We were driving home after Chinese tutoring, and both girls were complaining about tummy aches. Actually, Maya started complaining after chugging her hot chocolate -- too much, too fast. Zoe wanted her fair share of attention, so she joined in with the tummy complaints.
We were talking about taking "tummy medicine (Pepto Bismol)" when we got home, and Zoe said, "Will it work? Being Asian is not the same as being American." I asked if she meant it was different being Asian and being Caucasian, since she was Asian and American. Yes, that's what she meant.
After that clarification, I still had to ask, "How is it not the same?" Zoe said, "Medicine isn't the same. Like you take headache medicine and your headache goes away, but when you give it to me, I still have a headache." Hmm, first I've heard that the Tylenol hasn't worked for her. But how interesting that she attributes it to being Asian, especially since she really isn't prone to attributing every difference to being Asian.
I told her that sometimes medicine worked differently for different people, even if they were all Caucasian or Asian. But, I explained, there was also scientific research that showed medicine working differently on people of different races, and scientists were still working to find the answers about how medicine worked for different people. I asked if she had learned about that in school, or if she'd heard anyone else talk about it, and she said no. (Have you been sneaking in lessons on medicine, Dr. Lisa?!)
I'm still pretty stunned that she kind of stumbled onto a heavy scientific issue, based on her observations about how headache medicine works for me and how it works for her. I can see it now -- my daughter the doctor. . . .
The Angrier Adoptee, part 1
1 week ago