Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just Another Parenting Mystery

What is that word that means something like conundrum? Only it takes a lifetime to even begin to understand how to balance the enigma, without ever really solving it? Oh yeah, that's right. It's called parenthood.

I have this child.  When faced with food he didn't like, he complained his stomach hurt. Then one day it became a tooth ache.  Every couple of days he would mention his tooth hurting, but then, when prodded, would stop complaining and eat.

Finally, after complaining while eating  a meal where all the options began with Mc-, my husband decided it might be more than a food-avoiding gimmick. He looked into the deep pit of our son's mouth and found hiding in back a severely abscessed tooth. He should've been writhing in pain for at least a week.  That is when we learned he has excessive pain tolerance; for all he complains, a small stomach ache could be appendicitis!

On the other hand, I have this child. A papercut is the end of the world. Stubbed toes elicit animal like howling and scraped knees warrant headache-inducing screeches. I must hear him holler from stepped on feet, small pinches, or simple stumbles a hundred times a day. He has zero pain tolerance (and excellent vocal skills).

Just what is the mystery, you ask? I am describing the SAME child.

Got it? Screaming and crying = fine, calm or slight mention of pain = might be dying. My child with the highest pain tolerance happens to have no pain tolerance at all.
  • So ... if you see my child complain of something small and he doesn't even seem upset, yet I give him a full history and physical, don't think I'm an over-hovering mom.

  • On the other hand ... if you see my child come up to me practically wild with pain and I just roll my eyes and send him on his way, don't think I'm completely detached.
I'm just practicing balance with a personal parenting enigma.



  1. we have the SAME child here too...

    I actually made an appointment at the doctor's office recently - told them I fully expected to be told he was a hypochondriac and she looked at me like she didn't know how to deal with that information...

    I said - "just write 'well-child visit'"

  2. That is really funny. I think you have got the pattern down though, right? I mean, don't admit that out loud because as soon as we admit to having something figured out with these kids, it changes. I have a daughter with such low pain tolerance that I have already told her I will NOT be present during any pregnancies or birth for her.
    And I liked the part about all the food starting with Mc- that made me laugh.

  3. Poor Ethan, I had a abcess tooth and it about killed me. He just has found a way to keep you on your toes. Ha good luck keeping up.

  4. Okay, you have some serious skill to have figured that out AND how to deal with it!

  5. That is equal parts sad and hilarious.

  6. Seriously thought you were talking about two separate children...what a cool little boy!

  7. I had that child -- I'm so glad she grew up! And I didn't even kill her!

  8. He's a walking contradiction!!! Good luck with that :)

  9. This is why I only have 2 kids. I am not as skilled of a detective.

  10. That is so funny! I have totally noticed that with Ethan. and he does have some great vocal cords ;)