On Saturday morning DS (who will be 4 in January) had beenplaying happily in the sitting room when he came to find me. I was picking up things from the floor so was kneeling down and found myself looking straight into his face. He looked very unhappy, ready to cry but yet not crying, which is sometimes more worrying. I exclaimed something like "Oh my love, what's the matter?" He buried his head in my neck and we had a long cuddle. Afterwards he still looked upset but wouldn't tell me what was bothering him. I asked if he had hurt himself but he didn't answer.
I sat with him on my lap, thinking that if he had hurt himself in some way it would probably pass. Then I noticed that he wasn't using his left hand and kept it with his palm towards him. I enquired about it and he started crying and didn't want me to look at it. Eventually I had a glimpse of something, the fleshy bit at the bottom of the thumb looked sore and I thought I saw a splinter.
As he wouldn't let me have a look but looked in pain I went to fins my husband and together we managed to see that he indeed had a splinter about half a cm long and maybe half a millimeter wide. It looked really sore. I tried to remove it but DS was thrashing about and getting more distressed. I just kept cuddling him and he actually fell asleep, slept for 2 hours and was feeling better after (although he still has the splinter in his hand).
What really struck me is how quickly he retreated into himself, how the pain and upset isolated him and how he resisted any attempt to help. And it was only a splinter! But I have been wondering if he would react the same way for something more serious and I found the thought really scary.
What can you do when your children are suffering and they don't want to let you in...?