My 6 year old is easily swayed towards sickness by words. Well maybe not towards sickness per say but there are a few phrases that immediately bring symptoms on for him. Today after school he was feeling a little low and I asked if anything was wrong, how his day was, yada yada yada. I felt his head and thought he felt warm and he went from a little down and chatty to full on sick kid mode. He laid on the couch and whimpered, at one point telling me he couldn’t move his body he was so sick. I accidentally said the word fever and it had a devastating effect on his health.
A similar thing happens around throwing up. Primo is terrified of throwing up and if he burps wrong he will have to carry a bucket with him for the rest of the night, in case he has to throw up, and might even start limping for good measure. There have been a few time I’ve joked about hurling and sent him into a panic just for my own amusement. I know, I know, I’m a terrible person. This is a frustration of mine, seeing my sons symptoms radically change based on the language I use to describe them. Somehow naming it gives power to the feelings.
Segundo treats sickness as a minor speed bump, the ones with cutouts so you can drive through without even slowing down. Words have no effect on his health just as his health has little to no effect on how he goes about his day. It is often hard to tell when Segundo is sick, though he is almost always suffering from some bug. The dangers of pre-school I’m afraid. I often wonder why the difference between the two. Why do I need to be so careful with Primo, walking a thin line between finding out what is bothering him without creating new maladies by giving them names. I don’t want to raise a hypochondriac but I also don’t think telling him to sack up will do the trick. How would you handle this situation?