Damn You, Disney!

Funny - Chloe in Panic
So then…my daughter Chloe clutches her tummy, writhes about in bed, and complains about a stomach ache AGAIN.

1st Diagnosis:
This is probably her wily way of prolonging snuggle time. She’s 7 and loves to chatter and giggle as we lay in her bed before bedtime, so a tummy ache makes me stay longer with her.

It’s not so much a PAINFUL ache – it’s more of an ANNOYING ache – and I’m usually able to distract her or get her to sleep when they occur.

But this has been going on for a long time, so I take her to the pediatrician just to check it out.

Lots of questions, poking, prodding — which leads to:

2nd Diagnosis:
Perhaps she’s not moving her bowels frequently enough?
Hello, Metamucil and fiber-rich food.
But the intermittent stomach aches continue, so then the doctor suggests:

3rd Diagnosis:
Perhaps she’s lactose-intolerant?
Goodbye milk, cheese, and ice cream.
Hello tears. (From her AND me, because dammit, it’s hard to scarf down a Baskin-Robbins sundae when your lactose-intolerant kid is jabbing you in the ankles with a spoon.)
So we ALL forgo dairy.
And while there seems to be a reduction in frequency, the stomach aches continue.

So now friends suggest a therapist.
“For ME?” I ask hopefully.
“No, for HER, you knucklehead!” they respond. “Maybe she’s stressed out, so her tummy hurts.”
“What does a 7-year-old have to be stressed about?” I wonder.
But I gently and casually talk to Chloe about school, friends, family, activities, etc to see if there’s any anxiety in a particular area. Nope, all’s clear. Very happy, cheerful little girl.

But she still complains about occasional stomach aches, so I take her to a Gastroenterologist.
Oh yes I do.
Let’s get a specialist up in here!
My poor baby’s suffering. Let’s fix this now!
Which leads to:

4th Diagnosis:
Perhaps she has reflux
or ulcers
or diverticulitis
or ulcerative colitis
or celiac disease.

“Perhaps she should stop eating gluten,” the Gastroenterologist says.
“What has gluten in it?” I ask.

Turns out: Everything.

EVERYTHING has gluten in it!
Wait, purists, let me rephrase that.

So now we begin the painstaking process of figuring out what this poor kid can eat.

And still the frikkity-frik stomach aches pop up every few days.

I admit defeat.

I am baffled.

But she’s a trooper, this Chloe. We try to avoid lactose and gluten, but they creep back in. We try to keep stress to a minimum. The aches begin to dissipate.

Then, other things take center stage – other things claim our focus as life goes on.

Finally one night, I’m lying on Chloe’s bed while she’s getting ready in the adjoining bathroom and I realize:

“Omigosh! Do you realize it has been MONTHS since you’ve had a stomach ache? Like, literally MONTHS and MONTHS!”

“Yeah,” she says nonchalantly. “They stopped a long time ago. I figured out what it was.”

She says this dismissively like it’s no big deal.

I sit up abruptly. “WHAT!? You know WHY you had all those stomach aches? WHAT WAS IT?

She pokes her head out of the bathroom. “I was allergic to something in my Disney Princess toothpaste. So if I swallowed some, it made my tummy hurt. As soon as I switched to Crest, the stomach aches stopped.”



Pediatricians, Metamucil, lactose, gluten, stress, gastroenterologist, and celiac disease?


AND she didn’t even tell me when she found out!  She didn’t put me out of my medical-mystery misery!

It’s almost enough to make me write a strongly-worded letter to the Disney company and include my receipts for all the doctor visits, soy milk, and chalk-tasting gluten-free cookies we suffered through.

But oh, Bella, Ariel, and Cinderella, I can’t hold it against you.

You probably don’t know your toothpaste contains Sodium Fluoride, Sorbitol, Hydrated Silica, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Trisodium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Saccharin, Carbomer, Red 28.

And you probably don’t know the Directions on the product that you use in YOUR MOUTH say: “Do not swallow.” And if too much is swallowed, “get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” 

Really, call the Poison Control Center? On a toothpaste for KIDS?

Oh, Disney.

— Darcy Perdu

Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Shelly Draven

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(Of course we laugh about this now — can you relate?  Have any of YOUR mysteries been solved by something equally ridiculous? Any “Damn you, Disney” moments to share? Let me know in the Comments Section!)
Funny - Damn You, Disney

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33 replies on “Damn You, Disney!

