My tummy not feel better!
This is what my daughter says every time she feels vulnerable. It started about a week ago and, like any good neurotic mother, I ran through all of the worst-case scenarios in my head:
- Stomach cancer
- Obstructed bowel
- Constipation due to a diet of chicken nuggets and bread (she's at that stage where she boycotts all nutritionally valuable foods)
With the help of some careful observation and sage advice from an experienced YMCA child watch center worker, I have come to the conclusion that none of these scenarios apply. What is happening when my daughter utters these five words is nothing more than pure manipulation. At the ripe old age of two and a half she has figured out how to play me like a fiddle. She senses my hypersensitivity when it comes to her well-being. She knows that her one ace in the hole is her health and I will always err on the side of caution when she cries "sick."
In the past week, my daughter's stomach has hurt during the following scenarios:
- when I drop her off in the Y nursery
- when I deny her request for candy
- when she sees the Easter Bunny (she's terrified of all furries)
- when she is in the company of someone new and feels shy
- at bedtime
Anyone detecting a pattern here?
I'm wise to her games. It took me seven days but I've finally decoded the two-and-a-half-year-old mind. Impressive huh? Now I just use her fear of furries against her. Whenever she feigns illness, I threaten a visit to the Easter Bunny. It works like a charm! Sure, I might be damaging her enjoyment of Easter for life but, oh well, it works. I never liked the Easter Bunny all that much anyway. He gives me the creeps with his giant head and ridiculous outfit.