Sunday, 8 July 2007

EMOTIONAL RESPONSES


Little Girl has been ill. I got a call from school on Thursday to collect her and when I did she was running a high temperature and looking decidedly unwell. So it was straight to bed and a restless night when she was uncomfortable and my concern kept me awake looking out for her. At first this sudden illness had taken us both by surprise and even a little shock; Little Girl is rarely ever poorly you see. Then a bout of anger crept in as she realised that she might not recover for a school trip the following day or worse still a Brownie event today.
The next day she was no better. “My tummy’s so hot, you can probably fry bacon and eggs on it,” she remarked. I wasn’t sure if she was hallucinating but decided not, when she declined my offer to try.
She became unrealistic as to her recovery time and also entered classic bargaining mode: “Maybe if I stay off today and miss the school trip, I’ll be that much better for Brownies on Saturday” she stated.
Of course, a working mother’s worst nightmare had descended. A day of commitments and nobody to look after her sick child.
Luckily our next door neighbour was able to help and I went off to the office feeling guilty for leaving but convinced that I had no choice. When I got in yesterday evening, Little Girl was sad.
“I’m not going to be better for tomorrow,” she wittered through floods of tears.
The depression lasted all evening as she drifted in and out of sleep.
This morning she was still under the weather but acceptance had materialised. “I’m just not well enough to go.”
In the space of 36 hours we’d embraced, albeit at only a superficial level, a whole range of emotions that arise at times of separation, loss and bereavement. Fortunately she’s now out of bed and recovering.

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