Just A Spoonful Of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down… (A List!)

…In a most delightful way!


Um, not quite.  In my house, this is what (maybe, possibly, potentially, if there’s a full moon, and if there’s a new episode of “Ninjago” On Demand) helps a teaspoon of amoxicillin go down the hatch twice a day for eternity ten days:

Flavor.  These days, you can make kids’ medicine taste like whatever you want…for a price.  For this particular round of meds, we chose…drum roll…bubble gum.  Yum-o!  Except it’s all a sham.  Kids. Don’t. Like. Medicine. Even if it tastes like strawberry cotton candy iced donuts.

Lies.  “There’s no medicine mixed in your Kefir.  I promise.”  I promise that I’ll never lie to you again…until the next time the doctor puts you on antibiotics for a raging sinus, ear, or fill in the blank infection.

Threats.  “We can do this the easy way or the hard way.”  The hard way involves pinning him down by straddling him, using my knees to immobilize his arms and hands, forcing his jaw open with one hand, and shoving the medicine dropper into the back of his throat with the other.  This approach gets the job done 100% of the time, but no one feels good about it.  No one.

Candy.  I don’t care if my kids eat Skittles for breakfast for ten days straight as long as the medicine goes down.  And as long as they occasionally brush their teeth, which, unfortunately, often requires a separate list of lies, threats, and bribes.

Cupcakes/cookies.  My pharmacy is located inside a grocery store with a full service bakery (and a full service liquor store) for a reason.

Money.  I don’t know about your kids, but mine are in the “I’ll Do Anything For Cold Hard Cash” stage of childhood development.  I wonder when this stage ends?  Oh, right.  It doesn’t.

Toys.  This is why my house looks like it’s ready for an episode of “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” #shopaholicmama #itsnotmyfault #kidsaremoneypits #okaymaybeitismyfault #dontjudge #thehardwaysucks

More threats.  “No swimming after dinner (or no Kefir at bedtime or no play date after camp tomorrow) if you don’t take this medicine…NOW!”  In general, this tactic has a very low success rate. Kids don’t care much about future consequences.  Like dogs, you must praise (or punish) them in the moment.  Otherwise you’re spinning your wheels an idiot.

Threats and lies.  “If you don’t take this medicine, you’ll have to go back to the doctor and get shots.  Lots of them.  The really painful, stinging ones.  The ones that make you bleed.  Yup, that’s what happens to kids who don’t take their medicine.”

Tears.  I’ve cried many times to guilt my kids into doing things they don’t want to do.  It hasn’t worked yet, but I’ll keep trying, because it’s cheaper than going to the toy store.

What do you do to get your kids to take their medicine? 

p.s. If your kids love medicine – if they take it every single time without a whimper or a fight…with a freaking smile on their faces…and they say thank you when they’re done…and they ask when they can drink the next delicious dose – kindly refrain from bragging here.  As Dylan often reminds Riley, “bragging isn’t nice.”



Filed under going to the doctor, health, list

3 responses to “Just A Spoonful Of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down… (A List!)

  1. Ali Isaac

    Haha! My daughter has CFC syndrome, and has to take various meds for various conditions. She has perfected the art of holding meds in her mouth without swallowing a drop, for half an hour or more, no matter how it is disguised, no matter what strategy we adopt in order to get her to swallow. Then, when you least expect it, she manages to spit it out… I feel your pain!!!


  2. heatherlgreg

    Loved this no kids but really funny


  3. Lol! Have you discovered the unexplained phenomenon of how a measly teaspoon of really nasty antibiotics can become a 10-gallon puddle when spit out in the middle of the living room floor? No idea how that happens. Then the nurse on the health line has the nerve to say “She may need another dose. How much do you THINK she kept down?” Um, I’m gonna say NONE…


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