Friday, November 9, 2007

The Girl Who Cried Wolf

The Girl is home from school today. I had to say yes, because she is complaining of all the same symptoms I have been experiencing. If I am going to give myself the pampering I think I deserve when I am sick, then I can't deny her illness.

Although occasionally it is hard to know if The Girl is really sick, she has a flair for the dramatic. She may limp about for days after stubbing a toe - unless you catch her in an unguarded moment. As emergency medical attention is not always offered when she bumps an elbow, she will rig up a sling made out of a winter scarf or a long stocking. The effect of a pink sling with snowflakes and Santa on it may not be as devastating as she would like to believe.

I watched in amazement when, at 18 months of age, she alternately practiced laughing, smiling, looking surprised and looking sad in her crib mirror. I shook my head in disbelief when at 4 she told the pediatrician that her legs sometimes went into spasms and she couldn't walk. As the doctor and I both stared, wide-eyed, at her demonstration of a girl using those "sticks that help you walk", her objective suddenly became clear to me. "She's trying to score a pair of crutches", I explained to the baffled physician.

I have told her the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf many times but it hasn't made an impression. What good are stories with a moral if they aren't going to scare children? I think Hansel and Gretel would be a better choice. She might think twice about eating all the school snacks in one afternoon - after all, she might need them one day to find her way out of the woods.

4 comments:

Terry Heath said...

Sounds like you have a budding actress on your hands. I can actually remember wanting crutches and even glasses, but I think what I really wanted was the associated attention. Not the attention of already having them, but of someone giving them to me. Not that I didn't feel taken care of, but somehow it's what I wanted. I grew out of it, and even turned out somewhat normal.

Andrea Paulsen said...

Yes, I have often thought I should have named her Sarah Bernhardt.

I remember washing the dishes with a blindfold on, trying to see if I could cope with being blind just in case.

Some people think I turned out somewhat normal too, but the votes are not all in yet.

easywriter said...

Maybe she'll win an Oscar some day. LOL, I think I used to do things like that too, only it was more the my throat's too sore to go to school today type of theatrics. It never worked.

Andrea Paulsen said...

easywriter,

I think all kids "play sick" occasionally, but she has elevated it to the level of performance art.

Sometimes, even I believe her.