Lukas has confidence that Tylenol and Motrin will cure all his illnesses...if those won't work, then Benadryl, Mucinex, Dimetapp or Zyrtec will help.
But what do I do when he has something that can't be cured (or, rather, the symptoms can't be suppressed) by a medicine, or it's too soon to give another dose of Tylenol...and he's begging me to give him a medicine? I give him a placebo.
My placebo of choice is apple juice...but I give it to him in the same medicine dispenser he gets his REAL medicines in. Nothing like a disguise!
The first time I ever did this, he asked me what it was (he always asks me the name of the medicine I give him). And I used my usual tactic when I don't want to tell him what something is...I give him the French name for it. So I said, "It's pomme." "Mom, pomme tastes like apple juice."
He caught me.
I've also used this "other language" tactic when I'm trying to get him to eat a food that I know he doesn't like, namely potatoes. Oops, the French word for potatoes, pommes de terre (apples of the ground) is a little too close to that other word I've been using for a placebo. So I've also called the dish "root vegetable". And after he takes a taste, Lukas says, "This root vegetable tastes like potatoes."
He caught me.
Back to the placebo. Lately Lukas has had a cough that won't go away (it's been more than 4 weeks since he had the cold that began this cough), especially at night when we're all trying to sleep. A couple of nights ago I tried Zyrtec again, and we all had an uninterrupted night's sleep. Then last night I gave him half a dose (because I had given him half a dose during the day to help his daytime coughing), and he still coughed all night. So I didn't give him any Zyrtec this morning because I want to save the full dose for right before bed.
But he's still coughing during the day, so I decided to give him some Mucinex to see if his cough would be more productive during the day.
Even though I haven't given him a placebo in months, after he drank the Mucinex, he said, "I don't get pomme anymore."
If only apple juice cured all our ills. At least it satisfies Lukas. And he hasn't figured out the disguise yet...pomme is his favorite medicine, perhaps because I don't give it that often...IN A MEDICINE DISPENSER!
Check out other great ideas at Shannon's site!