Jack turned four years old on a Tuesday and on a Saturday, we hosted a birthday party - ninja style.
We all wore Ninja Turtle Masks, beat to death a Ninja Turtle piñata and then ate Ninja Turtle birthday cake. Jack was so excited about the birthday cake that before he blew out his candles, he licked all over it - like a rabid dog, he drooled all over the mutant green icing.
This is not surprising. Jack licks everything. He licks the grocery cart. He licks the carpet at church. He licks the van. He'll lick a stranger's pant leg. My family didn't mind the licked-over birthday cake. They'd all been licked by Jack, it's how he shows love and besides, a little four-year old slime would not keep my family off a birthday cake. Pretty sure the threat of AIDS wouldn't keep my family off a birthday cake. So we sliced into that turtle cake and ate it. It was extra gooey, just as a ninja turtle cake should be.
A few hours after the party, Jack passed out cold. I thought he had properly OD'ed and was slipping into a blood sugar coma, however his fever told me otherwise - 104 degrees hot. The next day would bring a diagnosis of strep throat. Awesome. Our family had brought Jack gifts, we gave them a bacterial infection.
A days worth of antibiotics, and Jack bounced back. You can't keep a good ninja turtle down, but a good ninja can take down his sisters. A few days later, Hadley and Cameron both spiked fevers and sore throats. Strep by birthday cake - very clever evil ninja.
So I then had three children on antibiotics. That is 2 doses per day per child - 6 total doses a day over ten days. That's 60 tiny cups of the bubble-gum flavored elixir to administer to the world's worst medicine takers. Sorry, big drug companies but the reviews are in, and your bubble gum flavor tastes nothing of the sort. According to Cameron, it tastes like "butt."
Morning and night, I would line up the little doses on the counter for my little people and brace myself for at least 30 minutes of tough negations, bribes, bargains and threats.
You want a sucker? Sure thing.
A hamster? Not a shot in hell.
A dollar? Are you kidding me? I have no dollars left. We're going belly-up in co-pays and deductibles.
Your reward? YOUR REWARD???? Your reward is not getting strep so badly that it infects your hearts and brains. Your reward is life!!!! Is that not enough?!?! You get to live!!! Fuck no, they want a puppy.
In the year 2014, how hard can it be to manufacture an antibiotic that doesn't taste like bubblegum that's been shoved up someone's ass? For god's sake, as a species we've managed to make decent tasting vegan meals. We can surely remove the butt flavor from antibiotics.
However, until then I'll have to convince my suicidal bunch, one dose at a time, that life is worth living for, even if it tastes like butt.