Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tough Cookie

My six year old is the most stoic creature I've known. She will deny illness in the face of a 104º fever, with her face in a puke bucket. This totally freaks me out. It is something I don't actually understand on a genetic level. It is like we don't speak the same language when it comes to illness. I admit though, I STILL call my mom if I don't feel well so I can at least hear someone say, "oh you poor thing". (Sorry mom.) I mean, don't get me wrong, I am a mother so I don't really get sick days - you know what I mean. But I still like the 'idea' of getting babied. Not my daughter. It is as if she can combat an illness with denial and grit.

I was checking on her after she went to bed and was dabbing her HOT forehead with a cloth, murmuring soothing mommy phrases like, "you'll be fine" and "I'm here sweetie". When she got all Exorcist on me and growled "Leave me alone, I am fine!" As I backed away I heard 'the noise'. This is the only indication she ever gives when she is about to be sick. Not quite a cough, not quite a moan. I ran to get a bucket as she dutifully held the sick in her mouth! (yuck, I know, sorry but WTF? This is not something I require!) until I came back with the bucket. She mumbled thanks, then laid back down to go to sleep. I swear this kid could break an arm and set it herself, and go back to climbing trees.

I don't know how many times when I have taken her to the doctor that they ask, so does this hurt her, that? And I always have to say "I don't know" because she will not say. Never has. I always get a nice long measuring stare for that response. I worry that maybe she has such a high pain threshold that maybe she can't tell that she is uncomfortable or hurt. Who knows? But if the military allowed their soldiers to wear tutu's and tiaras she'd probably make a heck of a marine.


Katherine said...

She's adorable and I love that picture, but that would freak me out a little.

Or would it? I'm the mother who denied my child was sick when he was 2 and had scarlet fever. I had been stamping my foot at him and telling him to "stop whining" for three days. (I was postpartum with a six month old - not really handling it well either) When I finally got a clue and took him to the pediatrician? His temp was 105. Feel the guilt.

So your daughter is lucky she has you. If I were her mother she probably wouldn't have made it past 2. I might not have noticed she was sick at all.

Good job Mommy!

Maria said...

I'm glad to know that this is a genetic thing. I always felt I was lacking because I let everyone know I was sick. My cousins were the hold your puke types, too. I felt like such a baby. But I see what you mean, that would kinda of be scary not to have a child admit she was sick. She must just really really hate it so much she wants to deny it, poor thing. Semper fi.

Mommylion said...

Thanks for your comments. It is hard when they are suffering and I feel helpless, you know?

Oh, Katherine, I do feel the guilt. Have you watched Shrek? When he explains to donkey that he is like an onion, because he has layers. I am an onion when it comes to health issues. I try so hard, but I have so failed in the past.

Here's my story in short sentences because it is too hard to go into. Babysitter, long hours at work. Too early potty training. Perfectionistic child. Chronic constipation. Many, many tests. Quit my job because problem was becoming too bad. Yelled at her anyway for a potty accident. Rectal prolapse because she pushed to hard to try to please me. So I do totally feel the guilt.

But that is how our road to homeschooling started. The silver lining. And we all survived it. Kids really should come with detailed instructions!

Katherine said...

Gosh, Hugs all around. Parenting is sooooooooo hard sometimes.

Love, Katherine