Sunday, April 20, 2008

The art of the medicine giver

Okay, so they put Chunks-a-lot on this new medicine called Neurontin. It was developed as an anti-seizure medicine but is now used for chronic pain, as well. She takes it three times daily and I am now realizing that I've added a new subheading under my job title of "Mommy", and that would be "Creative medicine giver". The first time I gave it to her, I just filled up the baby syringe and squirted it in her mouth. Since it was the first time we had danced this dance, Chunks-a-lot didn't know to fear the meds. It only took one time. I have tasted the medicine myself, just to see what the big deal was, and it is terrible. It tastes like straight up whiskey...which if you've read any of my other blog posts, might be a tempting treat. Although I do have some sympathy for the Chunky Monkey, it has become quite a feat to give her this medicine. My first attempt at being creative was to mix it with some baby yogurt, which worked initially until she caught on to what I was doing. I would actually lie her down on the couch and try to convince her to open her mouth like teaching a puppy a new trick. I would "zoom" and "crash" the medicine into her mouth, hoping to get an open mouth smile, but instead she kept those lips sealed shut. She even got so good that she would laugh and cry with the lips completely glued closed. Lips (the hubby) has watched my attempts several times and always has lots of "helpful" hints and tips. "Why don't you try mixing it with some propel", he would say as Chunks-a-lot is lying there spitting liquid pain medicine in my face. "Why don't you try stirring it into some baby food", Lips would suggest. So I tried it. Chocolat was over the other night and I thought, "Hmm...mixing it with baby food, what a novel idea!", right, but what baby food is potent enough to mask a whiskey taste? My choice--prunes. Let me create a mental picture of what happened next. Chunks-a-lot is lying on the couch, head close to my lap, feet in Chocolat's lap. I go in with the prune/medicine mixture, quick as a cat. My first try is a failure, but Talks-a-lot is standing close by and quickly steps in and starts making Chunks-a-lot giggle. I see the mouth open so I shove the baby syringe in and squirt a glob of the cocktail inside. What does she do? She spits.....everywhere. Immediately Chocolat starts laughing, which you should never do if you want a child to STOP doing something. So over and over again I get sprayed with prunes, staining my clothing and sticking in my hair. As I am being sprayed, Talks-a-lot is "jumping" a stuffed toy kangaroo onto Chocolat's head while asking me, "Did you see that? He went 'woooooo, wooooo'! Did you see that?? Did you see that Mommy?? Did you see it, he went 'wooooo....wooo'!". Overwhelmed by the sudden state of chaos I had found myself in, I consider dosing myself with some of this whiskey and prunes, I figure it's better than nothing but I manage to contain myself. After sharing this story with Lips, he continues to offer wonderful suggestions, especially his favorite idea of mixing it with grape juice. Let me add that Lips has never given Chunks-a-lot her medicine, he's only stood in the background and coached me from afar. So this morning, this Sunday morning, I took a stand. I got that grape juice out, I filled up that baby syringe and I left it sitting on the counter for Lips to handle. "Time for her medicine", I told Lips as I pretended to busy myself. His face contorted as he seemed baffled at the idea of actually giving her the medicine instead of just watching me do it. "How...what...how do I do it?", he asked. "Oh just lie her down and squirt it in.", I said calmly. So he lies her in his lap and tries, for quite a long time, to get her to open her mouth. She refuses, she cries (closed-mouth cry), her face turns red with anger, but she does not crack those lips. He starts blowing in her face and voila, she opens. He squirts some in and it comes right back out in his face in the form of spit. His eyes dart up at me, confused. I am secretly finding so much pleasure in this that I am giggling on the inside. He keeps working at it and working at it, sometimes glancing up at me in, what seems like, complete fear. Then he decides to just start making her as mad as possible, in hopes that she'll just exhaust herself and give up. My eyes squint, my nostrils flare and the internal laughing begins as I know this will NEVER work. Humored beyond measure, I continue to enjoy what has now become a spectator sport. Five minutes pass and after having her nose pinched shut, her face blowed in continuously and her cheeks bunched up like an over-bloused shirt, I am completely and utterly shocked as I see her finally give up and give in. That child opened her mouth, DRANK the medicine and swallowed every bit of it. My internal laughing ceased.....my pompous attitude buried itself and my new title of "creative medicine giver" was stripped away. The simplicity of man overshadowed the creativity of woman....I stand corrected and amazed. Rock on Lips...rock on