Every morning I get out the kids' vitamins. All five kids take a daily multivitamin, and Rob also takes a calcium supplement because he doesn't drink milk. I'd already streamlined the process somewhat by using the same bottle for anyone who takes the same dose: for example, Elizabeth and Edward both use Elizabeth's prescription until it runs out, and then they both use Edward's. Rob and William do the same. Henry is the only one who doesn't share.
So that's...four little bottles every morning, which is not exactly the sort of chore that RUINS MY LIFE, but it's a minor hassle and I have found a pleasing improvement to the situation: I use one of those weekly pill reminder boxes. Last night I put in each compartment two square vitamins (E and E's), two round vitamins (R and W's), and a calcium supplement (R's). This morning I opened the M compartment, tipped the pile into my hand, and went around the table handing them out. Henry's doesn't fit into this system yet because his is a liquid, but soon he'll take a chewable and fit right in with the rest of the crowd.
Not only is this a little quicker, it solves the fuss over who gets which color vitamin: they get whatever is in the box, and I made everyone's the same color for each day: four orange vitamins for today, four pink ones for tomorrow, etc.
That reminds me, though, of something we started doing early on to reduce the color-choice fuss. When Rob was a toddler, he wanted to CHOOSE, but that led to problems with (1) running out of one color before the other colors, and (2) long agonizing decisions while I stood there holding out my hand with the vitamins in it. So what I started doing was dumping out a little pile of vitamins into my hand, and giving him the one there was the most of. If I had 4 purples, 2 oranges, and 1 pink, he got a purple. If I had the same number of two different colors, I'd dump out a couple more vitamins, or put back a few. This method encourages the colors to come out even, too, which is pleasing to those of us who are firstborn and mathy.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...