Late last night just as Jeff and I were settling down in bed we heard a frantic shout, "Mommy!"
We ran into the girls' room and found both girls awake. A had crawled up in bed with M. Though neither of them looked like they just shouted a panicked "Mommy" we got them settled back down in their bed.
The boys' room! I left Jeff in the girls' room and ran into see what was up with C. I opened the door and he was up in his bed crying, "My head just started hurting out of nowhere. It hurts really bad. It woke me up it's so bad."
I slowly began to go into panic mode. Now I should stop here and explain: I am not one to panic about illnesses. I fully understand kids get sick and not everything, in fact most things, are not cause for concern or even a doctor's appointment. Somehow, society has gotten really dependent on doctors and diagnoses and we've started going to them for simple things like colds or to see if the flu we have has an over-hyped name. But something about his voice, the way he was holding his head and rocking, the redness of his eyes, our family history of migraine headaches, and the fact that I was tired so things weren't registering properly set off alarm bells in my head.
I brought C to the living room and began taking his temperature though I already knew he had no fever. While I sat there with C waiting for the thermometer to beep my head began to clear. I realized he was not in the dire straights he pretended just minutes before.
"C, are you sure your head hurts really badly or did you wake up scared?" I ask.
C can't take the guilt and cracks, "I woke up and was all alone and the girls' have my nightlight because A needs it because of Thriller and my head only hurts a little bit and I'm sorry Mommy."
We had a long discussion about pretending to be sick rather than just being honest and telling us he was scared. We reminded him that because he told his his head hurt so badly we thought it was an emergency and we were scared for him. And that we are always here for him and he can call for us anytime but to be honest when he does it.
We tucked C safely into bed and then tucked ourselves in baffled by C's need to feign an illness to get our attention. (I will ask C about that today.)
Jeff fell asleep and I read for a little while to clear my head.
Just as I was about to flip off my lamp, Aly came running into my room...
It was a long night...my eyes finally closed at 4:00AM.