When my girls were little, they shared a bedroom. They are four and a half years apart in age. And the younger of the two was a hypochondriac. Whenever her big sister was sick, Mary would want the same attention that was given to her sister. If we took May’s temperature, Mary needed to be checked too. If May wanted a damp towel on her head, Mary also needed one. And if May needed medicine, Mary wanted the same medicine. May would get sick and have a terrible cough. While I was tending to her, Mary would begin to cough too. But Mary’s cough was obviously not real. She wasn’t mocking her big sister either. This was clearly an attempt to get the same attention that her sister was getting. I would go downstairs to get medicine for May. Most of the time, this medicine was either a red or purple liquid. I would bring it in one of those measuring cups that came attached to the bottles. I would also bring a small cup of water to help wash down the medicine. Regardless of what fruit flavor they made the medicine, my children always hated it and wanted water. While I was giving May her medicine, Mary continued with her fake cough and asked for medicine. I didn’t want to give her something she didn’t need. But I did want to give her the attention she wanted. I went downstairs and filled the medicine cup with grape Kool-Aid and got a cup of water for her. She had no idea that she was not getting medicine. And when she drank the Kool-Aid, she winced like she had downed the more horrible medicine ever and drank the water as quickly as possible. This was the same Kool-Aid she drank at most meals with no problem at all. Her cough magically disappeared.
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