For about the last year (actually, I can trace this back to almost the exact same time she started preschool at what we now refer to as the Germ Factory), The Dormouse has been extremely susceptible to every virus that comes our way. But she doesn't just get a runny nose like most kids... oh no, she had to go and take after her father with fevers that could burn the bedclothes off - thereby scaring the bageezes out of her parents and sending us running on several late night trips to incredibly unhelpful emergency rooms.

As she's grown, I've gotten a better handle on dealing with this - as opposed to the Oh crap, I've broken my daughter stance I used to take when she was younger. These days, we are much better at seeing the whole thing coming anyway and get that ounce of prevention into her much earlier in the process.

After a two month fit of coughing with no other symptoms whatsoever a while back, we discovered the wonder of Vitamin C crystals. We'd tried every over-the-counter and prescription cough medication possible and nothing helped. Just when I was debating putting her to bed with an open bottle of Jack Daniels next to her and telling her it probably wasn't so bad to take a swig every time she coughed, Dr. Google suggested that sometimes ginormous doses of Vitamin C would boost the immune system enough for the body to take care of itself in cases like that. A parent on a message board said they used Vitamin C in crystal form. Out of desperation, I bought a bottle at a local vitamin shop and added it to the list of meds we were giving her. It did the trick (or perhaps it was all just a coincidence - timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance). Now when we see a crazy virus swooping in from the left, we almost always start dealing with it by trying to get her immune system up first. And usually it helps. She may still get sick, but it's been awhile since we've seen the thermometer climb up to 106 and that's a good thing.

The one problem with that is this: that stuff is N-A-S-T-E-E. Just a teaspoonful in a normal-sized glass of juice makes it so tart, it's like eating an entire bag of those Sour Patch Kids candies with a glass of concentrated lemon juice as a chaser. The Dormouse took one sip of it dissolved into an entire glass of orange juice and refused to drink OJ for the next week, so bad was her experience. So after much trial and error, we've hit upon the perfect preparation method. It involves putting a teaspoon of Vitamin C crystals in a shot glass, filling it with orange juice and almost equal amounts of sugar, then stirring like mad and having her gulp it down in one fell swoop.

She thinks it's cool to drink from a tiny glass, so it's a novelty which almost makes her forget how much the whole thing makes her mouth invert. The one drawback to this, I discovered last night as dinner, when the KingofHearts handed her an OJ/Vitamin C cocktail to drink before she started eating and she said:

"First I will have my shot. Then if I eat all my green beans, I get to have another shot. Then if I clean my whole plate and I'm a good girl, I get another shot for dessert."

Yeah... that's gonna come back to bite us in the butt later.