Having just spent the past 5 days in all sorts of illness related pain and discomfort, it really highlighted to me just how egocentric children can sometimes be. Through no fault of their own they can be so wrapped up in their own little worlds that they are completely oblivious to what is going on around them.
At one point in the middle of my five days from hell I was lying in bed writhing in agony, on the verge of tears from the pain wracking my body when Henry comes skipping happily into the room, waves his empty cup at me and says joyfully, “More juice please Mummy!”
At other times they tried to understand what was going on but didn’t get it quite right. As I was heading out to the doctors’ one afternoon they asked where I was going and why. I explained about the pain I was feeling and they bombarded me with questions; “Will the doctor take your pain out? How will the doctor take it out? Will he cut it out?”
“Is your hurt under your t-shirt? Can I see it?”
“Is your hurt on your skin mummy? Can I see the hurt?” “Turn around mummy, oh yes, I can see a little scratch on your back, I think that must be making you hurt, don’t worry, show the doctor and he will make it better.”
But sometimes, in the midst of the usual noise and energy that so characterises our house, they could be very sweet and caring and they demonstrated an awareness of the fact that I really wasn’t very well. One morning Henry came into my room, gave me a kiss and asked me if I felt better today, and one night before going to bed Sam came to give me a kiss as I was lying on the couch and said “I hope you feel better in the morning Mummy. I love you.”
Today I am finally feeling much better and have even been able to go out with them to the beach and hopefully now normal service will resume!