On a regular basis I use the phrase “monkey see, monkey do” around my house. It is amazing when I realize how before I had my son, I was not so acutely aware of my flaws. Of course I knew I wasn’t perfect, but I never realized how many areas of my life I really need to work on until my son came along.
I have noticed that the older my son gets the more he picks up on my illnesses and things I say surrounding my illnesses. Almost daily he has started saying things that I have said a lot and it is really starting to freak me out. What am I doing to him? That is what I think. I know I am ill and I try to do the best I can. I didn’t realize how much I obviously say these things out loud though. Some of the phrases I hear him saying are:
“I had a bad night.”
“I’m too tired to do anything today.”
“I have a headache.”
“I don’t feel good.”
“I need to take a rest.”
Here I always thought I was doing a pretty good job at hiding my thoughts and feelings surrounding my illnesses around him but obviously I have not been doing a good job. When he says these things he will go ahead and play or do whatever he was doing – he is very active. It is just that he is saying them repeatedly and I don’t want what he is saying to become his reality.
I have a lot of work to do and this is just another example of how being a chronically ill parent is that much more of a challenge.