Our kids began taking their medicine for their imaginary disease today. We knew it would be a battle injecting yucky metallic medicine in their mouths, when they have no understanding of what is going on or why they are taking it, especially since they are not sick. Ahem.
Ken and I thought long and hard about how to explain it. No, they don’t speak English.
We could just force them to take it and swallow. Not so good for trust-building.
We could try to mix it in with food and try to disguise it. No, what if they don’t eat the food? It’s not like we can get more medicine.
So we did what we feel all good parents would do in this situation: bribe them with candy.
Now, lest you think we are totally irresponsible parents, we actually have not given them ANY candy since we have been home. In some ways, their diet has been similar to infants — trying basic and familiar things first, and adding a few new foods per week. Of course we wanted to start with healthy foods, so we just haven’t gotten around to introducing candy. They don’t seem to really like sweets as much as they do vegetables, fruits, and meats anyway.
Ken and I agreed that this was an important enough occasion to break the candy fast.
I carefully drew up the medicine into the oral syringe, grabbed a candy fruit slice (because REAL fruit just won’t do in cases like this), and held both up to Palmer.
“Palmer, this is medicine. If you let me give it to you and swallow it, I will give you a piece of candy.”
His eyes brightened. He nodded. The deal was sealed with a smile.
Squirt. Swallow. Candy.
He ran out of the kitchen giggling, arms waving in the air.
Addie Rose started shouting from the breakfast table in Lingala, “Me! Me! Me!”
So I made her the same deal, and she accepted.
Squirt. Strange face. Swallow. Candy!
She giggled with delight.
Maybe this isn’t going to be so hard after all. This bribery thing really works.
After church today, we walked in the front door of the house with the smell of a crock-pot lunch wafting in the air. Our kids first words?
“Medicine! Candy! Medicine! Candy!”