Toeing the mossy Tightrope

mossy tightropeMy 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?

 

On noticing the difference

It is cliche to say that the kids are different but I am noticing some really obvious differences between my two boys lately. Specifically the difference between their reactions to getting in trouble. Primo doesn’t like it when I am mad at him, he becomes cuddly and sad and wants me to reassure him that I love him. He wants to know why I am mad at him and he apologizes a number of times. I can see the uneasiness in his face and it makes it that much tougher on me. With Segundo though he doesn’t seem to care that he is in trouble. I mean he cares that he is in timeout but there is no sense that my being angry with him has any effect on him. When I go in to talk to him about why he is in trouble and what he did he is light and funny. He apologizes of course, he has to to get out of time out, but he has none of the uncertainty that Primo shows. He seems to be assured of my love in the midst of the discipline while Primo needs to hear from me that I love him. I wonder how that will play out as they grow up and if that will continue to be the case.