A Spoonful of Sugar


I came home from a quick doctor’s appointment this weekend only to have my 4-year old cling to my leg and wrap herself around me so if I walked, she was dragged along.

Later in the day she asked me how I was feeling. A 4-year old…asking how *I* was feeling.

I’m fine honey. I just have a little infection. The doctor gave me medicine and I’ll feel better in no time.

She blinked her long lashes and snuggled closer to me.

I’m glad you came home from the doctor, Mommy.

Of course I came home sweetie. I always come home.

There was a tiny sigh.

No you don’t Mommy. Sometimes you don’t come home. Like that one time.

Realizing now why she clung to me as I walked in, I tried to explain…

You mean when Mommy was in the hospital? Oh sweetie I know you didn’t like that, did you?


Sometimes we get sick. And doctors and the people at the hospital need to help us. But right now Mommy just has a kind of cold that gave her an infection. Just a runny nose. You get runny noses all the time, right?

More nods.

Well it’s just like that honey. It’s just a runny nose. I’m not going to be in the hospital again because of this runny nose, ok?

It was here I stopped myself. Knowing how suddenly I was hospitalized before, and how long it lasted, I was afraid of promising her anything. I mean, what if I was hit by a truck tomorrow? But I was dying inside, I wanted to reassure her that every single time I headed out to a doctor’s appointment, I would be coming back.

And I didn’t know how to do that without lying.

I’m finding more and more that telling my children the truth about the world is harder and harder. Bad things happen. Mommies do end up in the hospital. Sometimes they don’t come home from doctor’s appointments.

Of course I do tell them the truth. In ways they can understand and handle, I know I can’t lie. But for every tough lesson…there has to be a good one, right?

So today as my tiny girl watched me take my antibiotics… I reached down with one hand as I took a swig of water to swallow my pill…and I tickled her. Now mind you, I’m not big on rough housing, and tickling in our house always seems to lead to rough housing. So this was huge.

She was nearly frozen with surprise.


And a huge grin came over her face.

What? I was just taking my medicine…

I had a few more pills to take so I gave her a devilish look and popped them in my mouth. As my hand and water glass rose to my lips I bent down with the other hand and tickled again.


And fits of laughter poured out of her.

I told you honey, I’m just taking my medicine…

More giggles and grins.

I like how you take your medicine Mom.

Me too baby, me too.


  1. Aww… 🙂
    .-= mousewords´s last blog ..The Cup of Kindness – Part Two =-.

  2. From the mouths of babes, can’t keep much from them. They always know, don’t they. As do most moms. Savor the moments and hope your sniffles and infection are on the wane.

  3. Awwwww! So darling. What a sweet girl you have.

    So tough to know how to deal with big issues with kids. I have had some pretty awesome conversations with tweens about capitalism and institutionalized racism, but sickness and health; mortality…at four? Meep. Great lesson.

  4. Tickling is often the best medicine. .
    .-= adhocmom´s last blog ..I don’t think Clint Eastwood ever worried about crapping his pants. =-.

  5. It’s heartbreaking, isn’t it? My 4 yr old is always asking how I’m feeling. She knows my medicine routine almost as well as I do and my constant dr’s appts are just part of everyday life for her. I hate when she’s scared for me and I really hate the fact that SHE feels the need to take care of ME. Oof, my heart.

    How have you been feeling, by the way?
    .-= Meg´s last blog ..A Case of the Mondays =-.

  6. Love your blog. I’ll be back for sure. Our blogs are semi-similar; I’d love your feedback about mine, if you have a sec!
    http://www.TodaysCliche.com. Thanks!!
    .-= Kat @ TodaysCliche.com´s last blog ..Keeping Tabs on Your Kids =-.

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