So the routine on a night goes like this. We have tea, Joe disappears into his room, to sacrifice goats or whatever it is he does that leaves it in that state and Syd's allowed some x-box time. Once x-box time is over Syd goes up for his shower, gets into his pyjamas and comes back downstairs where he's allowed half an hour with his earphones on watching his DVD player.
Doesn't that sound straight forward? Well, generally speaking it was until lately. The first time it happened was about a week and a half ago. Phil asked Syd to turn off his DVD, which he did, however he seemed to be squirming on the sofa, in what looked like a bit of discomfort. I asked him how he was and he told me he had tummy pains, and judging by his actions he no doubt did.
Awww the poor little love didn't feel well, the best course of action seemed to be snuggling him up in a blanket, cuddling him in and rubbing his tummy, we even put an episode of the Simpsons on to cheer him up and distract him. It seemed to work because shortly after the Simpsons finished he was sound asleep and ready to be carried to bed.
The next morning everything was fine, all aches and pains seem to be forgotten, so we just put it down to it just being one of those things, most 7 year olds get tummy aches from time to time.
So that night, when it was time to turn the DVD off, the same thing happened, the colicky pain, the squirming. Some mothers at this point might have clicked however this wasn't like Syd so once again he was snuggled up, this time with a warm drink but no Simpsons, and cuddled until he fell asleep. Phil didn't agree, he thought I was being taken for a ride and so he sighed and rolled his eyes every five minutes or so, so much so I think he was in real danger of his eyes getting stuck in the back of his head.
Again next morning, no mention of the previous nights tummy ache, another one off, it must have been.
That night, when it was time to turn the DVD off, the same happened, now bear in mind that this was a child who merely an hour ago was involved in some kind of extreme combat with his brother, that involved Joe swinging Syd round by one leg. And now we have a child who is squirming and whimpering with tummy ache. Phil took me to one side and lovingly advised me 'my sweet wife, you have a full and loving heart, that see's only goodness in people, however I believe the young chap is taking advantage of your beautiful soul' (OK, what he really said was 'get a grip Jools, he's taking the p*ss)
And so followed a good half hour of protestations over the alleged tummy pains, with Syd at one point claiming that he could feel something moving in his throat which was contributing to his nausea. During the ensuing discussion, Syd fell asleep.
The next night we were ready for him, the mythical tummy pains were no match for us, we would stand strong and not give in. DVD off, time for bed etc etc. Syd took his earphones off without any fuss, stood up, again no fuss and started to walk towards the stairs. Two steps in and he stopped abruptly and put his hand out to steady himself. Apparently he felt dizzy. We sympathised, but continued ushering him to bed, at this point his knees buckled slightly and he was overcome by a bout of 'weakness'. I nearly buckled at this point however he of the rolling eyes, glared at me so I made soothing noises but didn't give in.
Again no mention of the dizziness until that night, however the mild bout of dizziness had intensified to a very worrying level. Syd now was unable to walk in a straight line, he staggered like he was onboard the titanic, the short journey between the sofa and the kitchen saw him weaving, uncoordinately, banging off furniture and walls. Occasionally he would stop, hold his head in his hands and look about like a startled rabbit, before continuing. Many more protestations followed, Syd even suggested a visit to hospital (the following day instead of school) to find out what was causing these mysterious nighttime maladies. We declined his kind offer and Syd staggered to bed.
The following two nights saw worsening levels of dizziness, however the third night brought with it a strange deterioration in his condition. Everything he looked at was upside down. Apparently the floor was where the ceiling should be, and vice versa. Phil told him that the only known cure for 'childhood reversed night time vision disorder' was sleep. He was baffled (so was I), so he gave in.
Miraculously the following morning Syd's vision had returned to normal (praise the lord), so off he went to school.
We were almost disappointed that night when he fell asleep watching his DVD, his nightly illness had become almost as entertaining the soaps.
The following night however saw a return of the tummy pains, nausea and the worm that lives in his throat (Yes really!), by this point we didn't bat an eyelid, and the little boy who cried 'worm' went to bed.
One more night of dizziness ensued, so dreadful that crawling was the only option, and then it happened, he came up with the most inventive, yet beautifully simple condition ever.
HE TOOK HIS EARPHONES OFF AND WENT BLIND!
The following 5 minutes were worthy of an award, I doubt Kate Winslet could have topped his performance. He felt his way around the room before stopping in front of me, and feeling my face to identify who it was who was talking to him. The whole thing was completely ridiculous, I half expected Lionel Ritchie to come out of the kitchen singing 'hello', or to wake up the following morning to a clay bust of my head on the coffee table. Anyway we harnessed up the dog and she guided poor blind Syd to bed. The following morning his sight had returned, another miracle.
I'm sorry if you think I'm cruel to laugh at a 'poorly child' however I think this exchange of text messages between me and my mam best sums up how predictable the whole thing has become.
Mam: How's things
Me: Fine. Syd went blind tonight before bed.
Mam: Oh dear. Did you cook that chicken.
Some might say she'd turned a blind eye!