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School Day Disease

April 19, 2010

Apparently, my ten-year-old daughter thinks she is  dying of some unknown disease that only she has and is yet to diagnose but that really exists and is painful but that only occurs between the hours of 8AM and 3PM.

On school days.

You can imagine how upset she is that we don’t believe her.

This all seemed to start about one month ago when she had a real illness–a sinus/ear infection that we treated with antibiotics. She was so relieved to actually have something real–a tangible bacteria–that she practically jumped for joy in the pediatrician’s office when the doctor told her that she was indeed sick and had to stay home from school for a few days with a valid excuse written on actual paper.

However, once those few days of blessed R & R were up, she went into mourning for those blissful days of chicken soup gone by.

Combine this illness with my accidentally sleeping through pickup due to getting a pain shot (see “Late for Pick-up, aka The End of the World” here) and she’s all about the mama drama in the mornings. And, well, the evenings, too. Well, I’ll get to that.

It’s not that I don’t love my little peanut. I do. She’s a little mush. Whenever I want a hug, kiss or snuggle, Anya is who I go to. She’s smart, sweet, creative and fun. She’s also a tween. If you are a parent of a tween, especially a tween girl, then you know. Moody, hormones, crying, mouthy–D, all of the above. And you know what? It’s okay, I get it. I, unlike many parents I know *sniff*, remember that age clearly, and what a self-conscious, horrible time it was for me. I want to be there for her.

However. There ARE limits to even my patience. If you follow me you know that vodka helps. Just kidding. Not really. But when a typical morning starts with her hysteria that she’s worried I may die before pickup, even my patience has worn thin. Add to that the evening before running list of symptoms and heavy sighs…well, I’ve about had it.

We’ve talked with therapists, her teacher, the school counselor, etc. What it boils down to is this: Anya is worried that something horrible will happen to us and that she and her little brother Lukas will become orphans and have to live like Annie and sing for their supper and, worst of all, wear unfashionable clothing. She worries about her daddy and I every day, all day, even during class time. She cries at school, worrying, pondering our fate. No amount of reassurances–or text messaging (why did we ever get her a cell phone?)–seems to calm her fears. *Though I’d like to note here that she’s fine on playdates away from us, though we’ve yet to conquer sleepovers.

We have bought the books, she’s involved in sports, we have techniques to calm her, I’ve even changed her diet, and if you follow me on Twitter, you know about the new puppy. I’m not looking for advice here, though if you’d like to comment and share your experiences, I’d be glad to hear them. I have my own past anxieties to deal with that I don’t thrust upon her, so I feel I can fully appreciate her worries. Our goal is simply to get her to realize that she can’t control everything in her life and to calm the hell down. 

Heck, if I could control everything, she would be calm, her room would be clean, dinner would be made and the laundry would do itself.

Wait, that’s what they call delusion. If this keeps up, that might be where I’m headed.

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  1. I can completely understand Anya. I am an absolute control freak and if I could, I would keep myself and my whole family safe in our own house all day and all night, all the days of the year.

    But they force me to go out into the world and work. So I spend all my time stressed out that something bad is going to happen and I can't stop it. And I'm definitely not feeling too well, right now.


  2. I remember feeling the same thing when I was a kid. Mom and Dad showed up late one night when we were at that TOTALLY CREEPY piano teachers house… remember that? OMG – I suppose someone into antiques would think – how cool? – but I broke into a cold sweat figuring I was destined to live the rest of my life like Rebecca.

    She'll grow out of it… xoxoxoAunt Caren

  3. Wow. I don't have anything to say.

    I do believe that children had a lot more stress than we did when we were younger.

    I have to say, I do follow you on Twitter and I didn't know about the new puppy. I don't always see the tweets I WANT to see. But I did just notice you changed your avatar, yet?

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