Emma the Hypochondriac

Emma the Hypochondriac
by Andrea Rennick

Recently, Sarah and Emma were playing and Sarah accidentally scraped Emma’s forearm with her fingernail. It was red, but not bleeding, and I know from experience with Sarah’s nails and my own, that it kind of hurts. I put a Blue’s Clues bandage on it, gave it a kiss, and all was well.

Or so I thought.

At some point on Friday, I noticed Emma was running around holding her arm funny. She was very careful not to move it. It was also wrapped in a stray piece of bubble wrap that had arrived in the morning’s mail.

Otherwise, she seemed normal.

“Emma honey, what’s up with your arm?”

She stopped in her play, drew her arm tighter to her body, and stuck out her lower lip. She whimpered and sat very still.

“Does your arm hurt?” I prodded. She sniffled. “Can I see it?” I asked her, but she shook her head and backed away.

“It hurts,” she told me in a little voice.

I found another child and asked them if they knew what had happened. Of course, no one did, but Meaghan did recall everything looked fine, until Emma wanted the bubble wrap. Apparently, Meaghan helped her put it on her arm.

All day, I tried to have a look and feel at Emma’s arm, and all day she thwarted me. I could look from a distance, but quickly, and I could not touch it, not even to hold her hand and look. I watched her as she played one-handed and tried her hardest to avoid using that arm. Otherwise, she seemed her normal happy self. We just couldn’t talk about or look at her arm. Any mention would cause her to pointedly ignore us.

By the time Ron arrived home for supper, I was starting to worry. What if she really hurt it when I wasn’t paying attention? I was having a spacey day and this was a real possibility. How could I have not heard her cries? Did she cry and I mistook it for whining? Had I spent one minute too long in front of the computer, telling her to wait?

Ron was as mystified as I was. After discussing it over supper, we would see if she would let Daddy look at it after dropping Sarah off for youth group. Right then, she had accidentally peed and needed to be changed.

She let me undress her with no problems until we got to her arm. “NO!” she screamed when I told her we had to take off the bubble wrap to get her arm out of her dress. She started to cry and wail at the top of her lungs, pulling her arm back. I did notice she was moving her arm quite well, and I got the bubble wrap and the sleeve off her arm, with Emma screaming and crying the whole time.

Meaghan, who was helping me, noticed something else.

“Emma!” Meaghan ran across the room, got something I didn’t see and came back. Emma was wailing the whole time while I simultaneously tried to soothe and clean her off. In Meaghan’s hand was a piece of adhesive tape, the kind used to secure gauze to a wound. She smiled at a red-faced Emma and held up the tape. “Want me to fix your Band-Aid?”

Emma held out her arm, the Band-Aid from last week crooked and partly off. There was no sign of anything underneath. Meaghan taped on the free end of the Band-Aid and proclaimed with a big grin, “There! All fixed!”

Emma smiled.

She grinned and let out a big, happy sounding, high-pitched, “AHHH!” like she does when she’s pretending to be a dog or a kitty. I finished getting her dressed with no problems. She ran away from me, flapping both arms wildly.

Stinker. I’m calling The Academy

Andrea Rennick is a homeschooling mom of four children, ranging in age from 3 to 16. A sense of humour is a big part of dealing with the ins and outs of her day. She can also be found at her website, www.atypicalife.net . Reach her at andrea@atypicalife.net