Tuesday, February 24, 2009
How many times have your children let out a blood-curdling scream that has sent you running towards them thinking they have either poked their eye out or cut off a limb. To only find that they have a splinter or else big sister has pinched them.
I wish I could get my children to understand the moral of “the boy who cried wolf.” And crying wolf is probably not the right term…because in their heart of hearts they feel the decibel level that they impute to their scream is absolutely worthy of the pain they are suffering.
I often wonder if they did lose a limb would the scream be so high pitched only our dogs could hear it.
Then again, a close friend (whose name shall remain anonymous for DCS purposes) recently heard one of those blood-curdling screams. Her son hurt his finger and hollered like he had just found Freddie Kruger sleeping under his bed! It was a scream she had become quite familiar with during his 9 years. She looked at the finger and did what she normally does. Gave him a kiss, told him he would be fine, put some ice on it and after about another 20 minutes of his complaining – told him to shake it off.
Two days later when the finger turned purple and swelled almost to the point she thought it might burst open – she took him to the doctor, who told her it was seriously broken and would require surgery.
She called me. I tried to console her.
“You can’t help it if he has been such a faker all these years. Maybe if he hadn’t been you would have been better able to judge the situation. By the way, if DCS does call, try not to mention that you and I are friends – ok?”
For some reason, my words of support only made her cry harder.
But we all know there is nothing worse than a mother’s guilt. Her son is fine now and has milked the situation for all it’s worth. Last time I visited, he was sitting on the sofa, watching a marathon of “Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” eating chocolate fondue out of a bowl with a spoon, while she was sitting next to him doing his homework.
On the other hand, most all the screams I have heard lately bellowing out of my children have nothing to do with broken limbs. It’s more like a stubbed toe or a tumble in the grass. But, I’ve found a good way to determine if the pain is “emergency room” worthy or not.
When I was younger, my Dad would make my brother and I take a spoon full of cod liver oil each and every night. For those of you who don’t know – it tastes just like it sounds – oily and fishy. I still start to gag just at the thought of it. But Dad said it could cure anything.
So, last time one of my children screamed out swearing that the pain they were suffering was unbearable, I pulled out my brand new bottle. I poured a big tablespoon and promised them this could cure any kind of pain.
“Open wide,” I said. All of a sudden, the tears dried up and miraculously the pain was gone.
Yes I know…my Mother of the Year Award must be in the mail.
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