Look, doctor, let's cut to the chase: I don't care how long he's going to live or how to alleviate his pain.
The 16-year-old has had a sore throat for three days, didn't tell anyone and repeatedly drank directly from the milk and orange juice cartons. He puts the spoon from his mouth back into the ice cream and the yogurt and he wipes his face with the kitchen towels. He's earned his suffering. Just tell me what I should take. My throat and I are leaving for Paris in four days.
The doctor looks at me for a minute and considers. Perhaps I am a refreshing change of pace from all of those other mothers, overwrought with actual concern for their sick children. Perhaps he is making a mental note to call in a social worker. Maybe he sees a chance to be a hero. "Vitamin C," he says finally. "It can't hurt."
We'll know more in a couple of days. I shouldn't say this out loud, but I like my chances. I don't drink milk or eat ice cream and I avoid the yogurt container like the plague that it is. Orange juice + virus seems like a fair fight and so far, at least, I've never seen him go near a wine bottle.
His sister, on the other hand, inhabits the same pathogen orbit as he does and she's traveling with me. She's not a complainer, thank god, but I wouldn't want to bet my vacation on her temperament under strep conditions. Not that I have any choice.
C'est la fucking vie. Pardon my French.