Medicine Cocktails

In one of the small compartments tucked away in the corner of my brain, there is a memory that I can pull out and access clearly. In this memory, two little kids are coming down the stairs, laughing, each with a little medicine cup in hand, my son with a bottle of Motrin. A new bottle that is now more than half finished. My children had been doing shots with a liquid fever reducer. I remember the panic I felt as I dialed Poison Control and the relief when I learned they would not overdose.

In another compartment, there is a memory involving an antibiotic. I can see myself measuring out the dose on the counter for my baby and then taking the dose to that baby who was sitting in her high chair. When I come back to the counter 31.3 seconds later, the bottle of antibiotics is empty, and I rush to dial the pediatrician. I know that children can’t overdose on antibiotics, so I leave Poison Control alone this time, but I now need another prescription.

These are two memories tucked away, the most vivid of a few. Given my children’s propensity for sneaking medicine, one could imagine my surprise when I’ve had to enlist every creative means possible to get my daughter to take her antibiotic this week, the same daughter who did shots with Motrin and downed a bottle of Amoxicillin.

We tried the normal way–give her the cup and drink. She refused. I then tried putting the antibiotic in a medicine syringe. She continued to turn her head. I next resorted to force. Caleb held down her arms while I tried to shoot the medicine down the back of her throat–I needed someone to hold her head, too, unfortunately.

After Hannah Grace losing her dose of medicine and my sweatshirt gaining it, I called the nurse:

“Can I mix the medicine with anything?”

“Yes, chocolate syrup.”

Darn me and my healthy eating.

Since I didn’t have any chocolate syrup, I resorted to syrup of the maple variety. After all, in another compartment of my brain, I have a memory of Hannah Grace standing with the refrigerator open, chugging a bottle of 100% pure maple syrup. This should’ve been a piece of (pan)cake.

It wasn’t.

Another dose of medicine lost, a new meaning to knots in the hair gained. I tried to brush Hannah Grace’s hair, but the brush couldn’t even move through the combination of sticky syrup and gooey medicine. I pleaded. I threatened:

“If you don’t let me brush these knots out, I’m going to have to get your hair cut really short like a little boy!”

“I want to look like a little boy!”

I had forgotten that she does, in fact, want to look like a little boy.

I tried applesauce. It hurt her tongue. I tried chocolate pudding. She finger-painted with it (No joke. She seriously got a piece of construction paper and made handprints with her chocolate-medicine-pudding while I was cleaning the toilet).

And then I gave up.

Except, I couldn’t really. The strep throat germ had to be killed. I called the pharmacy and filled the second prescription that the nurse had called in earlier for me that day when things weren’t looking too hot. But we added watermelon flavor this time, per Hannah Grace’s request. And I headed to Publix at 7 p.m. with a baby in her pajamas, a little boy with his hands in his pockets, and a little girl with severe knots in her hair.

And I type in fear this morning.

There are no more medicine cocktails that I can create. She must drink the watermelon-flavored medicine, the $3 more expensive watermelon-flavored medicine, this child of mine who used to do shots with Motrin and drink Amoxicillin like it was sweet tea.

Maybe I should make a pitcher of tea, just in case….

6 thoughts on “Medicine Cocktails

  1. This is laughing out loud FUNNY. But, i do hope you have success with the watermelon flavor. If not, try the sweet tea. ♥


    1. All the things we discover as parents, right? Sometimes I think I should go back and get a medical degree….:)


  2. Oh the joys of having children. They never do what you want them to do when you want them to do it but some how as parents we always find a way right? On a side note its good to know in the future I can try chocolate syrup with my daughter if I need too.


  3. Chocolate pudding didn't work for me, but in my daughter's defense, that medicine was gross! I tasted it after seven or so attempts. Perhaps if I tried it sooner, I would've realized that applesauce and pudding wouldn't help! (And I don't know if the chocolate syrup suggestion is okay for all liquid medicines or just that particular antibiotic, but I'm definitely going to ask before I fill each prescription!)


  4. Jennifer! All you had to do was to tell her she couldn't have it and leave the bottle on the table for a minute and go in the next room.



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