Archive for April 22nd, 2009

If you’ve read this space for any length of time, you know that I am mother to one of the most obstinate creatures on earth.  Spawn really has no recourse in said stubbornness, since both of the kid’s parents are mules.  I try cut the kid some slack because of this, but when an irresistible force meets an immovable object, things sometimes get out of hand. 

Our latest ongoing struggle has been in trying to get the kid to swallow a pill.  It’s a mind-over-matter issue, as we all well know, and if you’d ever gotten choked on a Jolly Rancher candy, you’d probably be a bit reluctant to try swallowing a little pill, too.  Over the course of months on this particular medication, we’d had no success, and had resorted to opening the pill and mixing it with chocolate syrup.  Do not believe what Mary Poppins tells you — a spoonful of sugar does not make the medicine go down in any sort of delightful way. 

Spawn’s new doctor changed the medication to one that can’t be opened and sprinkled, chewed, or crushed. So it was do or die time to get the kid to swallow a pill. 

Frankly, it would be easier to put socks on a cat. 

Because I am not possessed of the enormous amount of patience required to convince an eight-year-old with a fear of choking to swallow a tiny pill, I turned the whole operation over to my husband.  As it turns out, his storehouse of patience is only slightly bigger than mine.  For three weeks, I busied myself with other tasks around the house, one ear tuned to the Sisyphean drama taking place in my kitchen, as my husband coached, coaxed, cajoled, threatened, begged, yelled, pleaded, and otherwise ineffectually tried to get Spawn to swallow a pill.  I vowed to stay out of it.  No way was I going to get into that. 

When I got the new prescription, I got out one of the pills, and I put it alongside the old pill to compare sizes for Spawn.  The new pill is much smaller than the old one, and Spawn thought that maybe, possibly, it might be easier to get it down the hatch.  But no promises. 

So I did what any desperate parent would do:  I bribed my kid. 

Say what you want about bribery as an effective means of parenting, but used sparingly it can get the job done.  I told Spawn that I had bought a new Littlest Pet Shop pet, the kind that comes with a sticker, and would give it up only if  the pill got swallowed.  The kid has been heavily invested in saving up stickers to send off in order to receive a special, limited edition LPS pet.  But at 5 bucks a pop, I haven’t been too terribly interested in helping the kid along.  Unless, of course, there’s something in it for me. 

This morning I did not have the advantage of additional parental backup to encourage Spawn to swallow the pill.  But I sallied forth, somehow managed to get Spawn to actually put it in the mouth and take a big swig of liquid.  It took five tries, but finally it went down the hatch. 

That sound you heard this morning was the heavens opening and a chorus of heavenly host singing Alleluia. 

I hugged my sweaty, teary, shaking kid and said “I knew you could do it” and “I’m so proud of you” about a dozen times. 

“Um, Mom?  You said you had a Littlest Pet for me…?” 

Motivation.  Comes in all forms.  Is what I’m saying. 

I’m not foolish enough to think that we are over this hurdle once and for all.  But for me, who is admittedly a glass-half-empty sort of person, a tiny thing like this is a huge victory and just exactly enough to make my whole day. 


— Mox

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