There’s a serious cold going around town.  The other night, Mark Daniel went past the point where the cough was helping him clear his throat and went into the mode where every time he coughed it got worse, so he just started to cough more and more.  Of course the only kind of medicine we have in the house is Ibuprofen, so all I could do in the dark of night was get him some water to drink.

When I was growing up, we had all sorts of medicine in the cabinet, and we took Dimetapp whenever we got the sniffles, Pepto Bismal, aspirin, Tylenol, Visine, nose spray (I think it was epinephrine), cough medicine of various types, throat lozenges (medicated), cough drops (unmediated), Vicks rub (whatever that was).  We had vitamin C, vitamin E, and some multivitamin pills around; there were allergy pills, of various types–we always did finish our antibiotic pills when we went on those, there were teas.  Seems like we were always getting colds or strep throat, indigestion or something that required a trip to the medicine cabinet.

So Mark was there coughing his lungs out, just about to cry from the pain, and I started to get upset that Holly didn’t keep all the medicines around–plus whenever I buy any, they always seem to vanish or get put in storage.  All I wanted was a medicated throat lozenge for Mark so he wouldn’t have to keep coughing and could go back to sleep–actually, I think what I really wanted, looking back on it, was to go back to sleep myself.  I looked through all the stuff in the bathroom cabinets then started to poke around the closet to see if I could locate the large paper bag of stuff that had been cleaned out of the bathroom this past fall.  No luck.

So I got Mark a drink of warm water, and for some reason his coughing stopped enough that he went back to sleep.  In the morning, I told Holly I was going to the store right away to by some cough syrup and some medicated throat lozenges, as soon as I was off work.

So, sure enough, I hadn’t even had time to leave work yet when Holly showed up at school with the boys, Mark wasn’t coughing but was running around as if nothing was wrong, coughing occasionally, but no coughing fits.  She handed me a foil-covered tube of square cough drops and said she’d just come from the store and had gotten some non-sugar cough drops, with no medicine in them, and also some non-sugar cough syrup from the local organic food store.  Typical.

Normally, I’d’ve tempted to charge off to the local grocery store and buy some really strong stuff like I’d want that would really numb the throat, then get some thick syrupy red cough syrup, like I had when I was a kid: and show here what was what–but only for a second.  Instead I shrugged and got my water bottle down for Mark and Luke to get a drink of water from my water bottle.

So Holly wins another battle on how to raise the kids. I don’t know if she wins most of them because her way is better, or because I don’t have the will to fight it. But secretly, I think it’s because she’s smarter about kids and medicine: neither of the boys has ever had as much as an aspirin.

Aside: the water bottle is one of the Whaler Mascot Blue and White water bottles which they sell at the school store up in Barrow—bought by one of my former students who went to Barrow for a week