Bribes, Pride, and the Hypochondriac

"Don't even think about leaving, Mommy."

The Five Minute Parental Countdown ticked to the end as the sun dipped behind the horizon.

“Okay guys, it’s time to go home,” I said, enjoying the lovely breeze.

“No. I want. Stay. Here.” Lil Diva’s words tumbled out, clear as can be.

“No, sweetie, our five minutes are up.” Regret filled my voice, because I didn’t want to leave either. I debated stretching bedtime. For a moment. But I knew better. “We have to go.”

“No! Want. Stay. HERE.”

I could see the inevitable meltdown forming, carrying her kicking and screaming.

I pulled out the trump card. “We have to go home so you can have a cupcake.”

She gave me a considering look. For about three seconds. “Okay.” She ran for the car.

We walked to the car as I marveled how much she sounds like a big girl.

A very stubborn one.

Not like anyone I know…

* * *

Words emerged from The Tackler’s mouth so terrifying, I dropped what I was doing and bolted to the bathroom.

“Mommy, I had a whole bunch of poop in the potty. And all the water didn’t go flushing down the toilet, because I had too much poop.”

To my amazement, no pool of disgusting water awaited on the floor.

My son simply required two flushes. At four and half years old.

He continued talking about it, bursting with pride at how prolific he was.

No wonder we had so many Poopapaloozas last year.

I shudder to think what the teen years will bring.

* * *

The Tackler complained his ear hurt, so we went to the doctor yesterday to have his ears checked.

For once, he did not have an ear infection.

“So buddy, is something bothering you?” the doctor asked.

My uvula is broken. And my stomach hurts.”

“Really…?” the doctor looked at me, partly amused, partly concerned.

“My lungs don’t work. My intestines are sick. My leg hurts.”

"My uvula isn't working..."

The Tackler continued – a sad, sick expression on his face – naming every body part he could think of and describing an illness for each as the doctor continued with the exam.

“He really likes to study the human body,” I said.

The doctor left, nothing to prescribe and The Tackler looked at me. “But I haven’t told him about all of my ouchies.”

I smiled and ushered him out. “Well be back for your sister’s well check tomorrow. Go get your sticker.”

He bolted and I sent a prayer to the heavens.

Please don’t let me have a hypochondriac on my hands.

Or one who begs to see the doctor for attention and the possibility of yummy antibiotics.

Do your children ever “fake” sick to go to the doctor? Have you ever bribed them to avoid a meltdown?

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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13 Responses to Bribes, Pride, and the Hypochondriac

  1. John says:

    Oh, I really hope you don’t have a hypochondriac on your hands . . . I can’t imagine dealing with a little one. Kids whine enough on their own — to have one that makes up stuff to whine about, though? Eek!

    My daughter, who is still in the babbling stage, has come up with a string of babble that sounds suspiciously like profanity whenever we don’t let her do what she wants to do.

  2. TheKirCorner says:

    That pic of the Lil Diva is adorable….truly. I love the stubborn, but it seems it will NOT be cute at 8, 12 or 16. 🙂 Plus she’s a girl after my heart. I love shoes and CUPCAKES.

    My boys poop like that too…seriously! They get down and I’m like how did that fit in YOU buddy??? You’re little and that is BIG. I love that you wrote it down,I might share my story now too. 🙂

    no hypocondriacs in my house yet…but it’s early. 😉

  3. Katie says:

    Glad to know we’re not the only ones who bribe our kids to avoid a meltdown.

    If the Tackler doesn’t have his own bathroom, that may be a renovation project that you want to move to the top of the list. Pronto.

  4. That picture of Lil Diva is priceless! Love how she is standing her ground. And she is a girl after my own heart only leaving because there is a cupcake on the other side! HA! I’ve been known to bribe my kids every now and then.

    Being a mom to three boys I’m telling you, the have the biggest poops EVER!!! I mean, these are adult sized and beyond!

    No hypocondriacs here. I’m sure The Tackler is just going through a phase!

    • I’m really hoping the “every part of my body is sick” behavior doesn’t last, but I don’t think we’ll be so lucky.

      I remember after giving The Tackler some children’s pepto bismol, for days afterward he would say his tummy hurt and he needed the yummy medicine.

      Sometimes I wish all of our toilets weren’t water saving… There’s something to be said about the old school variety when guys live in the house.

  5. Do not positively reward or give attention to any imaginary ouchies or Tackler will grow up to be like my hubby: a big fat baby, which is decidedly unhot in a man. Yeeech!

    He now calls his mother to complain about his shoulder, his tummy, his foot, his joint pain and all other ailments. From the garage.

    • Well your husband must have something going for him…

      The only time we give attention to imaginary ouchies is when we play together (yes, we’ve long since broken that rule, but the kids still manage to play on their own). He loves his doctor’s kit and had it out all morning and examined Lil Diva..

      It was pretty darn cute.

  6. Phyllis says:

    My sister once faked being nearsighted because some popular girl at middle school got glasses, and that made a bunch of less popular ones want to imitate her.

    I can’t remember my kids ever faking sick.

    As for the bribe … I may have done something like that from time to time. With my kids 28 and 26 now, it’s hard to remember. But I think I might have framed it more as, “We need to go home so we can watch Mary Poppins/play with Legos/read some stories” rather than food. Since I’ve always had a weight problem, I was always loathe to use food for bribes. It was kind of sad. I’d always had this vision of myself as the mom who made cookies and cakes and desserts all the time, but when I got there, I felt guilty if I did. That’s a whole ‘nother story, though.

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