I love that Marry Poppins song that goes, “Just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down!” However, we don’t have such luck in my house. My kid won’t put any liquid in his mouth other than water.

This became bit of an issue when my boy got an ear infection last week. The doctor prescribed 7 days of 7 milligrams of anti-biotics, given twice a day. Our medicine exchange looked like this:

  • My boy screaming and crying as he runs around the house in horror as I chase him with a syringe filled with thick pink gooey liquid.
  • Me scooping him up and placing him on change table, with him kicking, screaming, hitting and crying.
  • My husband holding his arms down as I forcefully stick the syringe in his mouth and dispense the medicine, while trying to clog it down with his pacifier.
  • My boy spitting up the pink gooey liquid all over himself.

Day 1, morning 1: medicine fail.

We thought maybe in the evening we would try again and do better. Though that time was even more of a disaster, resulting in spit up in my eyes and mouth. The wrong mouth!

We needed a new plan. My tough Scorpio boy was not having his medicine, so I started to ask for help. Other moms told me to put it in his food. His pasta, I thought?! That is disgusting. He won’t eat it. Put it in his pancakes? Barf. He’ll never go for it.

My doctor mom friend came over and even she was stumped. I almost gave up and started to just hope his infection would get better on it’s own. Then, my friend had an idea and suggested we sneak the medicine in through the side of his mouth. I had read a similar suggestion on a web forum, so thought it was worth a try!

At our next medicine moment, we told him we were going to play a game and laid him down on the floor. Then I took my same position, holding his hands down and my friend placed the syringe into the bottom right corn of his mouth behind his teeth, by his cheek and gums. She started squirting again. Of course he still squirmed and cried. But this time, he couldn’t spit! He had no choice but to swallow. I know this still seems like a bad form of toddler torture, but at least we had better luck getting that medicine down. Hurray! We high-fived feeling the triumph of success!

The next six days weren’t easy, but we kept with the same routine. Sometimes we even pinched his cheek, on the side of the mouth we were using, which helped the medicine do down even better.

Hallelujah, yesterday was our last day of pink goo. Sometimes the little tasks are huge challenges with a toddler. But when they finally work out, it’s such a relief. You feel stronger, wiser and cooler, just like Marry Poppins.