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Mommy's Little Addicts

In church yesterday our pastor talked
about healing and prayer. During his kids’ sermon he started
off discussing all the ways we can prevent getting sick, or the
things we can do ourselves when we get sick to make ourselves feel
better, like taking medicine. Maddie was sitting right at his feet,
and she got excited and yelled out, “My mommy makes really
good cough syrup!” “I’m sure she does,” he
smiled indulgently, before turning to move on. Maddie pressed
forward. “No, I mean she makes REALLY good syrup,” she
insisted, causing him to look at my slightly askance.

Ok, there’s an innocent explanation
here. I do, indeed, make our own cough syrup, but no, it’s
not anything “yummy” in it like codeine or whiskey.
Last year when Cora was hit with colds so often, I searched
everywhere for a safe cough medicine for the under-two-year-old
set, coming up empty. I finally researched homeopathic cough
medicines you can make yourself, and came up with a simple recipe
that anyone over one year old can take (it’s got raw honey,
so it’s a no-no for babies under one year).

I whipped up a batch and stored it in the kitchen, and when the
girls began hacking I spooned out a “dose”. Since this
recipe is mostly honey, it’s delicious to children who
can’t get enough sugar, and soon they began pretending to
have a cough so they could have a spoonful. When cold season ended,
the cough syrup faded into obscurity, but it recently started
coming back to the foreground and has obviously been high on
Maddie’s priority list.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised yesterday when, after we
got home from church, both girls began coughing ostentatiously
around me. Things came to a head right before dinner; Maddie spied
the cough syrup jar in its customary place on the counter and
sauntered over casually.

“Mommy, I’ve been coughing an awful lot since I got up
from my nap this afternoon,” she began, laying the groundwork
craftily. “Hmm,” I replied, “I didn’t hear
you coughing this afternoon.”

“That,” said my genius daughter, “Is because you
were sleeping and I didn’t want to wake you.”

I know, she’s good.

I finally acquiesced and got out a spoon, and Maddie walked away
smacking her lips. Which is the point at which Cora began hacking
up a tubercular lung.

For anyone who’s interested, here’s the recipe. Of
course, this merely soothes a tickle and doesn’t stop serious
coughing – you’ll need Delsym or something prescription
for that. But is a great substitute for cough drops, which are too
big for their mouths right now.

Juice of one lemon

½ cup honey

1 TBS of glycerin (found in baking stores or craft stores)

Heat the lemon juice in a pot without bringing to a boil; stir in
honey and glycerin. Pour into sterilized jars, close tightly, and
store in refrigerator or on countertop. Use one to two spoonfuls as


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