So, a couple months ago as Katie, Ellie and I were walking home from school in the crisp fall air (that darkly foreshadowed the gloom and doom of Januaries to come*) Katie told me about an assembly they had all about allergies. Her story about the assembly prompted me to tell a story about a friend, who also had allergies. And, who, in respect to their Internets privacy I will hence forth in this post refer to strictly as "they" or "their" or "one" or "whom" or possibly "thou". Because online anonymity should be respected by everyone. Facebook.
On a side note: Everyone who got to this post through my personal Facebook account, "HI!" (Waves excitedly, like a bit of an idiot, but just a bit, because, sometimes it's more responsible to lie on the Internets than tell the truth.) And everyone who got here through my blogs Facebook account?
Yep. Those be crickets.
Anyway, as I was saying, I have a friend, One Whom when They were a baby was allergic to just about everything. I'm talking bread, chocolate, milk, nuts, strawberries, oranges, basically if normal people ate it, Thou was allergic to it. Except for carrots. So Their parents fed Them a safe diet of pureed carrots. Until Thee, Ye Friend, turned orange. For reals.
Except I've never seen a picture of my Friend as an orange baby. So, maybe not for reals. However, except for a weird distrust of my use of a vegetarian broth powder that one time They came over for dinner, has never proved to be anything but perfectly trustworthy and has yet to lead me astray in the realm of personal remembrances. So I can only assume, like Peeta and Katniss's love, Thee Thou's story is for totes real.
End of Necessary Backstory Which, Upon Reflection, May Not Have Been All That Necessary But Did Allow Me To Use The Words "Thou" And "Totes" In The Same Sentence Which Shakespeare Would Totes Appreciate, Obvi.
So, last night, when Katie and Ellie excitedly ran into the kitchen, their eyes shining with the twin lights of imagination and scientific inquiry (one for each eyeball, obvi), and asked if they could have some carrots and oranges for snack so they could turn themselves orange, like any good mother, I said no.
BECAUSE! Dinner was supposed to be in like 45 minutes, and, I couldn't have them ruining their appetites with carro-
Ok. Yeah. I eventually got there too.
So after I handed them each a carrot to "eat like a rabbit" I made them dinner:
Because I care about the quest for knowledge by young scientific inquirerous minds.
Plus I have, like, a whole box of nasty orange flavored Emergen-C to use up.
Which of course meant I spent all of dinner time reasoning with Katie and Ellie that drinking the whole glass of orange flavored Emergen-C was vital to the bond the ions of the beta carotene in the vegetables needed to make with the electrons of the manganese gluconate in order to achieve the perfect shade of orange skin. Which, considering the grades I got in Chem class in high school, might be true?
But then, Katie looked at me with her Mom-Used-Too-Many-Science-Words-In-A-Row-She's-Probably-Making-This-Up eyes, which meant I had two options; 1) confess I was full of scientific bravado or 2) own it.
----------(this is the part where)--------------
----------(I pretended to weigh)-------------
----------(both my options)------------
And that night, the kids were in bed half an hour early in order to allow their bodies to lie in an extended, relaxed and, obvi, prone stasis so that the process of carotenosis could develop fully on their skin.
Because beta carotene is a terpenoid that derives from isoprene units. So it's very lipophilic. Which means, in order for carotenemia to establish itself, it needs 8-10 hours in a dark, cozily warm environment that doesn't keep coming downstairs asking Mommy for a drink of water... or a special stuffed animal... or if they can read just one more chapter of their book...or if....
And then? (deep sigh) All through the house not a creature was stirring because the children were too busy trying to turn into human carrots and I was watching the newest episode of Sherlock. Blissfully uninterrupted.
*She said in her best Alferd Packer imitation. Which also comes in song form.