the cough syrup conundrum

nobody gave Mary Poppins any lip

So Big is sick. Was sick. Is sick for how long, who knows. Word on the street is this could last another week or so of annoying coughing.  He missed a week of school for fever and cough. The real kicker was that Little was sick too and also missed a week of preschool. Only, he was sick with a totally DIFFERENT disease. He couldn’t go to school because of some rule they have against excessive pooping or something ridiculous like that. So we were just a big happy family; coughing and pooping our pants. Here’s my beef though (no the coughing and pooping aren’t actually the beef)

So, Big is hacking up a lung.  Seriously, I think  I saw something like this in that Everest Documentary years ago. Like actual green pieces of lung. Why green, I don’t know. He is old enough now to LEGALLY be given over the counter cough medicine. He has at several points been legally allowed to take it and then banned from taking it and now can take it again. It’s actual effectiveness is questionable, but I am desperate. He is desperate. In tears because he can’t sleep because of all the coughing and lung hacking.

I say, “Here is some medicine to help you stop coughing.”

Then he’s supposed to take it from my hand and gulp it down, grimace and then promptly stop coughing and fall into a deep and cough free ten-hour rest.

He doesn’t. He says, “What does it taste like?” What does it taste like? It’s cough syrup. It’s medicine.

It doesn’t taste as bad as dish soap, tin foil or dog poop. But, it doesn’t taste as good as candy, Kool-Aid or bacon. I say, “Not too good, but not soooo bad.”

He says, “I have to think about it.”

Excuse me? At this point I wonder what my options are. Now that he is eight and bigger and stronger than he was at say, seven, I can’t physically force him to take it. I also don’t want to make empty threats about what I’ll do if he doesn’t, because isn’t it really his choice. It’s not like life or death here. What would my mom do?

My mom wouldn’t have had to do anything but hand me the little cup and watch me choke it down because that’s what I would have done. I wouldn’t have thought there were any other options, like say, not taking it. When I was a kid my mom gave me medicine I took it. Unless it was a Flintstones vitamin, baby aspirin or bubble gum penicillin, you were out of luck, it just tasted bad, but you choked it down anyway. You didn’t expect medicine to taste good. Now parents can choose from a list of hundreds (slight exaggeration, perhaps) of flavors, so it doesn’t taste bad. Now, my children and maybe everyone’s children expect that everything in life tastes good, even the medicine.

We’ve ( I’m saying We because I SO hope I’m not the only one here) concentrated so hard on making life so great and enjoyable and fulfilling for our children that they don’t know that not every minute and every morsel will be that way. What does that mean for their futures? Do we need to go out of our way to show them that not everything is puppies and rainbows? Make them be bored? Eat liver and onions? Go to the Mustard Museum for the afternoon? We need to do something, short of feeding them dish soap and tin foil I’d say.

So, did he take the medicine after his careful deliberations? Yes he did. With an apple juice chaser and a thorough tongue clawing afterwards. He slept really well and so did I.


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now what’s that now?

what’s done is done


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