When I was a child there was one book that I loved to check out from the local library called something like “The Whole Earth Kid’s Catalog” or something like that.
And in addition to instructions on how to open a sea urchin and coloring pages and how to mail-order various bits and bobs that kids like for a pittance, there was one article I still remember: ‘How To Pill A Cat.’
Basically, to get a feline to swallow a pill or other medicated substance, you can’t just pile tuna on top, as they’re much too smart for that. So you basically had to catch the cat, wrap it in a thick towel, like a burrito, clasp it firmly between your legs, apply pressure to the sides of its jaw, thrust in the pill, and stroke its throat to force it to swallow.
Then you had to somehow release the critter and pray it wouldn’t retaliate by shredding you like Wolverine on a rampage.
By now I’m sure that you must be thinking, “What does this have to do with raising kids?”
Well, until now, trying to get medicated substances into my kids, pills or otherwise, was about as difficult as trying to pill a cat! It was a two person operation requiring the laying down of a towel (to catch the medicated substance as it was forcefully spewed out of their little mouths like a lava-erupting volcano), one parent to hold the child’s hands, and the other parent to immobilize the head and somehow coax the child’s mouth open.
Then, down the hatch, and then try to catch what was erupted and try again.
None of us liked this.
I tried mixing the meds with applesauce, juice, ice cream, yogurt, you name it!
Nothing worked. Especially if the meds were colored awful neon colors that pharmacies are inordinately so fond of.
Then I had one heckuva great idea (she said modestly): the girls LOVE juice boxes, and since we’re so sparing with them (they cost SO much more per ounce than regular juice in a cup), it’s a real treat for the girls to have them.
Also, they have the added advantage of the girls not being able to see what’s inside.
So after poking the straw into the straw hole, I pull it back out, and with a little plastic med syringe (you can get them for free with your meds at most drug stores) I inject the meds into the juice box, cover the hole and shake, and re-insert the straw.
The girls suck them down like magic! I do have to help them get the last drops by positioning the straws to maximum advantage at the end, but still it’s head and shoulders above the previous methods we used.