My seven year old has been developing headaches, stomach aches, and the need to throw up nearly every time it's time to take him to school in the mornings. But otherwise, he is fine! It's been surprising to me, this aversion to school, because he has always been the most outgoing of my four children-- the one who is always eager to do social things and play with friends when my other kids are perfectly fine staying home with each other. These psychosomatic sick symptoms started last year and are, unfortunately, becoming a daily routine into his 2nd grade year. When I pick him up from school at the end of the day, however, he is happy and chatty and tells me all the fun and cool things he learned that day: "Mom, did you know that hermit crabs aren't really crabs and they borrow shells from other creatures!" or "Mom, today we made pumpkin art using glue and chalk! We have to do it at home today, too!" or "I really like my teacher, she's the best teacher I ever had." The list goes on and on. He is happy at his new school, too!
|Pumpkin art by Mal!|
The fact of the matter is he's a totally different child after school than before school. Here is a boy who loves to learn new things, and loves to interact with others, plus loves art and science and engineering, and the all the awesome things they do at his STEAM school, yet has the hardest time getting there in the morning! So hard! For him...and for me.
Towards the beginning of the school year I took him to our family doctor for a full check up. 100% healthy. Then I took him to the eye doctor to make sure it wasn't a vision problem. 100% healthy. He's adequately fed and hydrated and gets enough sleep, too! 100% healthy! Then I spoke to the school nurse and we came up with a plan that if he came down with "sick symptoms" he could take 1 purple tylenol, drink water, and wait 20 minutes before calling me to pick him up. This plan worked on several occassions as he felt better after taking the candy pill and then went back to class. Phew--problem averted. However, I am still having a rough time getting him out the door in the morning. (His symptoms magically went away the three weeks I was doing my student observations at his school. I think having me there was a nice morale boost), however we are back to square one.
This morning as it was time to start getting ready for school I could hear him also starting his usual complaints--I don't feel good, my head hurts, I feel like I need to throw up.... ,I was in the bathroom finishing up brushing my teeth and so started my usual responses--That's too bad. It sucks to feel sick. Maybe you'll feel better after breakfast...With absolutely no feeling or empathy in my voice I kept responding to his complaints as usual, gently prodding him up the stairs to the breakfast table. I was feeling frustrated inside and almost started blaming him again for these made up sicknesses as I have on other days when I felt frustrated, when I immediately felt the spirit tell me I need to get down on the floor with him and talk about anxiety.