An hour or so before midnight, I was posting entries in my photo blogs when, all of a sudden, it rained. I ran to retrieve the sinampay but I was too late. In the process, my head, shoulders, arms and upper back got wet. Since I was already out of the bedroom, I decided I might as well fix myself a cup of coffee.
As I sipped my coffee in the kitchen (with a matching cigarette, naturally), my still-wet hair brought to mind an acquaintance, a mother like me, who would insist that her then 7-year-old son wear a cap outdoors during the night, especially during the cold month of December. Baka raw sipunin (he might catch a cold). It might be more illustrative if I mention that when her son went swimming once with his T-shirt on, she made him get out of the water to change into another shirt because the one he was wearing was already wet. Yeah, change into a dry shirt then go back into the water again.
I admit that I can be a bitch when I hear comments like that. I find it so over acting and I have a tendency to scoff. Perhaps, I should be a little more understanding because that kind of mentality is, more often than not, borne out of ignorance. BUT, at the same time, I just feel that the understanding would be more proper when dealing with residents of the boondocks where science has not yet penetrated. You know, places where illnesses are still believed to be caused by disturbing the nuno sa punso.
But for a mother who grew up in the city and has had complete college education, I don’t think it’s too much to expect her to be a little more informed. The thing is, with this particular acquaintance, instead of informing herself, she prefers to take her mother’s words as gospel truth when it comes to anything child-related. And the mother’s medical knowledge has not progressed since the 1950s, I think. I mean, it’s touching how much she trusts her mother but she is an adult and should be responsible enough to inform herself for the sake of her own children.
Anyway, in the almost fifteen years that I’ve been a mother, I have learned a few things relative to my children’s health.
1) The common cold is caused by a virus, not cold climate. One can catch a cold anytime of the year — even during the height of summer. And, this I learned from my kids pediatrician, unlike bacterial infections, there are no medical cures for viral infections. That’s why it’s useless to take “cold medicine”. There are, however, remedies (try ginger tea) to help alleviate the symptoms (like runny nose).
NOT drinking cold beverages is not a way to cure the common cold.
It is NOT bad to take a bath when one has a cold.
2) When kids perspire and their shirts get wet, they won’t catch pneumonia. Otherwise, all athletes would be suffering from pneumonia permanently. The few years that we lived with my mother, she would pester me endlessly to change my daughters’ shirts every time they would get damp from perspiration. As in, change the shirts every 15 minutes or so. Gee, I might as well make them sit still in front of an electric fan and prevent them from playing.
3) Polio (poliomyelitis) is not caused by walking barefoot on the cold floor. Neither is it caused by the exposure of bare feet in cold air.
4) This is for females: Sleeping with the electric fan on, and the panties off, and even if the electric fan is directly between your legs and your legs are wide open, will not result in intestinal gas. Gas is caused by swallowed air and the normal breakdown of undigested food. Gas is a digestive issue and (isn’t that obvious?) the uterus is not connected to the stomach. One is more likely to get gas by sleeping after downing a bottle of Coke.
5) Circumcision does not make boys grow taller. Cutting of a piece of skin has no effect on hormones. It just so happens that most boys are circumcised just before they enter adolescence so that the circumcision seems to be followed by a sudden spurt of growth.
I can cite a dozen other superstitions but, anyway, you get the picture.