Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sugarfree ain't sweet

I'm definitely of the Mary Poppins Spoonful of Sugar School when it comes to giving medicine to kids, especially since artificial sweeteners make the medicine even worse than normal.

For the last couple of weeks our children have had a really rotten cold which made them all cough terribly and generally be very miserable indeed. Calvin ended up with a chest infection that meant that he had to take paracetamol (for the fever) and antibiotics.

This is no trivial thing because getting nearly-three-year-old Calvin ended up with his two parents holding him down and pouring it down his throat or, in one case, me sitting on him and pouring it down his throat, take-it-it's-good-for-you-style.

This is because the medicine tastes vile.

Of cource, medicine always has, but at least before pharmaceutical companies would sweeten it with sugar, or Mary Poppins would. But because everyone's obsessed with diets and all that crap the medicine has to be sugar-free. Which means that instead it has saccharin sodium or some other thing which tastes like somebody's attempt to make sugar out of recycled environmentally-friendly green shopping bags.

I'd much prefer the sugar. I mean, how fat is a kid going to get on the sugar contained in 10ml of paracetamol? Will that much really rot his teeth? I suppose that if you had some terrible sickness where you had to take it all the time it might, but even then you can always use a toothbrush?

Obviously there's a marketing reason there somewhere, but the stuff tastes horrible. They could at least give us the option.

I remember being quite fond of the taste of the antibiotics Calvin had to take, but now it's got a saccharin aftertaste—bleeech!

Anyway, we got Calvin to take his medicine by giving him jelly beans with every dose. Although the jelly beans are “99% fat-free” they're about 90% sugar.

This morning he was quite disappointed when I told him he'd finished all his medicine and was not sick anymore.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006


It's been a long time between posts. Work has kept me busy with late nights and weekends. The kids have kept me busy as always and frankly, this is about the first time I've had some time where I've felt like writing anything.

Well, that was worth waiting for wasn’t it?

Anyway, I have a bit of time now because my wife is watching the finale of Survivor and, because we're a couple of weeks behind the USA, we already know what happened. Rita wants to see how the whole thing plays out but, not being a huge fan of ‘reality’ TV, I'm not going to worry about watching the whole two hours.

Nevertheless, I've enjoyed watching some of the show over the last couple months. Rita and I have been following Terry, mainly because he—along with Shane—has seemed the most honorable. (Shane was weird, so we didn't like him as much).

According to Rita this has made him one of the show's most popular competitors—with the audience. It's nice to know that integrity still stands for something these days. On the show however, he hasn't been popular at all. He's been threat and, if it weren't for his strength and skill, would probably have been voted off weeks ago.

The fascination with reality TV (for me anyway) is wondering how I would behave in that situation. (We enjoy watching Supernanny for the opposite reason—we're thankful that we're not in that situation and, despite everything, we're not such terrible parents after all.)

Which makes me wonder, how would I go as a Christian on Survivor? Would it be possible to play that game (and win!) by behaving in a completely Christ-like manner? Would I even be able to behave in a completely Christ-like way after days roughing it? Probably not, considering how grumpy I've been after late nights, long weekends, sick-kid-sleep-deprived-nights and not enough coffee.

Ah well, there's another million dollars I won't be getting.