“Mommy, I feel sleepy,” he said. I ignored him.
“I think I have a bit of fever,” he tried again. I touched his forehead. It was neutral. I warned him not to fuss.
He took it out on his younger sister. “She messed up my room,” he said and went round crumpling up pieces of paper and chucking them into the bin. I found him in the kitchen later, filling up the water cooler with boiled water from the kettle, fat tears rolling down his cheeks.
I’ve had it with him. I brandished the cane (yes, I’m of the “spare the rod and spoil the child’ persuasion) and warned him again. This time it worked. He settled down and stopped fussing.
Reminds me of another incident just before the school holidays. After a 4-day break courtesy of the haze, he cried on the way to school on a Monday.
“I got stomach ache,” he said. I touched his forehead. Cool as marble. I remember what Mum says, cool forehead means you have upset tummy. He hardly touched his lunch earlier which was unusual. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I told him he need not go to school but that he can’t play computer or watch tv at home later. He’s only allowed to read and rest.
I decided to take him to the doctor. Just before I reached the clinic I told him, “You know you have to go to school no matter what. Only if you’re sick will Mummy allow you to stay home. I’m taking you to see the doctor now. He’ll tell me if you’re sick or not. How’s your stomach now? Is it still painful?”
He shook his head. I stopped the car at the side of the road and looked at him.
“You’re sure you got no tummy ache now?”
He nodded his head.
“OK, I’ll send you back to school. You’ll be late but I’ll come and explain to your teacher.”
He was forty minutes late for school that day.