Hot on the heels of my flu last week, my six year old has developed one of those lovely upper respiratory viruses that means he is coughing up a storm all night long. He’s my tough guy, you know the kind, he won’t take medicine unless I force him to, “I’m FINE Mommy!”.
I normally buy kids’ cough medicines for my family, like all parents must do. You know the Tylenol™ Cold, Benylin™ Bedtime. All those products that are flavored with the “big three”; cherry, grape or bubble gum. Well, my six year old HATES cherry, grape and bubblegum. It is no use searching for another medicine flavor; he hates those flavors precisely because they are medicines.
After sitting at my computer late on Friday night listening to him cough in his sleep, I knew I had to do something. I was still coughing myself, and I knew how painful it was and how it was keeping me up at night. Saturday morning, we talked. He assured me that it was the liquid form of the medicine that tasted so bad and he would take chewables if I could get them.
So there I stood in the pharmacy, browsing the choices. I noted the wide variety of children’s cold products. Almost all brands come in syrup and chewable form. I noticed that the chewables come in the same three flavors as the syrups. I also remembered crushing chewable medicines and hiding it in spoonfuls of ice cream or bits of cream cheese. There has to be a better way.
I put the children’s medicine down and went to find something for my cough. Well, call me strange but my favorite cough medicine is Buckley’s Mixture™ . Oh, I know it tastes terrible but it does work. I tossed it in the cart and continued into the grocery department still wrestling with the problem of what to do for my son.
As I stood at the checkstand, I reasoned that I had plenty of kids cough medicines at home, and buying more was just throwing good money after bad. He’d either take what I had at home or take nothing at all. The doctor had told me earlier in the week that if he isn’t taking the medicine, there wasn’t much I could do about it, he’d weather the cold and get over it the same as if he took the medicine. After all, cough meds aren’t a cure, just a comfort.
When I got home, I told him he had some options. One, he could take the cherry flavored kids cough medicine that I had on the counter. I’d even give him a glass of juice to drink after he swallowed the medicine. (and only after, I’ve seen him spit it out into the juice before and dump the cup!) Two, he could tough it out. Or, three, he could try the children’s dosage of my cough medicine. I tried to describe the flavor, told him that some people say it is like licking a pine tree, but I think I came the closest when I told him it tasted like Vicks Vaporub™ smells.
So what did he do? He chose, you guessed it, the Buckley’s. And?
He liked it.