Feb. 25th, 2006

juthwara: (Default)
As it turns out, treating thrush in an older infant is similar to treating lice - it's not terribly harmful, but getting rid of it requires thorough cleaning and constant vigilance. In the case of thrush, the yeast can get passed to anything that comes in contact with a baby's mouth, and in turn, can pass back if the baby decides to chew on that same object at a later point. And since an 8-month-old experiences the entire world through their mouth...

So we've been washing anything cloth in hot water with tea tree oil, wiping anything that would be destroyed by hot water down with vinegar and practicing a rather ruthless form of Darwinism on her plastic toys by boiling them along with her bottle nipples in a mixture of water and vinegar. The toys that survive will be the ones fit for her to play with. I would dip the entire house in boiling water if I could. Curiously, the cats seem resistant to my idea of spritzing them with vinegar, so I will have to hope that they can resist any yeast they might have acquired the times that parts of their bodies have ended up in K's mouth.

But an unanticipated consequence of all of this boiling vinegar is how strongly it has brought back a particular sense memory:

My father has always been a great cook. He made preserves, baked bread and pastries (I still miss the cinnamon rolls he would make for Christmas morning and the hot cross buns during Lent) and gifted us with strong spice tolerances with his Mexican food (he grew up in New Mexico; my mother, a New Englander who grew up in a house where spaghetti was considered spicy and exotic, thought she was going to die the first time he made her what he thought was a mild Mexican dinner).

But he also made his own mustard. It was a pungent process, to say the least. The smell of vinegar makes me about fourteen years old again, waking up late on a Saturday morning and walking out into the kitchen to be met by almost palpable waves of vinegar. You would think he was making vats of the stuff, but just one tiny pan was enough to cause your nose to wave a white flag of surrender.

I confess, I preferred the smell of baking cinnamon buns. But now that my father is no longer capable of cooking and, perhaps most importantly, now that I no longer have to eat breakfast flavored with eau du pickle factory, I'm actually fond of the smell of vinegar. It reminds me of the safe feeling of childhood, when my parents were strong and capable.

What are some of your sense memories from childhood?


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May 2015


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