Monday, 23 July 2012

My children believe that I am a faith healer

Whenever my children have an ailment, they bring it to me along with the blind faith that I will heal them.

Yesterday someone had a 'sore leg' at bedtime.  There was nothing more specific than it was 'sore.'  But they all looked to me, expecting me to have a solution, a diagnosis, a magical healing method.

In the past, I have gone on with all manner of pretendy stuff: rubbing the palm of my hand across the offending area in an authoritative manner, administering Panadol as though it were truly a magic potion and importantly blowing air over hurty bits.

But lately I just cannot be arsed even going through the motions.  I think it's about time I told them: I am not the faith healer they believe me to be. That bottle of children's Panadol in the bathroom cabinet is not some snake-oil cure-all. It's just pink stuff that tastes bad.

Somewhere along the way I have given the impression that I have all the answers.

Once, one of them got attacked by an ibis in Centennial Park. According to legend, it grabbed the back of his head and tried to fly off with him. I didn't see the incident but after it had happened, they all came running at me accusingly.

"A bird just attacked Henry's head!" They said indignantly.

 The clear subtext being: what are you going to do about it?

The same day, someone else slipped and fell in the sludgy mud by the pond. He too ran AT me screaming and hysterical, palms facing up to show his muddy stigmata like some kind of perverse Jesus figure.

His jeans were all muddy and wet on the seat.  He showed me furiously, expecting that I would have a solution: produce a clean fresh pair of pants out of my Mary Poppins carpet bag perhaps. (I used to carry a spare set of clothing, but that was years ago, way back when pants got weed in. I honestly thought I was free and clear of that obligation given he is now 12.)

The other night, someone got dust in his eye.  He rubbed it and rubbed it and rubbed it and wailed that it was 'hurting and sore and itchy.'  I went through the motions for a while: I bathed his eye tenderly with a wet facewasher, I scooped cool water directly into the eye, I sat him on the lid of the toilet and peered down right into his eye, asked him to look this way then that and declared with some authority that I could indeed see his entire eyeball.

He itched and rubbed at his eye again.

"But it's really itchy." He whined, beginning to approach a feverish this-could-go-on-forever-into-the-night pitch.

I decided there and then to come clean.

"You know what?" I said.  "There's not a lot I can do about it. Sometimes eyes  get itchy and you have to just ride it out. It's probably going to be uncomfortable until you fall asleep."

I patted his head. I gave him the face washer to take to bed just in case.

He lay in bed with his itchy eye, looking slightly non-plussed by the new world order where I  would no longer offer magic healing methods for every imaginable ailment.

I kissed him goodnight and headed out, free.  He timed it to perfection, I was almost out the door when -

"Can you get me a glass of water?"

No longer the faith healer, but still the waitress.

 Must debunk that one next. 

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