Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Self-Soothing and the Stomach Flu

As we seek to understand the various temperaments of our dear children, it is helpful to put them in different situations and observe their behavior. Nature did this for me last month, when it provided the nasty virus.  Read more experiments on children, with variables including a sibling looking for a debate, a box for goodwill, and a fit-throwing adult.  (with analysis)

Six sick children. One stomach bug.
multiplicity of coping measures.

Self soothing measures 
(children may exhibit more than one.)

Denial (or, the puke and run): Child’s childishness stays strong despite the virus. He simply incorporates the need to throw up into his daily schedule, gets the messy business done, and returns to his play.

Regressing: Child becomes a helpless puddle of need. He cannot hold his own drink or get his own blanket.  Sympathy, snuggles, and maybe even a lullaby are in order. (Just don't tell any of his friends at school.)

Hollerin’: Each time a child moves, he wails in misery, “I WAAAAAAAAAANT YOU MOMMY!!!”

Resolve: Child does his best to wear a brave face through the ordeal. Mom gives extra sympathy to this one.

Hoarding: Child climbs on the couch under blankets, and when asked to share, says in a pathetic voice, “I really just don’t want to get you sick, like me.”

Clinging: Child is absolutely UN-happy unless he is sitting on top of the mother. He simple must be on her lap or her hip at all times. If mother puts him down for one moment, he screams as if he’s sitting in him boiling lava.

Philosophizing: The child’s weak body gives him time to reflect on important matters. “Why do we have to get sick?” “Why are there germs?” “Why can’t we just go to heaven right now?”

Velma Virus by Lorraine
Collecting his own data: Child realizes that mom allows more TV watching for sick kids. He says, “My tummy hurts! It needs to watch Scooby Doo!” He keeps this game going for as long as he can.

Medicating: Child needs medicine when he is sick. At times, the medicine seems to magically fix the problem the second he swallows. If it doesn’t, then he thinks he needs more. Or perhaps, a trip to the hospital.

Repeating: Last time child was sick, she ate 2 oranges and took an extra nap, and she woke up feeling fine again. She begs for oranges, convinced that this will work every time.

Despairing: After several consecutive minutes of agony, child collapses on his bed as if he is slain. Giving up after a hard-fought battle, he weakly tells mother, “I know I’m just never ever going to get better.” With a sigh, he resigns to sleep.

Tell me, do you see these in your house? 

What other reactions do your children have when they are ill?

Do YOU have any silly self-soothing measures of your own?


  1. I think I've seen them all, though I couldn't have described them so well as you did. Thanks for giving them names, that will be helpful in the future. At least you can laugh about it now?

    1. exactly. making fun of it in my head (and then blogging it) is one of MY favorite self-soothing measures!

    2. Good one! Blessings to you.

  2. I love your descriptions! I totally agree that a child can't get better unless they're sitting right on top of mommy. It's a must!

    Thanks for linking up with us over at #findingthefunny!

  3. Oh! Viruses pretty well negate my son's behavior meds so that he becomes a screaming maniac of hypomaia. Not pretty. And then if there's puke involved? Very not pretty. My daughter is more of a "resolved to get through this, please don't make me miss schooler".

    1. Oh that sounds horrible! (your son.) Your daughter cracks me up- I have one like that too. She tries so hard to look tough so I don't make her cancel her plans! :)


Web Analytics