  1. K.Haskins said:

    Oh, what a freaking nightmare.I can’t even imagine. Wouldn’t it be “nice” if the manufacturers would ACTUALLY think about what kind of chemical crap they’re putting in our ACTUAL kids’ mouths? Or is that just TOO much to bloody ASK? I’d SO be seething…!

    • Exactly! Disney markets the toothpaste TO kids, but the Disney Princess toothpaste tube actually says “Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age.” So…um…who is supposed to use this Princess toothpaste — 40-year-old men? :o)

  2. Judy said:

    My stomach ached just reading this. And I did have to admit I wondered if an extra-early puberty was going to be the culprit.

    Hey, that grown up toothpaste isn’t much better if you are sensitive. I used to get dull headaches ALL THE TIME. It turns out it was a sensitivity to mint/mint flavoring. Now I use non-minty toothpaste and all is well. Well, except the part that you can’t just pick that up at the grocery or regular drug store.

    • That’s amazing that the mint flavoring gave you headaches! When someone has a tummy ache or headache, people naturally think of what they’ve been eating or drinking — but apparently they need to add toothpaste as a potential suspect!

  3. KAte said:

    At the risk of being boring…when they say keep out of the reach of children, what they mean is don’t let your kid have free access to the tube, because young children still need help/supervision brushing their teeth. They tend to use wayyyy to much toothpaste and they also tend to swallow too much of it. Hence the Keep out of reach warning.

    • good point — and apparently she WAS swallowing a bit too much! I’ve now added
      “toothpaste” to my list of potential suspects if someone has a stomach ache!

      • KAte said:

        Man when you’re a mom that list of suspects is never ending.

  4. I always wondered what happened if I swallowed too much toothpaste. Now I know to not swallow it!

    Seems products were so much safer back when we were kids. I used to just worry about swallowing my gum back then!
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    • Ah, the good ol’ days! Back then, my siblings and I lived on fried baloney sandwiches, Cheetos, and Ding Dongs so we probably ingested quite a few chemicals anyway! Ha!

    • no, she didn’t! that little knucklehead! I DID give her a bit of a hard time for neglecting to clue me in, but I was so HAPPY that the mystery was solved, I didn’t fuss too much!

  5. Unbelievable! But – smart girl! I’m normally Damning Disney for how much we spend at their parks. It’s like crack…

    • Ha! yes, spending at Disney parks IS like crack — anything to see our kids beam and grin!

  6. Shut. Up. REALLY?! THAT’S what it was?? That’s ridiculous! Of course, we’re not at the toothpaste stage yet (my daughter is only 2), but I do remember the first time we tried trainer toothpaste, she upchucked everywhere. And now she refuses the stuff.

    • oooh, poor daughter! and uh-oh, poor mother! you got your work cut off for you, girl! good luck with that! :o)

  7. So sorry this happened to you…I feel like that is a total rob, and you should probably be compensated from Disney…probably with a free vacation. I am just saying.-Ashley

    • I agree! I think I’m gonna grab the kids and show up at Disneyland to demand a free weekend due to the “Disney Toothpaste Debacle” — and if anyone questions me, I’m gonna say, “But Ashley said it’s ok!” :o)

  8. One of my co-workers was using his phone yesterday and the automated voice, inside the phone, was asking him to press 1 for something or another… He kept pressing 1. Over and over… and over. He finally realized that he was using the number pad of his keyboard… Problem solved.

    • that’s so funny — and totally something that I would do too!

  9. It doesn’t taste great, and I doubt kids would go for it, but I’ve switched to a pinch of baking soda. Works just fine, w/o the chemicals.
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    • Hey! we would brush with baking soda when my Mom was out of toothpaste! — and you’re right — it works great!

  10. Princesses give me the trots, as well. I think it’s all the sweetness…my belly can’t take it.

  11. Kat Caldwell said:

    Sorry Darcy and Chloe but I did laugh out loud at this!

    • Thanks, Kat, glad you did! We laugh about it now too!

    • exactly! the Disney Princesses are now banned from this house!

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  13. lea said:

    My daughter has stomachaches like yours and she has a Princess toothpaste! I’ll change it to see if there is a différence. Thank you so much!!

    • Good luck, Lea! I hope that is the cause of the stomachaches because that will be easy to fix!