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When to believe your toddler when he says he’s poorly

N tells a lot of porkies.  Well, I believe he tells a lot of white lies.  Predominantly unintentional, because he is a toddler and he likes stories and repeating what he hears.  The problem is that the timescales might be a bit out.

Also, you never know quite when he’s accurate in what he’s telling you.  But I’ve learnt that now he’s only a couple of months off being 3, I really should believe him a bit more when he tells me things.

N had been saying for a while that he had a poorly ear.  Although he was consistent with which ear it was, he only mentioned it every so often (although once at nursery and once to his gran).  He didn’t have any other symptoms, was eating fine, and sleeping as normal.

Then at nursery yesterday, he wanted to sit on his key workers knee for a long time.  Now he’s quite cuddly and quite often shouts ‘cuddle’ then comes up for one, and will do that at home or at nursery to staff, but he wouldn’t usually snuggle for a long time unless he was a bit off colour.  He also didn’t eat his lunch (apart from his yoghurt – which is definitely his comfort food when he’s feeling ill), so in the afternoon when he was having a playdate with her son, his key worker and my friend kept a watch out.

He’d also mentioned a poorly ear…with a poorly tummy and poorly leg.  It’s so hard to know whether it’s something that really hurts, or whether he’s just got ‘poorly’ on the mind because of my bad leg from DVT, and his Grandma being ill.  Obviously he was right and I was wrong, as after ringing the Doctor’s surgery in the hope of them having an appointment before they shut at 5.30.  It’s helpful having a doctor with children of a similar age, as she phoned me back and after asking a few questions said I could take N down before they shut.

Quick whizz down, check of his ears, and yes he has an ear infection.  Naughty mummy for not believing him and thinking he was just wittering on intermittently about a slight pain.

Luckily, 1 spoon of antibiotics, 1 spoon of nurofen before bed to get his temperature down, and the next morning he was like a different child.  It’s quite amazing how toddlers can bounce back.  He wanted to go to nursery, wanted his lunchbox packing after ordering me what he wanted in it, and ran into nursery like yesterday never happened.

So now I’m going to have to believe him a bit more when he says he’s poorly, rather than just relying on obviously symptoms.

Have you found the same thing?  What questions do you ask of your children when trying to work out if they’re ill?

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