Ooh...a two-parter! Aren't you lucky?
Within the big idea of pain, there is the idea of pain tolerance. A student in my class has pain tolerance issues...such that I'm supposed to report every injury, pain (real and imagined), incident that may cause pain and observation to her mother so she can watch her to make sure she's not really horribly injured. Really, what this results in is that she spends a lot of time down in the nurse's office, as she's not the most coordinated/graceful child and her mother doesn't know how to have a conversation that last less that 30 min (seriously, folks...they've paged me to the office before as an effort to get her to leave my classroom and she followed me there talking until the principal intervened).
But, I digress. Her pain tolerance issues were identified as a baby when she got burned badly by something that splashed on the stove and she didn't react at all. It got me thinking about LM's pain tolerance.
He has a cousin who is nearly, exactly a year older than him. He'll turn 1 and then 4 days later, she turns 2. Oh...and she bites. And hits...with objects....on his soft spot. But only when she's tired (riiiight). Anyway...but he doesn't really react. The other night we were babysitting her and they were both sitting on TH's lap. LM was patting at her (he loves her red hair) and, quick as a wink, she grabbed his hand from her head and chomped down on it. She didn't break the skin, but tooth marks were visible for a couple hours. But...he didn't cry. He also didn't cry the time she bonked him on the head with one of those fun incredib-blocks. Nor did he cry when he head butted me and cut his lip on his bottom tooth. He just smiled at me bloodily.
But--he'll cry when he falls over or runs into the table. So, I know he feels pain. I just wonder why sometimes he doesn't react. Is he too surprised? Is he too passive and just doesn't react when other kids hurt him (oh please don't let this be the case)? Should I be worried that he doesn't stand up for himself when he's bitten? Or should I be happy that his natural reaction isn't to lash out and react (even as a reactionary infant)? Should I even worry?
See...this is why I don't sleep...even on the nights LM sleeps well (which this week was, as part of a monster eating growth spurt I believe!). I know worry is normal...but at some point....the worrying becomes worrying about worrying and little tiny things like pain tolerance that surely...SURELY...I should let go of and move on.
I'm really not an over-anxious person...I swear!! True, I'm an over-thinker and that tends to make me a worrier. I'd just hate to miss something important because I didn't think (worry) about it.