Cup of concrete for mum's boy

FAMILY TAMING: My youngest is made of pretty tough stuff.

She has the pain threshold equivalent to that of a 50kg woman giving birth to a 10kg baby stubbornly refusing an epidural through gritted teeth so she can “feel everything”.

My youngest could be haemorrhaging and about to hit the floor from loss of blood, have an arm dangling at her side connected to her torso by nothing more than one tiny tendon and will still insist on going to school.

No matter what the ailment or injury, she'll bandage it, take the Panadol or take the pain, bite the bullet and get on that school bus.

Heaven forbid this child should miss a day of school (and a day of juicy school gossip) for something as mundane as a bout of flu, an upset stomach or a severed limb.

My youngest doesn't know the meaning of the word “sickie”.

My eldest on the other hand – ah well, he's a whole other story.

What can I say about my eldest that would best describe his pain threshold?

Sookie-sookie-la-la comes to mind. My eldest expects the SES to be on standby whenever he gets a mosquito bite in the middle of his back (all because one summer he nearly went insane with an itchy bite and grabbed the long-handled barbecue fork to scratch the itch.

Of course the little darling scratched half his skin off and got an infection but that's another story – and yes, we did eventually buy a new barbecue fork as well as a bottle of Betadine.)

My eldest will insist he has a brain tumour if he gets a headache after squeezing a pimple with too much force and will threaten to call DOCS if I've served his gourmet favourite of meat pie and crinkle-cut chips a little too hot and it burns the roof of his mouth.

The reality is my firstborn is not what you'd call a gladiator-in-the-making so it came as no surprise to me last weekend, when after a bit of a tussle on the soccer field, he had to go sit on the bench for some medical attention (which in anything other than World Cup soccer consists of an ice pack and a bottle of Gatorade).

The other mothers turned to me and gave me the so-aren't-you-going-to-run-over-and-check-him-out look.

Well, firstly I don't run.

And secondly I was pretty sure he was fine. I mean I couldn't see any blood or hear any screaming, so why rush over and cause a fuss, especially when I was still only halfway through my steak sandwich with extra sauce and onion?

But before I could settle back and take too many more bites the coach waved at me. I waved back – which I later learnt was not the response he was hoping for.

Turns out “Ronaldo” had actually hurt himself and his foot was going red and starting to swell.

Great. Now I really looked like the Mother of the Year as I wiped a blob of tomato sauce off my chin while assisting my playing-it-for-all-it-was-worth, sobbing, hobbling child to the car.

So there we were the next morning at the pharmacy hiring a pair of crutches. That's right – crutches. No ice packs, support bandages or half measures for my little Hercules.

The good news was he wanted to go to school. Apparently crutches are right up there with arm casts for points on the cool radar.

The bad news? As he climbed back into the car he nearly rendered me unconscious when one of the crutches “accidentally” clocked me in the head.

Naturally he was fully recovered after two days. The lump on my head still hurts, though.

I bet I've got a tumour.

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