I saw a tweet recently that made me laugh a lot:
With Belle, it would be the other way round:
Me: Have you had anything to drink at all today?
Belle: Sort of.
Me: What do you mean, 'sort of'?
Belle: Well, I had a shower this morning.
— Slummy Single Mummy (@mummyblogger) March 7, 2017
(Apologies Emma for blatantly copying your tweet for this blog post.)
I would say that getting her to drink enough is the source of about 87% of my parental stress, alongside getting her to go to school and her refusal to eat any foods that aren’t beige. She has a smoothie for breakfast, but she’ll often come home from school, having had about three sips out of her water bottle, and nothing else for the entire day. I honestly don’t know how she does it. If I don’t drink water throughout the day I feel noticeably different – headachey, sick, and generally awful. I don’t understand how she can go through a whole day without it even occurring to her to have a drink.
Are all teenagers this terrible at drinking water??
Evenings and weekends are a constant battle, with me chasing her around with glasses of water at intervals during the day. Often my questioning will go like this:
Me: Have you had a drink lately?
Belle: Yes, I’ve got one here.
I will look, and see a full glass of water sat on the table, looking like it has been there for at least three weeks.
Me, shouting like a crazy lady: It doesn’t count if it’s still in the glass!
I wouldn’t mind as much if she wasn’t always complaining about having a headache or feeling tired and sick, but it’s like she refuses to make the connection. When I talked to her about it for this post, she said that she thought she drunk plenty.
‘I definitely don’t lack energy!’ she said, doing an annoying little dance right in my face. But she would say that wouldn’t she? Teenagers see what they want to see.
If we’re out she’s a bit better, but then she mainly drinks things like Diet Coke, which isn’t ideal. What I would love is for her to be at school, or out and about, and to think to herself ‘you know, I haven’t had a drink for a while, I’m going to have one now.’ No prompting from me – just employing a bit of initiative. But how to do it?
Luckily the perfect opportunity has arisen to make her think more about what she drinks, in the form of Nutrition and Hydration Week, which takes place 13th to 19th of March. Robinsons has asked us to take part in a little hydration related experiment. They’ve sent us a selection from their range of seven fruity Robinsons Squash’d flavours, to see if having them will encourage Belle to drink more over the course of the week, and to see what impact this has on how she feels.
Belle really loves Robinsons Squash’d – partly for the novelty of them, partly for adding flavour to water which, of course, she thinks ‘tastes boring’. Robinsons Squash’d contains no more than three calories per 250ml serving and has real fruit in every drop. One tiny bottle is enough to make 20 tasty drinks, so it’s perfect for Belle to keep in her blazer pocket at school, or in her bag when we are out. (Belle has AMAZING blazer pockets. They seem to have that Mary Poppins quality about them, so every time I empty them to wash her blazer I’ll find about 14 pens, masses of bits of paper, crisp packets, Ferrero Rocher, bunches of keys – they are magical and bottomless.)
The added genius of this plan is that Belle can be relied upon to give a totally independent review of how she feels, probably playing down any changes, because she won’t want to prove me right. I know that she is going to have to admit that drinking more makes her feel better, but I also know that she’s going to hate me saying ‘you see! I told you you needed to drink more water!’
If Belle says that having the Robinsons Squash’d to add to her water helps her to drink more, and that she feels better as a result, (possibly through gritted teeth), you’ll know she really means it.
Check back next week to see how she gets on and make sure you follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for photos and updates during the week. (I have had an idea to make her take a bath in orange squash, mainly for funny photo purposes, so it will definitely be worth looking out for the follow up post…)