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You want to be sick? You’re finally getting your wish

Submitted by on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 No Comment

Seriously, how was I supposed to know when Boots woke up crying that his butt hurt that he would be hanging his head over a garbage can an hour later?

The problem was, he’d been complaining about his butt since he’d taken a slide off his scooter and developed a mild case of road burn Saturday. He stepped up the moaning Sunday when Big Guy’s tumble off the bar stool sent us to the emergency room. “I need to see the doctor, too,” he insisted. He kept it up the rest of that evening for good measure.

It’s completely his MO – Big Guy gets a cold and Boots has to at least have the sniffles. I know it’s hard for a sibling to understand, no matter how many times you tell him that medicine isn’t love, when he sees another kid getting “extra attention” due to a chronic illness but, sheesh, this stuff gets old.

It was really old at 3 a.m. Monday when he woke me up for the second time to tell me his butt hurt. By the time he did it again an hour later I snapped, stomped down the stairs and poured a quarter-teaspoon placebo dose of ibuprofen. Maybe that would keep him quiet. Admittedly I was not at my “nurturing mom” best. Harsh words about faking illness might have been said.

When I finally got up for good at five, he followed me downstairs except this time his head was hurting instead of his butt. “I think I’m going to throw up,” he said. I moved the kitchen garbage can just in time. He then started to cry because vomiting means no school, and he wanted to hand out his Valentines.

Pond scum would have been a boost to my self-image at that point. He’d really been sick, and instead of “poor baby” he got a growl. I’d been so determined not to be scammed that I’d missed the truth when it was shivering right in front of me. And on top of that, he’d have to miss a party. At least he finally got medicine, and he took it with a smile. “I don’t know why Big Guy doesn’t like this,” he said. “It’s yummy.”

He also got the cuddle with Mommy that he’d missed out on during the wee hours when his butt hurt. “I stayed up all night,” he said around noon. “I need a nap.” We curled up together in the bed, and I apologized again and again and again. “I didn’t understand,” I said. “Next time, don’t tell me your butt hurts.”

Later that day, he’d recovered enough to gripe about cough syrup. “You’re going to kill me with all this medicine,” he said.

Whew. Maybe I’m not raising a hypochondriac after all.

Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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