I’m not a fan of touching other people’s feet. If I do, chances are:
A) I married you, you just took a shower, and I want one in return
B) I gave birth to you and your feet don’t stink…. yet.
But I LOVE getting a foot massage.
Sadly, they are in short supply after almost ten years of marriage and a lack of visits to a masseuse.
Still, there is just something magical about foot massages.
This simple fact hit me one night when my six-year-old awoke, SCREAMING.
“MY LEG HURTS! OWOWOW!” Over and over.
Nothing I did distracted The Tackler from his pain and I finally removed him from his room. I took him downstairs and grabbed some lotion, thinking a leg massage might do the trick.
“OW! It’s hurts, Mommy!” Tears streamed down his eyes, and I hit the Parenting Point of Desperation: where you will try anything you think might work.
I switched to rubbing his feet, and like a switch, his cries stopped.
“Does that feel better?” I asked.
After a few minutes I convinced him to go back to bed if I kept rubbing his feet—fearing the logistics of maneuvering him into a top bunk bed if he fell asleep.
Less than ten minutes later, his deep breaths were audible and I left the room—amazed something so simple helped.
Then Sunday night, after a very active day at the park, my three-and-a-half-year-old Lil Diva woke up two hours after falling asleep. SCREAMING.
It’s more challenging to get her to speak while incoherent, but finally I deciphered her words: “My leg hurts!”
At first, I chalked it up to her banging it on her toddler bed—she sleeps in the strangest positions.
When nothing worked after twenty minutes—even a video on the iPad failed to quiet her sobs—I was reminded how this resembled her brother’s cries.
I brought her downstairs and gave her some ibuprofen (to avoid having a reoccurrence). Then I brought out the lotion and started rubbing her tiny feet.
It was the classic light switch scenario again: her cries stopped.
She was exhausted and after only a minute I convinced her to continue the foot rub in her bed and she capitulated easily.
After five minutes of a foot massage, my daughter was quiet when I paused, and I escaped to the chair in her room to make sure she didn’t scream again.
Naturally I consider myself an expert on this situation after a 2/2 success rate and consider it my duty as a parent to share how something actually worked when I hit the Parent Point of Desperation.
So if your child wakes up screaming, and claiming of leg pain—which according to my mother and Google is often credited to “growing pains”, although some medical sites claim this to be a “myth”—whatever the cause, try a good old fashioned foot massage with some lotion.
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Anyone else had a child wake up with these “growing pains”? What did you do?