Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Did he really punch you in the face, or did you jump him and slam your face into his fist?

Emmy woke up sick today. Actually, I think she went to bed sick- at seven without dinner. It was hard to tell, last night, whether she was actually not feeling well or just didn't want the pork chops- and, to be fair, the smell disgusted me. I don't eat pork, but even if I did I would have drank my dinner anyway.

Emily is a bit dramatic and a bit hypochondriatic (yuh-huh it's a word), and she worries about everything and internalizes her stress, so much so that she gets stomach pains over upcoming events, even if it's something exciting like her birthday. And, yes, she has been through a whole range of tests, and there seems to be no physical cause for the pain- which has begun an annual appearance two weeks before Christmas and disappears miraculously the day after her birthday. I tend to monitor this pain by making her rate it numerically- 1 is it doesn't hurt, 10 is I can't move and I need to go to the emergency room. This really doesn't work as well as I'd like because it tends to be, "Oh, my stomach is on an eight!"... and then she'll throw out a leg to trip Connor as he's running past. So we go ahead and halvesies whatever she claims.

What all this means is I can't just dose her every time she complains about an ache. I have to be an uncaring, awful mom and offer her sympathy but essentially ignore her the first couple times she complains about something. It makes me feel like a real jerk. It makes her think that her feelings and pain don't matter, and that really sucks. But it's a little like "my brother hit me" or "he called me a bad word". Really? Did he actually hit you, or did he brush past you? Did he call you a name that has ruined your self-esteem, or did he say you were being a meany? Likewise, do you have a mild headache, or is your brain about to burst through your eye-holes?

The imagery? You're welcome.

Emmy and Ethan went sledding with friends right after school, and Emily came home achy and exhausted, said she was going to rest. She came down long enough to reject the dinner, went back upstairs, and actually went to sleep. Okay, so probably really not feeling well. She woke up still achy and exhausted, and decided to mix in a little "my belly hurts", just for flavor. I dosed her with tylenol and water, she fell back asleep. Normally when the kids are sick, I can't even get them to stay in bed with staples.

By 8:30 in the ay-em, I heard this pathetic, scratchy call, "Can I please have just some toast?"

"Sure," I called back, "or you could have a hard roll with cream cheese." Hard rolls (which are not hard, by the way) are the big treat in this house, probably because my kids have no idea what white bread is.

Much louder and clearer this time, "Well now I want a hard roll."

She'll be fine.

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