I try not to give my kids too much medicine. The big five year old gets his share of antibiotics thanks to his cleft palate induced ear infections, but even those have slowed down. But despite my desire to keep a close eye on the amount of medicine my boys ingest I still seem to be raising little addicts.
My big five year old is very active. Let me repeat that. He. is. very. active. So active, in fact, that he often wakes up in the middle of the night with leg pain. I know the pain is not as horrific as he sometimes acts based on the fact that he is able to A. get out of bed and walk down the hall to our room, stand by the bed, and wake me up. and B. manage to ask me if he can play his DS when I lay him back down in his own bed. So I rub his legs, sometimes with mineral oil, and I sooth him back to sleep. Every time this happens he asks for medicine. "The red medicine, Mommy. My pain will go away if I just had the red medicine." OK... let's just bundle you off to the drug clinic now...
They get honey for their coughs and eucalyptus for stuffy noses. They get hot tea and lots of hugs. They get homeopathic remedies mixed up by me or purchased at Whole Foods. If they have a high fever, or a true need for antibiotics, they get it. So maybe I have created these little addicts of mine. Maybe I have been too liberal with the non medical remedies, giving them honey at the end of the cough, when maybe they would have been OK without it. Who knows.
What I do know is this.The tiny toddler has learned which kitchen cupboard we keep all the medicine in and he has made it his mission to get his share. This morning my sweet husband was getting ready to take the boys to The Wilds when he stopped to get a bottle of pain reliever to take with him. (While I don't want my boys hopped up on unatural pharmaceutical compounds I apparently don't mind my husband popping pills...) Seeing as the tiny toddler is always underfoot he was right there, between our legs as we sorted through the pill bottles looking for the right ones. He reached up, asking for medicine.
"No, honey, you don't need any medicine. You're not sick."
His answer to this? A totally made up, manufactured cough. And every time I reminded him that he wasn't sick, he coughed louder. And an addict is born.