Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Drug of Choice

Something that I had been dreading finally happened. Last week was Red Ribbon Week at Bubba's school and the theme for the week was Drug Awareness.

On Friday evening, as Mr. Daddy reached for a beer, Bubba piped up, a sense of urgency in his voice, "Daddy! I know something that can help you! Mr. Counselor at school said that if you drink just one beer it can make you sick! Beer is bad for you, Daddy!"

Guh-reat. But at least we weren't in public when Bubba did this, like we were when I begged my mother, "Please don't get drunk, Mama! Please don't get drunk!"crying and hanging on her as she went into the liquor store to buy a bottle of Sangria. For the record, my mother was NOT a drunk. I can't probably count on one hand the number of drinks I saw her drink when I was a child. But I had a fear of drunk people (a long story) and I assumed that if you drank, you were going to get drunk.

"Bubba, you know, I'm not saying that Mr. Counselor is wrong, but it's okay for grown ups to drink beer. One beer is not going to make a grown up sick. Now if you drink too many, you might, but one is not going to hurt a grown up."

"Did you know that cigarettes are bad and that if you smoke a cigarette in a car it can kill you?" Bubba chimed in.

Having lived through several winters during which car rides were suffered through with the heat blasting, the windows rolled up, and both parents smoking, I felt like telling him that yes, it will kill you, or more correctly, will make you want to kill yourself. However, in the pursuit of absolulte truth I felt I had to correct him. We've told Bubba for years that cigarettes are YUCK (along with the Yankees), but we've never really discussed the health related issues.

"Well, Bubba, if you smoke one cigarette in a car, it won't really kill you. But if you smoke a lot of cigarettes it can make your lungs black and can give you cancer. And that might kill you."

"Why would anybody smoke?" Bubba asked incredulously.

We went into a long discussion about how addictive cigarettes are and how hard it is to quit and how people didn't really know at one time how bad they were for you. But Bubba seemed convinced that cigarette smokers are bad people. I reminded him that his Mimi and his Poppa both smoked at one time, but they had quit a long time ago. I think his position softened a little.

But last night, as we were waiting at the pharmacy for a prescription, I heard Bubba from the back seat "Mommy, look! Look at that man in that car cigarettin'!" revulsion in his voice.

Frankly, I don't care what he thinks about smokers. But don't be messin' with my beer.


AndreAnna said...

I am not looking forward to this. LOL

Debbie said...

I am so in agreement with you there. Don't mess with mama's wine. Speaking of which, my glass is empty.

Lauren said...

How about my two little angels, who can spot a beer aisle forty yards out?

Im going to have to keep C out of school that week.

for a different kind of girl said...

He's quite the passionate advocate, isn't he!? So funny!

I was one of those kids who would try to hold her breath for as long as possible when in the car with my parents, too. It's a wonder I came out unscathed!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

SO, so funny! "Look at that man in that car cigarettin'!" I have a friend whose young son broke down at the dinner table because the whole family was using tobasco, which he thought was "tobacco."

Leslie said...

Everything is black and white at this age, isn't it? Birdie's constant question to me is, "Is it illegal to [insert anything]?" And a lot of times the behavior, action, etc. isn't illegal, but maybe isn't socially acceptable, okay for kids, or something we've chosen as a family to do. But explaining that to her in a way that she can accept is nearly impossible.

Laurel said...

Wow...I bet that was a super proud moment for your mother! That is too funny. How is it that kids know how to embarrass their parents without even trying?

My kiddo walked past a man on the street who was taking a smoke break. He stopped dead in his tracks looked at him and said (loudly) people shouldn't smoke! I was mortified!

Katie in MA said...

Phew! I thought for a minute you said "(along with Yankees)" - like us sweet, kindhearted (ha!) northerners! And I was going to have to stage an intervention for little Bubba. :) But THE Yankees is different! THE Yankees are SURELY Satan's finest minions! So rock on with your stellar advice. He's lucky to have parents who care about teaching him the truth, even if it means opening themselves up to a million zillion questions.

Anonymous said...

Good for you and the beer. Beer makes the day better. And as a recovered smoker, good for you for teaching the little one about smoking being bad.

Sass E-mum said...

Beer? Ooh yes please. That'd be lovely.

calicobebop said...

My little girl calls the bottle of wine in our fridge "Mommy's Juice." Awww, yeah!

Glad to hear that Bubba has a very strong sense of self preservation! That ought to help him survive the college years with a few brain cells intact. :)

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh yes. THOSE days. I remember when they were that age and learning sooo many wonderful new things at school and coming home and dispensing wisdom.
Don't you wish you were a fly on the wall when the counselor is talking to them and just hear what they say back? I bet that counselor has gotten an ear full...

Trannyhead said...


I'm not there yet, but am sure that I'll here ALL about my glass of wine with dinner when my kid is the right age. It IS hard when they tell the kids that beer is REALLY BAD and then they see their parents having one and you have to explain that "one or two is ok for an adult but not for a kid."

Good luck with that!