a letter to the company and told them not to put PLAIN on the wrapper because it was misleading to hurried mothers.

    1. Yikes, Suzanne! That could have been bad. And peanuts are everywhere, though at least the labeling is a little more transparent now.

      I do heart my bookstore-browsing experience. And yes, Starbucks is generally part of my ritual there.

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