Unexpected Parenting Nostalgia

Being a parent is weird.  Everything is going along great.  You love your kid and she is growing up, doing amazing things.  Then unexpected parenting nostalgia hits.  It snuck up on me after a doctor’s appointment  that confirmed the ear infection I knew my daughter had two days before at the same doctor’s office, but whatever.  The fateful question came as the physicians assistant was writing up the prescription for the magical antibiotic that would allow her and me to sleep through the night.  “Do you want liquid or pills?”

I was surprised.  My 8 year old could take pills?  I mean, we had practiced swallowing M&Ms whole, preparing for this day, but it was really time for pills?

My daughter was ecstatic.  She hates the “disgusting pink medicine” and chose pills.  I, of course, played the part of the supportive mom.  “Oh, wow, you are so big now.  I’m so proud of you.” Inside my heart was breaking.  The medication of her childhood passed through my mind.  I remembered the tiny syringes of dye free cherry flavored Tylenol for late night teething.  I recalled how the syringes grew along with her and provided antibiotics, or bubble gum flavored Motrin.  The doses increased and we needed the big measuring spoons or cups.  Moving to chewable Tylenol, well that wasn’t a big deal but pills?  This was it.  The final step.  Once she took a pill she was effectively a grown up in the medicine taking realm.  She’d reached the pinnacle.  Sure, she might some day swallow down a handful of vitamins, but plenty of grownups take one pill at a time – like her dad.  With no fear or hesitation my daughter swallowed the giant amoxicillin pill and I checked one item off my list of parenting to dos.  For the rest of her life she’ll be able to take medicine without my help.

I’ve gotta admit, I cried a bit that night and then did a scavenging hunt through all the nooks and corners of medicine cabinets and closets and bins of random crap.  I found all the medication tools from infant until now.  I marveled at how far we’d come in 8 years.  I remembered the horror of infant wails and never knowing what was wrong and the guilt when I gave her Tylenol.  I remembered the endless ear infections.  I marveled at how long ago all that was and how quickly time had passed.  Finally, with pride, I put all the tools back in the bin of random crap, wiped my eyes, blew my nose, and thought, “Nice work mom.  When your kid has a wicked hangover in college she’s not going to need you.”  And that’s good.

16 thoughts on “Unexpected Parenting Nostalgia

    1. Man, she not only doesn’t need to be bribed, but is a totally independent medicine taker. But she still needs to be tucked in to go to sleep, so I feel necessary. Thanks for the comment and for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Oh wow, I completely felt every thing that you wrote! And good for her. I was also kind of relieved when my daughter first took a capsule antibiotic. She was only 5 and had pneumonia. I thought she was going to choke. I was scared to death. She downed it no problem with a big smile said “its gone mom”! I thought awesome, she won’t be one of those weirdos who can’t swallow a pill! Haha, I know a lot of them, even related to some 😂.

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    1. Your kiddo took a capsule antibiotic when she was five? Wow, she is very advanced! (My daughter is also related to a weirdo pill phobia person. I’m glad they overcame their heritage.)


  2. We also have a drawer full of forgotten medicine syringes and liquid medicine cups. It’s bittersweet how these milestones come and go.

    I have one who is a great medicine taker (My younger one ). She’s on multiple meds and an inhaler, though. She’s used to it. My 13 year old… let’s just say I’m glad she doesn’t get sick often. Getting meds into her is a chore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only crazy mama with drawers full of such things. After this blog post I did throw most away, keep a few, and put others into the play doctor kit. My kiddo has always been decent at taking medicines, so long as you ignore the complaining before and after ingestion.

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  3. This reminds me of some lines from a poem I wrote titled “Waking Up At Home,” in which I talk about my mother this way:
    “some days when she hugs us she
    sniffs the armpits of our blouses and scowls,
    hating the thought we’ll be using deodorant, soon
    no more days of
    baby fresh skin”


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I really love this. I am right at that cusp with my daughter and can’t fathom how this baby girl is already on her way to a young woman. I love who she is becoming, but when someone said, “she’s halfway to eighteen” I was despondent. This is a beautiful bit of prose. Thank you so much for sharing. *sniff*

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  4. Such an evocative post. All these tiny griefs of motherhood. My son is only 2 so we are well in the syringes phase, but the fact that the doses increase as his body grows is amazing and bewildering. I can’t imagine getting to the big kid pill phase and yet, god willing, it’s coming for us eventually. Loved this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, two. I loved two. I’m one of those mommas who just made it through the infant years and finally came into my own when my kiddo could start communicating with me. The attitude of two and three were refreshing when compared to the mystery of an infant. Someday you’ll dole out big antibiotic pills, or realize your kid could wear adult size shoes and think, “How did we get here already.” Enjoy the journey! Thank you so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So heartening- I feel the same way. I feel much more like myself as a mother of a kid with words than I did with, as you so aptly put it, the mystery of an infant. Thank god I’m not the only one who feels this way!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh no, you aren’t the only one. Baby lovers are loud and make their adoration known, but admitting out loud that “you don’t really get babies” just gets you weird looks. Don’t worry. More and more will come out as the baby years recede. If babies arrived with the intellect of an 18 month

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Ack! Sent too early! Any whoo…. if children were born with the intellect of an 18 month old I’d have 6 kids, but I only have one. (Okay, I may have also been scarred by potty training.) So hooray! You are normal! Me too!

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