A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…..

Mary Poppins knew how to handle anyone with grace, diplomacy and a dash of good humor – even when they were sick.  At times I wish I was a little more like Mary Poppins who in my opinion seemed to have every trick in the book to make her charges listen, engage and be perfect angels.  All the time! 

Some days my bag o’ tricks runs over with creative ideas and I amaze myself with how I handle the whiny child, the daily sibling argument and general disaster area I frequently call my kitchen.  But then there are the other days where you wish Mary was standing next to me feeding me the next brilliant idea that would head off the brewing storm. 

Here is my strategy for helping everyone survive sickness.  I hope you will share your suggestions as well because its summertime and my daughter has a case of strep throat.  So, I could use a “spoonful of sugar” right about now…..

#1 When you have to take medicine that looks or smells vile – disguise it at all costs. Applesauce and ice cream are some of my favorites.

#2 Have a positive attitude about said vile medicine.  “A tiger would love this!”

#3 Have a plan of attack strategy for #1.  Winning the war is more important than the individual battle.  What I mean is that getting your child to take a vile looking or smelling medicine can lead to a battle of a lifetime but if you offer the medicine at a time when I think she can handle it and make taking it a fun game you may have more luck.  I do.

#4 Make sick day a “fun” day.  Gather together lots of coloring books, stories, card games, legos and other activities that will entertain throughout the day.  Bring these out in timed intervals.  Oh, and on sick days, more than the 1 hour tv watching is a-ok with me.  

#5 Pick up some popsicles.  Popsicles have a magical power.  They bring instant joy and help with sore throats. 


#6 Be prepared with an incentive plan to help everyone get through the hour, day, week etc.  Yes, I’m not above a bribe incentive plan. It’s called positive reinforcement.

I feel deeply for Caroline’s pain and suffering – nobody likes to be sick in the summer and having a sore raw throat is no fun – but I also feel sympathetic to everyone working hard to take good care of her.  When my au pair shared Caroline’s thoughts on the medicine yesterday (I could hear her screaming in the background) – the vision of a caged tiger popped into my head and I willed up my best Mary Poppins and offered up these suggestions.  They worked like a charm.

What do you do when your child is sick and cranky to help everyone get through it in one piece?



About samanthajanney

My name is Sam and I am a working mom who lives life on the run. Whether it is work related (I travel for business a lot), child related (two active school aged children with plenty of after school interests), au pair related (host mom to our 11th au pair), husband related (married for 11 years), sister, friend etc, there isn’t a moment that I don’t find myself running around trying to do it all. Some weeks are more successful than others (sorry friends and family if you have been on the receiving end of a bad week) but I believe in the 80%-20% rule! 80% of our lives are full of the good stuff, but it's the 20% of life's challenges that make me interesting because I'm the conflict resolution artist. Join me on the journey of self discovery, problem solving and attempts to get it right more often than not!
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1 Response to A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…..

  1. Rikki Tracy says:

    Marry Poppins was my favorite sick day movie! My mom also used to allow me to eat sherbet/sorbet in pretty massive quantities. She would bring up bowls of raspberries that had been in the fridge – very cool & soothing on the throat and healthy to boot. Being read aloud to was a good distraction from the fact that I was sick and sometimes put me sleep. And in the winter bubble baths are a great cure for the chills.

    My grandmother used to make me orange pudding with a real orange, served in the scooped-out orange peel. It’s what her mother used to do.

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