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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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mom-in-law in hospital

Went to see my mom-in-law in the hospital yesterday. She seemed to be in good spirits in spite of the tubes in her stomach and the abysmal hospital food.
What is it about hospital food, anyway? How can hospital food be so universally reviled? Perhaps there is a Secret Book Of Rules somewhere in the hospital vaults, one of which is "Hospital Food Must Look And Taste Bad". Heaven help the hospital that breaks this rule; they'd probably be mobbed. Though I suppose there's actually a kind of logic to the unappealing esthetics of a hospital room...the point isn't to make patients WANT to stay, after all. ("I'm so bored this month. Hey hon, let's splurge and spend the weekend in Women's College Hospital!") One of the doctors foolishly left her stethoscope on a table in my m.i.l.'s room so I tried it out on myself. Couldn't hear a thing. Either I wasn't using it properly (I know, I know, how could one POSSIBLY not know how to use a stethoscope?) or I have no heart.

A niece story. My sister was at a toy store with my 3-year-old niece Sara. Sara saw a doll that she really, really wanted. She was allowed to hold it (carefully) and look at it, but was told they couldn't buy it that day.
My sister told her that perhaps she would get the doll for her birthday.

"When's my birthday?"

"In the summer, Sara. When it's warm outside and the flowers are growing and you can wear your swimsuit out in the backyard."

"Oh." (pause) "Are you going to think about it?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Well, in picture books when mommies think about it, they always get it at the end."

Jeff and I both agree that we would have made terrible parents, because by this time we would have broken down and bought Sara the doll. My sister didn't, though she said it was very hard to resist the temptation. :-)

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