Son was the one who couldn't cope. Last night he brought back into service his 'attention seeking cough'. No cough all day, no cough during showers, no cough during bedtime story, no cough during the fifteen minutes wait for us to bring his drink up and wish him a final goodnight. Ten minutes after being put to bed, cough. Cough. COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH *open door and stand in doorway* COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH.
Reader, he kept it up for nearly an hour. I did question, when I realised he was going to make himself sick if he didn't stop, whether I should go upstairs and do the therapeutic 'I wonder if you're coughing because you're worried about your sister going away tomorrow' type empathy stuff, but Husband asked me if I thought it would work. I thought about it for, ohhh, ten seconds, and admitted it wouldn't. You do that with Son and he just manipulates you to try and get something off you and then tantrums when he doesn't get it. Who knew where that road would lead these days?
After an hour he started coming downstairs and so I met him before he got to the bottom. 'Mummy,' he said to me in a voice that didn't sound at all sore considering, 'I can't stop coughing.'
I told him matter-of-factly that he could easily stop coughing if he wanted to and that I was sorry there was nothing I could do to help. But his throat hurt, he told me! I suggested he should probably stop coughing then. He stomped back upstairs and slammed his bedroom door hard.
And not another cough was heard.
Perfectly capable of not coughing all by his little self.
He waited until the next morning until he pulled his next trick which was to start screaming and crying rather than get dressed for school. He used to do that a lot. I have long since made up my mind that when he does this he gets bundled into the car in his pjs, and if he doesn't get dressed in the car, I'll carry him into school undressed if I have to. And so I paid it no further thought.
He did get dressed, but then his next trick was to do everything very slowly. Again, a no win for him because I was well ahead of schedule and we didn't need to rush.
His last ditch attempt at ruining his sister's morning was to pretend he couldn't do his coat up and start screaming on the way to the car THAT HE WAS COLD.
I knelt down and whilst I calmly zipped up his coat I said smiling at him that he could do his very worst, but this morning wasn't about him, it was about his sister and he could suck that up hard. He seemed to find that genuinely funny.
And just in case there are any innocents out there reading this whose hearts are bleeding for my little Boy right now, thinking how unsettled he must be by his sister's imminent departure, and how he could have done with some love and understanding from his mother rather than a mother who would take no shit off him, I tell you this...
His mood continued during the car journey until his Sister pointed out that the school was having a fun week for those who weren't going on a residential course this week. He brightened right up the moment he didn't have to feel quite so jealous of his Sister.
Thing is, his Sister is wrong. It's a fun week for the rest of Year 6 who aren't going on the residential course, NOT for the whole school.
I am so looking forward to spending this week with my trauma riddled Son. It should be such fun.