In preparation for a trip to Costa Rica, my first stop for packing was a visit to the CDC website. I love souvenirs, but I don't want to bring back malaria or yellow fever. Nobody wants those kind of memories. So, the CDC recommended Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines for "most travelers." I feel strongly that I fall under the category of "most travelers" so I immediately contacted the pediatrician and our primary care doctor.
My husband and I got our Hep A shot (the kids were good), but the Typhoid vaccine came in pill form for all of us. No problem for the husband and I. My kids, ages 11 and 8, however, have never taken a pill. I have now discovered a new hell on earth...trying to get your children to swallow a pill not much larger than a tic tac. I guess I had repressed memories of my first pill, because I did not remember it being this traumatic.
Here is what I tried with them:
1) Smiling and leading by example. I popped mine in my mouth, took a sip of water, swallowed and smiled. See? So easy. They tried. It didn't work. It all went downhill from there.
2) Telling them to put the pill towards the back of their mouth and then gulp a bunch of water. No good. How about milk? No good. The liquid just passed the pill right on by as it slid down their throats. Are they making a well with their tongue and keeping the pill nestled there comfortably?
3) Yelling "GULP GULP GULP" and "SWALLOW SWALLOW SWALLOW" at them, like a demented frat party guest, while they threw their heads back but kept their fearful eyes on me. Things were getting bad. They would ease the pill back out of their mouths and back onto the counter. My patience was leaving the building.
4) Hiding the pill in yogurt, apple sauce, ice cream, then finally in peanut butter (like a dog) and telling them to swallow, hoping the pill would disappear down with the food. Oh, by the way, the pill is supposed to be taken on an empty stomach. Also, it didn't work. They swallowed the food around the pill and spit the pill back out. The pill is starting to dissolve at this point. The instructions and doctor specifically said, it can't be broken or chewed. Sigh.
5) Contemplating sticking the pill down their throat with my finger. My husband and I decided this was too close to torture and therefore not appropriate.
Here's what eventually worked. Tears. Yelling. Choking. Five spoonfuls of ice cream, followed by a rapid half cup of milk, followed quickly by a chase of water. We have four days of this pill for each person. As you can see from the photo, only one left to go. I won't be sad to see it end. But, hopefully this means no typhoid, although there are no guarantees. It's like the flu shot. Fingers crossed.