Today was an interesting day at my house. Tim was off today and I was getting dinner ready (in the morning) to go in the frig, the two kids were eating breakfast and M comes quickly up to me saying he was “quaking”. Go hug the toilet, I say, giving him a weird look. This is the kid that 30 seconds earlier asked for more pumpkin peanut butter bread and was yakking it up with S. I checked on him and he hadn’t thrown up but looked a little pale and was squatting by the toilet. Make yourself comfortable I tell him. His hands seem to be shaking. Of course, the next time Tim checks on him he’s not shaking at all. My gut instinct the minute he said he was “quaking”: he’s faking. Oh, a terrible Mom am I. My child wouldn’t fake being sick, especially since I’m going out of town this weekend. And the light goes off, folks! I’ve tried a different approach to my “girls weekend” this time by dealing with the big feelings ahead of time, talking about it, processing it, you know the drill. Hoping I don’t get punished after the fact for leaving them. I think it backfired. But I treated the symptoms: make a bed in the den, bucket next to him, resting, no food. S had a session at UNC-G with the Speech/Language Therapist so she and I trekked out in the rain. M felt a little better when I get home (surprise, surprise). He asked for toast with jelly. Wrong. Toast with butter. Nope. Plain old toast for the sick boy and a banana (I was feeling generous).
Later on M got to rest with me in the afternoon. We talked and he admitted he thought if he was sick I wouldn’t go on my weekend. We’ve had some deep discussions lately about God and whether he truly believes in Him. Why heaven is a great place, not a place to be feared. All sorts of big thoughts and feelings. I think God is working in his heart and convicting him. It’s so hard to tell. But most of the time I’m spot on with my instincts. This time I was right, although M has never done this before. He told me he felt far away from me and wanted to be close. Well, son, that’s not the way to get close. Lying and being the boy who cried wolf doesn’t fly with me. His consequences for faking it: he had to do his math (although that was all) and got more toast for dinner while we had a delicious meal. That made him cry, as important as food is to him. No TV or computer, just resting and reading and going to bed early. Amazingly he feels much better now. Go figure.