Mother Goose Addicted?

In the spirit of all good Twelve Step Programs, including Alcoholics Anonymous…

“Hello. My name is Mother Goose, and I came here this afternoon to admit that I am an ice chewer.”

The first step is always to admit that you have a problem. Yes, I have that problem. Even now, as I type this sentence, I am thinking about ice, cubed and crushed. But the good news is that I am getting free of my addiction; in fact, I’ve gone nearly 48 hours without chewing, except for a small bit of Joe’s slushy yesterday which I dumped in the sink as soon as I got home.

“Mother Goose,” you ask. “How did this happen? Why did you start? What was missing in your life that you needed to turn to ice, cubed and crushed?”

I can only hang my head in shame.

Like all addictions and OCDs, it all began so very innocently. It was a warm day in Oak Park, and I needed to cool off. I walked to the refrigerator and held my cup under the ice-maker spout. The ice cubes happily chunked out and into my cup. I added some water. Mother Goose is in the stage of her life when “hot flashes” are an issue, so sucking on ice cubes and drinking ice water throughout the day seemed reasonable. In fact, it seemed practically medicinal!

When the ice cubes became soaked in water and softer, I would chew them. They crunch so well between my teeth, making a satisfying solid sensation. Within the span of a few short days, that crunch feeling combined with the cooling effects of the ice became an unusual obsession for Mother Goose.

I was sneaking ice. When nobody was looking, I’d get just a few more cubes in my cup. I would hastily steal other people’s ice from their cups when they weren’t looking. The middle of the night ice. The first thing in the morning ice. The cup of ice for the road. One for the car. One to take along on my walk. Two for the afternoon baseball games, one for the movie theater. It was becoming so overwhelming.

I walked into a bar, and honked, “Gimme a cuppa ice, and make it snappy!”

Oh poor Mother Goose…her large rubbery feet were taking her down a very slippery road. Many of her family and friends expressed concern, even alarm, as she consumed more and more of the frozen substance. Even my precious nine year old AnnaRose googled “chewing ice” to find out what she could do to help her mommy.

“Please, Mom, at least eat it crushed instead of cubed,” she pleaded with me.

I’m so embarrassed to say that Mother Goose simply shrugged her shoulders and greedily took another cube into her mouth.

And then the side effects began to bother me. The constant chill in my mouth caused 24-hour dry mouth syndrome. I bought a special mouth spray product to help with that. See how one problem can lead to many? And then my tongue became sore and inflamed — no amount of pain relief gel could ease my discomfort….or my guilt.

The syndrome of ice chewing is an OCD, an obsessive-compulsive disorder. It even has an official medical name, Pagophagia. Chomping and chomping, day and night, for weeks now Mother Goose could not bear the thought of having an addiction. I was living on ice and denial.

“Seriously,” I told myself and others. “This can’t be a real problem.” Twenty years ago, I quit smoking cigarettes. That was a real problem, and it was very difficult addiction to quit. How would I be able to kick this new habit? Is there even a “patch” for this?

Mr. Mother Goose has tried to reason that there must be a logical explanation, an underlying medical condition which lays just below the surface of his wife’s problem. He has consulted with women friends, and has been told that Mother Goose must be anemic. Surely a daily iron pill down the gullet will refresh her and cure her disorder within a month. Though I certainly do appreciate that diagnosis, I must point out that Mother Goose has been a blood donor for over a year, and my blood is checked every three months for anemia. I have never been told that I have low iron, or even borderline low iron. We must dismiss that diagnosis…

I can only confess that I am a goose with a problem. I can only take one day at a time to get over this. I would humbly ask for your prayers for strength and courage to overcome my addiction.

My family, I beg your forgiveness. I now realize how badly I have hurt you, how selfish I have been — thinking only of myself and where I’d get the next cup of ice. How could I have been so misled to think that chewing ice could solve my problems? Please forgive me and please give me another chance to prove that I’m a healthy goose with a good grip on life, that I don’t need this ice crutch anymore.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at “Coping with the symptoms of Menopause — healthy alternatives to ice chomping”. I hope you’ll return for that informative post.

In the meantime, please share with Mother Goose your own personal experiences. Are you a recovered ice chewer? Do you have other OCDs you’d like to discuss? Is there a better way to cool off? Is there hope for Mother Goose?

Grace and Mercy

“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

These were Jesus’ words to the Pharisees and teachers of the law in ancient Israel. They had brought to Him a woman caught in the very act of adultery, indeed, a crime worthy of capital punishment at that time. Electrocution and lethal injection hadn’t caught on yet — they were gathering stones. Rocks. Boulders, if possible.

Rumor has it that they had set up the woman intentionally. It’s all ancient politics, of course, but they were actually trying to trap Jesus Himself into breaking one of their many laws by whichever answer He gave them regarding her execution. In an interesting side note, their law required the execution of both parties of the adultery, not just the woman….but oh well, they weren’t really interested in maintaining the purity of the law anyway….

So they asked Jesus, “Well, she’s broken the Law. We actually caught her in the act. Moses said that we should stone such women. Now what do you say?”

The Bible says that Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. I wonder what He was writing… maybe the names and sins of the men before Him… maybe all the laws that would have to be changed because of God’s love… maybe He was remembering and recording the day when each of these men would themselves pass away into eternity. We just don’t know what Jesus was writing, but His wisdom remains in His words to the accusers.

“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

One by one, the men walked away from the scene. The older ones left first. They wouldn’t get their blood satisfaction today. Finally only Jesus was left with the woman still standing there. He stood up from His writing and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

God’s mercy.

His mercy is shocking. It was scandalous two thousand years ago, and it is still scandalous today. He was such a controversial figure in His culture that the religious leaders of His time strangely found Him guilty of blasphemy and had Him executed just to get Him out of the way, to silence Him, to prevent Him from leading a revolution, an insurrection against the Roman government. The religious leaders had no idea that His Kingdom is not of this world, and that His followers would soon be spreading His good news all around the world. He was convicted in a mock trial and sentenced to death via torture on the Roman cross. Capital punishment for a sinless man. Sinless man. He never even had a sinful thought! The death penalty for the son of God who knew no sin EVER.

And yet, here’s what they didn’t have a clue about: He took our sins with Him to the cross. He was executed in our place. We deserved the death penalty for our sins against a holy God, but Love stepped in and saved us from that eternal horror.

God’s grace.

How do I feel about the death penalty? I hate it. It has no place in our country or in our world today.

But I’m eternally thankful for the cross.

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 79,306 honks to date

What’s New? What’s Old?

March 2023