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The Big Picture

Cousin Fernie

Why is it that ten year old boys resist showers, vegetables, and brushing their teeth?
Lately I have noticed that whenever I tell Cory (of "chicken suit" fame) to do something- anything- that is healthy for him, he ignores me.  Or he tries.
"Go take a shower, Cory," I said last night.  Not an unusual request from a mother on a Sunday night..  He stood there without acknowledging that I had spoken. 
"Cory, go take a shower," I said again.
"I don't NEED a shower.  I took one yesterday."
"It was the day before yesterday, and you do need a shower."
He trudged away to gather his pajamas and a towel, reappearing a minute  later.   "The bathroom smells bad."
"That is the nature of bathrooms.  Go take a shower." 
"But it really smells bad. Come smell it."
"I don't need to smell it because no matter what it smells like, you are taking a shower."
"But Cousin Fernie died that way!"  His final objection before taking a shower.
Meet Cousin Fernie- the family fall guy.  
It was my sweet mother in law who first introduced me to Cousin Fernie.  Mom Dot is by her own admission a bit of a worrier, and tends to awfulize at times. When one of the kids has a nosebleed, a stomach ache, or a fever, she is often of the opinion that I need to call the doctor.  Years ago Cousin Fernie, it seems, had that same condition and died from it.  Twice.
Cousin Fernie goes way back to Mom Dot's own mother in law, she tells me. Whenever one of her own kids had an accident, her mother in law would shake her head back and forth very slowly while whispering, "It's the worst death in the world. In fact it was the end of old Cousin Fernie." 
"I said I would never be like my mother in law," Mom Dot sometimes warns me, "but here I am turning into her!"
With accidents and illnesses being the norm at our house,  I confess I have become a bit calloused to them.  If there is blood (and lots of it) I might take a trip to the ER, but even then it's not a guarantee.  We have had broken bones, stitches, concussions, surgeries, chicken pox, strep throat, ear infections, and the swine flu to name a few.  Come to find out that Cousin Fernie  had all of these conditions- and died from most of them. 
"Cory, I only make you do all these things because I love you and I want you to be happy,"  I chided him this morning when he (gasp!) resisted going to school.
"I think you are trying to torture me," he said.
If torture is defined as a mother making her kids do what's good for them on a regular basis, then so be it.
I have a sneaking suspicion that even Cousin Fernie never died from that.
PS. In case you're curious about Cory and the chicken suit:

2 Comments to Cousin Fernie:

Comments RSS
Jenn on Monday, March 21, 2011 9:42 AM
I think every family has a Cousin Fernie!! And we all torture our 10 year olds, don't we?
Reply to comment
margie on Monday, March 21, 2011 9:56 AM
Yes and it won't kill them!

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