Every summer morning, my brother and I would look at the thermometer near the kitchen door. If the thermometer said it was 74 degrees outside, then we were allowed to wear shorts. It was a big deal.
And like most children in the small town we grew up in, we were sent outside to play for most of the day. We would get hot and couldn't be bothered to run into the house and get a drink from the kitchen (and we really didn't want Mom to see the mud on our new shoes) so we would drink from the garden hose.
Yes, I know that is disgusting. But as I child, I didn't think about dirt or germs or anything like that. I just thought: I'm thirsty. Here's water. It's somewhat cold.
But at least I drank water when I was hot. Because a recent study by Harvard researchers have determined that children are not drinking enough water. Through urine analysis of around 4,000 children, the study found that around 50% of children were dehydrated, with boys being more dehydrated than girls.
After all those years of carrying plastic water bottles around with me before switching to a permanent greener version, I think it is beyond time for me to remember to pass it over to my son and make sure he takes a good long drink.
It's hard to teach a child to stop and listen to their bodies and see if they are thirsty, especially when they are running around playing outside. I don't recommend that they use a garden hose either. For me, I think I am going to focus on the color of his pee.
He's five now - he thinks potty humor is funny, so telling him to watch out for dark yellow pee fits right into our lives. And, because he talks so much, he'll probably tell strangers all about it, which might make them wonder if they are dehydrated too.
Come on - admit it. You drank from the garden hose, too, didn't you?