Eye-drops, or, The Power of Bribes

Poor old Fainjin has conjunctivitis. For this, I have to give him eye-drops. Two drops in each eye, four times a day. He does not appreciate my efforts in the slightest.   The protests are legion.
“No eye-dops a’day!” “All gone eye-dops!” Even, treacherously, “No Fainjin eye-dops!  Babess eye-dops!”

However, I have ways and means at my disposal.  Not least of these is the chocolate biscuit.

The best way to administer the drops is for him to lie on the floor or couch, and I sit at his head – I can hold his head still with my knees and use one hand to prise his eyelids open and the other to squeeze the eye-dropper.  So I hold up a chocolate biscuit, and he comes over to me (first step – I don’t have to catch him!).

Then I hand him the bikkie, and he lies down happily enough (second step – I don’t have to wrestle!)

Then he’s pretty much trapped.  He could eat the bikkie, but usually doesn’t until it’s all over.  When I’ve done two drops in each eye, I tell him to watch me put the lid on the bottle – that way he can see that I really have finished, and it encourages him to blink the drops in.  Usually before then I will hear “I close my eyes now!”, “Put the lid on now!”, “Finished now!” and/or “All done, Mama!” – sometimes before even one drop has gone in.

Once we’re done, it’s all smiles and he munches into his prize.  So far I’ve only needed two bribes, so it’s not like he’s overdosing on chocolate biscuits.  All I had to do for tonight’s drops was to ask him to show Daddy how good he was at getting his eye-drops.  Amazingly, that worked.  And when he stood up, I asked for – and got! – a kiss.  Then he said “I bive!”

“Huh???”

“I bive!” and he slapped my hand.

“Oh!  High five!”  Not something we’ve ever done, he must have learnt it at daycare.  I cracked up, and he ran off laughing.  I’ll try to remember that for the morning drops.

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