Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

The Insufficient Child hr644

on July 16, 2021
Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

I was a nine-year-old child living in Kyoto when I was hospitalized for nephritis. In my room for six patients of the children’s ward, a girl named Ayumi also suffered from nephritis and was next to my bed. She was so little, probably three or four years old, that her mother was allowed to stay in the ward on the makeshift couch beside her bed.
Ayumi’s mother studiously read thick medical books everyday to study kidney disease for Ayumi’s recovery while looking after Ayumi. She would ask millions of questions to an intern nurse and learned from her by taking detailed notes. For Ayumi’s medication, she went to get wafer papers and would divide a dose of powdered medicine into a couple of small wrapped doses three times a day so that Ayumi took it easily.
Next to her bed, I was struggling to swallow powdered medicine though I was nine, and often coughed up and blew powder all over my bed. My mother was hardly around. She visited me barely a few minutes before the visiting time was over and left immediately. She blamed her dash visit for her busy work as a farmer, but I doubted she cared. Looking at what Ayumi’s mother was doing for her, I was stunned by the difference between her mother and mine. Mine had never been attentive like hers even when I was a small child as far as I remembered.
The worst part of my hospitalized days was loneliness and hospital meals. As a nephritis patient, I was banned from taking in salt. My meals are salt-free and with minimum seasoning. I felt like eating sponge three times a day. The volume wasn’t enough either for me who was chubby. Because I persistently complained about the meals to my mother during the short visit, she brought me potato chips. Since potato chips were deemed as the biggest taboo for nephritis, she told me to hide under the bed and move the contents from its flashy package into a plastic bag. She continued to bring other salty snacks and I made a bag of my best mix under my bed. I was strolling about the hallway, carrying the plastic bag of snacks in one hand, munching in my mouth. In case I passed someone, I stopped munching and hid the bag behind my back. But one afternoon, Ayumi’s mother caught me. She asked me to show her the plastic bag. As I did, she said somewhat sadly, “It contains everything you can’t have.” I ignored her caution and kept snacking on what my mother brought. My mother urged me to hide under my bed and let me eat a can of corned beef with a big topping of mayonnaise there. As a result, I stayed chubby in the hospital despite the controlled healthy meals.
One day, a younger girl who had been annoying all the time next to my bed on the opposite side of Ayumi enraged me. I was bashing her with a coloring book while yelling the biggest taboo word in the hospital this time, “Die! Die! Die!”, with full force. Impatient at my unprincipled behavior, Ayumi’s mother raised her voice toward me, “That’s enough, Hidemi! Clean up your act, already!” I thought she was a carping critic because I hadn’t realized evilness of my mother yet back then and had been such a nasty child who had totally accepted my mother’s bad influence.
Ayumi’s father came to visit her on his day off. I was taking powdered medicine on my bed that I had gotten used to swallowing without problems by then. He said to me smiling, “You have gotten the knack of it and no longer choked. Good for you!” I wondered how he had known that as I had rarely seen him here.
A family of caring. Not that I was familiar with.


16 responses to “The Insufficient Child hr644

  1. You must be very strong. You survived eating a can of corned beef with a big topping of mayonnaise. That would kill most people. 😁

  2. Jas krish says:

    Our mind always ends up retaining the extreme experiences, the best and the worst. But , unfortunately recalls the bad ones more frequently. I can imagine what a 9 yr child must have been going through eating saltless meals. Parents do go wrong in such cases giving into the child’s cravings. Making up for the lack of time they give to the child by meeting his/ her all demands.
    Thank God you came through the difficult phase and I am sure woukd have certainly come out strong.
    Stay blessed always
    🙏🌹🌹

  3. Toonsarah says:

    I am glad you came through this time. It is such a shame that you didn’t have the full support of your mother as Ayumi did.

  4. juliadeniro says:

    I’m sorry you had to deal with that without a parent. It was cruel of your mother to neglect you like that. So glad you got through it.

  5. Hidemi Woods says:

    Thank you for sharing my story. We can’t choose a mother, can we? I really appreciated your kind words. Thanks!

  6. Riya says:

    Such a emotional story..wonderfull

  7. cat9984 says:

    What an awful experience. Glad you made it through. Great job describing what you were going through

  8. An author says:

    You are so Brilliant. You liked one of my blogs back in 2018 and now I’m stumbling on yours again. Yay! Greetings from Detroit, 🇺🇸:)

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