Gerb De Column Writer – Good question: why?

Last summer I had a funny conversation with my two little cousins, ages six and eight. In the summer I always like to make cocktails as a cool snack at the barbecue. My two little friends also joined us this time and of course I also made a cocktail for them. A children's cocktail. You know it, a little mineral water, lemonade syrup and of course a slice of lemon around the rim of the glass. Almost real. They are happy every time. After a while I saw the little one looking at my big people cocktail and then his gaze went to me. “What's in your cocktail anyway?” he asked me. “Uhh, grown-ups drink alcohol, so not for kids.” I answered. “Alcola?!” “No, alcohol.” And there came the question that I was actually expecting: “What is that?” Well, explain that in child language.

Meanwhile the eldest heard our conversation and came to join us. The first thing that came to mind was, “When it's someone's birthday, people drink alcohol and they get happy.” Unbelievable, what a stupid explanation from me. “Oh, I want that too!” they both cried in unison. No wonder I don't have kids yet. Then try two. I told them that alcohol is very bad for children and that they should not drink it. And another good question followed: “Why are grown-ups allowed to drink it?” And there went my fantasy. I told them that if children drink alcohol, they stop growing and stay small. So don't do it. I wanted to joke about Frodo from Lord of the Rings, but changed my mind just in time. Fortunately they believed me. I had a good talk there. Then the second time.

The following week it was the oldest birthday and asked me if I wanted to make a kid's cocktail for him. “But without alcohol, because I want to be as tall as you”. Oh yes, I thought. So I will be hearing this more often. Oh well, as long as they stay away from it, right? A little later that afternoon the littlest one came and sat on my lap and said in his sweet little voice: “Everyone drinks 'alcohol', because everyone is happy!” Some explanation topics really stick with children for a long time, I thought. Oh dear.

My sister and brother-in-law also participate in IkPas. So an alcohol-free month for them too. I was just visiting them this week and we shared our experiences of not drinking. Fortunately, not only am I the only one with the most crazy dreams and my sister is also fresh and fruity next to her bed at six thirty. For fun, I made a kid's cocktail for all of us. Of course that was noticed by the males. “Why don't you drink a big people cocktail?” Noticed the smallest. "I'm not drinking any alcohol this whole month, honey." I said. And there came the 'why' question again. I told him in 'my' childhood language that it is good sometimes not to drink alcohol, because then you become healthier. I saw him think and was very curious about what he would ask next. But then he said, "Don't do it, you've been around long enough!"


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