These are just a sampling of the dozens upon dozens of medicine-dispensing syringes that we have acquired — and, for some bizarre reason, saved — over the past four years or so. They are the result of teething, the gazillion ear infections that Rowan developed during his second and third years, the Motrin and Advil and Tempra Rachel and I dispensed to help him (and us) cope with said infections, the boys’ several bouts of bronchitis, Isaac’s first ear infection (circa two weeks ago), and a potentially questionable but ultimately satisfying (especially at 3 a.m.) parenting strategy that Rachel and I have developed that says, “When in doubt, medicate.” It’s how we show love.

Fortunately, both children have embraced our stance on drugs. “He loves love pretty much anything dispensed in a syringe,” I once told our family doctor once as she wrote out yet another prescription for Rowan. “That might not be such a good thing down the line,” she commented.

Normal people would, of course, use a syringe once (or, perhaps, for the duration of the lifespan of a particular bottle of medicine) and throw it away, but we’ve found it comforting to have 30 dozen or so of the things stored in a glass in the cupboard (plus several more hidden in bathroom drawers). And they do come in handy, especially when you are giving a toddler three doses of antibiotic plus attendant pain medication throughout the day. Or when he is inconsolable with a fever and won’t drink and the only way to calm him down and keep him hydrated is to use a syringe to squirt water into his mouth. We have devoted an entire section of the dishwasher cutlery rack to used syringes. It’s a wonder the RCMP hasn’t found a way to shut us down.

It occurs to me that the bucket-o-syringes will be, eventually, just another relic of Rowan and Isaac’s early years, as they graduate from squirty, bubblegum-flavoured penicillin and liquid ibuprofen to spoons and chewable, cherry-flavoured pills. All the more reason to immortalize them on the Internet, where all things ridiculous go to never die.