This is the time in my doll’s life when she’s testing how close she wants us (parents) to be. “Mom I don’t like to give or accept hugs from anyone… well except maybe Emily because we’re like sisters. Even if someone touches my arm I tend to back away. I’d rather just keep my distance; keep to myself” She explained last night.
Our conversation came about as she prepared to go to bed after having had a bad day following a restless night of sleep. Knowing she had a bout of insomnia the night before, I decided to let her rest and sleep in. Yet when she awoke Sunday afternoon, she complained of feeling tireder, accompanied by a headache. “Mom it’s centered right here in my temple” she complained. “Did you drink any water yet today?” I asked and suggested she do so immediately. “I don’t want to give you any meds if you’re suffering from dehydration” I explained.
The water seemed to help dull the pain but did little to stop her from feeling off for much of the day. During dinner, she complained, “I’m not hungry, but I know I should eat” as she took one small bite after another and chewed slowly. “Do you still have a headache?” I asked. She nodded and continued trying to eat her dinner. “Does it feel like a sinus headache or not?” Pointing to her left temple, she said, “There is a dull ache right here and behind my eye. I can’t seem to shake it” she said. “How much water have you had today?” I asked her. “I had that one bottle a few ours ago” she explained and then took the bottle of water I handed her to drink. “Doll, you need to stay hydrated,” I informed. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t hesitate giving her some ibuprofen, but I really believed if she were properly hydrated her headache would have dissipated.
About an hour later, she entered the kitchen looking ghostly pale and declared, “Mom, I feel horrible…like I can’t breathe and I’m going to be sick. “Okay…” I said slowly, as I scanned her over. “What’s happening?” I asked. “My head is throbbing!” She said as tears began to form in her eyes. “Okay, time for the ibuprofen,” I said and retrieved the pill from the cupboard. After she swallowed the pill down I said, “The best thing to do is lay down, and close your eyes…” Noticing her hesitation at my suggestion, I said, “Or the two of us could sit on the couch together. You can cuddle into my side and I’ll massage your temple.” She thought for a moment and then nodded. Standing up, I led her into the living room, sat down and welcomed my doll into my waiting arms.
Noticing the oddity of the doll accepting this kind of help, her father asked, “What’s going on?” “She has a nasty headache…” I explained. “Doll have you had enough water today?” He asked. “Jeez what’s with all the water talk?” She asked before calculating she had not in fact had enough water for the day. No matter, she pushed into my body as I lightly pressed circles into her temple, only varying when she pointed to a new spot for me to try. After about 30 minutes, she lifted her head slowly and said, “Thanks, Mom, I’m feeling better now…” Not really wanting to relinquish our position, I asked, “Are you sure? I mean we can sit here a while longer if you’d like…” She smiled and then snuggled closer for a few more minutes before thanking me again, getting up and heading toward her bedroom.
The next time she emerged from her bedroom I asked, “How are you feeling now? Did my temple massage help?” Leaning against the wall with her arms crossed she said, “Yes, surprisingly they did..or I mean you did.” “Well good, I’m glad you weren’t too weirded out by the suggestion. I only know when I’ve had really bad headaches, getting a light massage in the area helps”.I said. “Yeah, I wasn’t sure I was going to say yes when you offered. I’m not a cuddly type of person. But I decided that it sounded better than lying by myself in bed suffering. At least I knew you were wanting to help me”. She said before turning and heading off to bed.
I smiled and nodded, feeling good about everything. She acknowledged even though she hadn’t said aloud “Sometimes her mother’s touch is still needed to help make all the ills go away”. Well, a mother’s touch coupled with some ibuprofen and lots of water..
This morning she claimed to be headache free and to have slept much better, thank goodness.