Friday, January 28, 2011

My Daughter, the Hypochondriac

Yes, I’ll freely admit that my daughter is a raging hypochondriac. She comes by it honestly, and for once I’m able to say that this is something that she did NOT get from me. Her father is the same way. One little dot/mark on his skin could be anything from malaria to skin cancer on any given day. Some people might find this odd behavior…but not those of us who grew up with a hypochondriac for a parent. Or a step-parent. Yes, my step-dad was/is the world’s worst hypochondriac. This man should not own the big book of medical diseases and symptoms…but he does. It’s very worn from all the times that he’s looked something up and then read all about it, I’m sorry to say. I wonder now in this day and age if he still uses that book or if he googles his symptoms...there are those of us who have been banned from googling medical symptoms.  Cough, cough.

But that’s not because I’m a hypochondriac, I promise!

Anyway, back to my story. So my daughter’s like this. It’s something that I just accept naturally and deal with as it comes up. “Mom, there’s a mark on my arm. Can I have some of the itch cream?” “Mom, I fell today at school and hit my knee and there’s a bruise. Can I have an ice pack?” You might be surprised at all the ailments that an ice pack can cure…I keep several on standby. Most days, this is just normal stuff for me that I listen to with one ear barely tuned in and treat as I see fit. Yes, I dispense Children’s Pepto like candy in extreme circumstances…don’t judge. One little pill can’t hurt her and it eases her mind enough for her to go to sleep. Which brings peace to my household…

But that’s most days. Then there are the REALLY good ones that she comes up with. She hit a doozy out of the park the other night, and I just have to share it with you. I wonder if she’ll ever read my blog one day and be SO mad that I share all of this non-sense with you? Oh well…it’s too funny not to share. Even me, with all of my jaded-ness towards her ailments really had to struggle not to laugh at this one!

So, we were giving Jax his bath the other night. Normally this is something that Brent does nightly and really looks forward to, but he was feeling a bit under the weather, so Jenna and I stepped up to the task. Now, for the back story information that you’ll need for this all to make sense: Jenna has really dry skin. Especially so during the winter months. Like so dry that the backs of her hands are actually roughened from being so chapped. I try and try to keep her hands doused in healing lotion while she’s at my house, but it’s a never-ending job. Trust me. So her hands are dry. Now you’re all caught up.

We get the water running and as I’m getting Jax undressed, I ask her to check the water temperature for me, which she does. Then as I’m finishing up taking his diaper off, I notice that Jenna is scratching her hands. Repeatedly. When I ask her what the problem is, she says that they really, really, really itch. Bad. Naturally thinking about the chapped state of her hands, I dismiss the problem and go about getting the little squirmy worm into the tub. She gets right beside me on the floor and proceeds to start to play with his bath toys, entertaining him while I soap him up and start the cleaning process. Before I know it, she’s no longer playing with him, but scratching her hands…and halfway up to her arms. I ask her again what the problem is and she again tells me that her arms and hands really, really, really itch. Bad.

Since this is the second complaint in under 5 minutes, I take a look. Sure enough, her hands are red and blotchy-looking (from the scratching) and there are scratch marks now on her forearms where she’s been scratching. I explain to her that she HAS to use the special lotion that I bought her for her hands more often to avoid this state that she’s in now. I explain that when you’re skin is really dry like hers is that water can irritate it and make your skin itch. That's all, nothing to worry about.

My daughter, being a normal eight year-old who knows WAY more than her Mom, begins to argue with me. (This is also normal behavior, just like her being a hypochondriac.) I listen with half an ear and again repeat what I think that it is. If she chooses not to listen or to disagree with me, then please do it silently.

Fast forward to the end of Jax’s bath. Now it’s Jenna’s turn. We let out his bath water and I start the shower for her to bathe in. As I’m getting Jax dried off, lotioned up, diapered and dressed in his pjs she gets in the shower. I’m intently blowing raspberries on his tummy, trying to cheer him up (read other posts about why he’s down in the dumps this week) when I hear a shriek and hollering going on from the other side of the shower curtain. I immediately panic and poke my head into her shower to see what the problem is. Where I’m immediately informed that the water is stinging/burning her hands and arms painfully and she can’t shower.

Some kids will try anything to get out of bathing, huh? :)

I tell her to finish her shower, that she’s not getting out of bathing and to deal with it. I think to myself that maybe this will be a good lesson for why you should listen to your mom and use the special lotion that she spent $7 on for you…

Ten minutes later, I’m sitting in my glider, giving Jax his bedtime bottle and then his breathing treatment when a clean and fresh Jenna comes in to tell me Good Night. I can tell that she’s troubled by something, and ask what the problem is. In a voice that is so serious it’s not funny, she tells me that she thinks she knows why she was having so much problems in the shower and it’s NOT because she wasn’t using her lotion on her hands like she’s supposed to.

I can do nothing more than sit back and wait to witness the stunning revelation, right? And then these words come out of her mouth…

“I’m allergic to water, Mom.”

Seriously? That’s the best you can come up with? Well, given that she’s only eight, I guess that I have to give her some props for creativity. I literally bite the inside of my lip to keep from smiling, laughing or anything else and calmly ask why she thinks she’s allergic to water.  I mean, I try to treat all of this stuff with a little bit of seriousness so that I don't scar her for life and end up paying for the therapy later. 

I’ll sum up the rest for you, because it was a pretty long, lengthy and drawn out explanation of sorts that fell back upon itself a time or three. Here it is in a nutshell: people itch when they’re allergic to something, and they break out in spots – she found 4 spots on her stomach and there’s a LOT more on her back. It only happens when she touches water.  Thus, she’s allergic to water.

Now…because I’m a good Mom, I asked to see the spots. Then I asked her to turn on a light. BECAUSE I COULDN’T SEE ANY SPOTS. Then I asked for a magnifying glass…apparently being a good Mom only gets you so far! Literally they were the smallest little spots you’ve ever seen in your life. I promise. But there were actually 4 little, bitty, teensy, weensy spots on her stomach. I never found the ones on her back…still looking for those.

Anyway, I had her turn out the light and then come back for an equally long and lengthy discussion about why a person can’t be allergic to water. Since she’s only in the 3rd grade, I’m pretty sure that a lot of my brilliant lecture on anatomy and physiology and cellular make-up was lost on her…but trust me, it was truly stunning. It was an open and honest discussion – she argued her points and I told her she was wrong. Like any good Mom would do.

I’m just kidding. I didn’t destroy her self-confidence by telling her she was wrong. I actually told her that her points were good, but I really felt like I was right on this one. And then we compromised by theorizing that she could be allergic to the soap. (Since it couldn’t possibly be the water.) She went to sleep happy…and I dissolved into gales of laughter.

Which is how Brent found me when he came up to ask what I needed him to do before he went to bed.  I quickly explained the scene to him and we both had a good laugh. She’s definitely come up with some good ailments/diseases in her time, I’ll give her that. But being allergic to water? That’s got to be the best one yet!

** Oh, and just on a side-note so that you don’t think that I’m the meanest Mom EVER for laughing about her theory…she’s been showering in the same water for over two years now with no problems what-so-ever. And she took a shower the next two nights without any of the itching either, so I think that I’m safe in poking a little fun of my favorite little girl!


Pamela Hutchins said...

Seriously, I think your daughter is related to ours. Or the same person. Very funny. :)

Natalie said...

Oh my...I got a good belly laugh out of that one! Thanks for the morning funny! : )

The Hudack Family said...

Oh my gosh. I just laughed so loud the guy next to me knows I'm not working.