Illness and Insecurity

Littley has a vomiting bug. Whilst these are not nice for anyone – child or adult, it is interesting to notice the wider areas that are affected in our children. She sits near one or both of us and has a needs to chat (as ever); yet as we listen it is clear that she has a need to process what is happening to her. So we get questions that are sweet and funny and cute and also show how she worries and has regressed to a much younger age. Things like:

“It’s not my fault is it?”

“I will get better won’t I?”

“Am I in trouble for not getting to bathroom in time?”

She has also been quite repetitive in explaining how it all feels. The pain in her chest, how her head hurts and where it is, what the stomach cramps feel like. Each time the unpleasant symptoms come back she talks and talks about what it is like. She reassured herself in the talk and looks meaningfully at us, to check we are listening and for us to affirm that she is correct in what she says.

“Is it ok that I stay in my pyjamas all day?”

“Is this really just a bug?”

“I’m not going to feel like this forever am I?”

Of course, having a bug and upset stomach is made even harder for her because when she is feeling uncertain, stressed or troubled she either comfort eats or dresses nicely! In addition, I am gently advising her not to eat which isn’t received very well for a child left hungry I her early years. So here we are, eating is not a good plan and there’s no need to get dressed! When I realised this I could see more of her agitation and her difficulty in being unable to find ways to feel better. So I put her in the bath, with lots of bubbles, stayed beside her for yet more chatting, more processing, more empathising with the unwell feelings and then found her favourite t-shirt and new joggers.

Getting dressed helped (for a while) and she absorbed herself in tv with endless Tom and Jerry and the Muppet film. That gave me a chance to remake her bed, deep clean the bathroom and find all the bits my dear hubby missed at 2am in the morning!!! How I love the smell of bleach 🙂

Later, during chattering and cuddles, she surprises me again by telling me that she’s really glad I’m her mummy now. How lovely. Then goes on to say that it’s really good that I look after when she’s poorly, and I look after her all the time and I keep her safe and at least I don’t put broken glass in the bath!!! Well I stayed composed (as you do) and added that little disclosure to the list. Thankfully, with the help of her Bedtime Meditation stories and me sitting with her (as we used to do in early years) she was able to get off sleep.

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