Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Tic-king Off

I was sprawling on the sofa, watching TV with the kids today, when I realised that the youngest was making a slight throat clearing/grunting noise every ten or so seconds. I surreptitiously checked he wasn’t choking, farting or being slowly asphyxiated by one of the others, then sat back again.
Now, I know all the child psychology Fuhrers tell you that you must ignore any nervous tics, or you risk making them worse, so I said nothing and sat there wondering how long he had been doing it – days, weeks, months? I had no idea – couldn’t remember it ever being quiet enough in the house to hear. After about another ten minutes I couldn’t stand it any more, and asked him gently if he was aware of the noise he was making.
“What noise?” he asked, turning his chin towards me, but with his gaze firmly locked onto the TV screen. I explained, doing a passable impersonation of the little grunt, but there was no glimmer of recognition, he just continued gawping at the screen – and continued grunting, only now every five seconds instead of ten. I was left pondering the prospect of his gradual slide into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and then a full blown case of Tourette’s Syndrome by the time he hits puberty. In the end, I had to leave the room to avoid gnawing on my own knuckles, or yelling “For God’s sake, just stop it!”
This is not new territory, so I shouldn’t really be worried. My older son went through a stage of gurning alarmingly, and also developed a ‘spinning around’ tic that would have put the Jackson Five to shame. At the time, I was convinced that it was a result of dosing him up with cetirizine for hayfever, but now I’m not so sure. It could just have been the stress he was under that year at his Alpha-child school. The tics would stop whenever he had a school holiday, and then gradually build up again as the term went on. He grew out of it eventually, but not before he had left me with a legacy of fretting silently about a possible return.
Therefore, I am tucking into a glass of crisp and tropical Jacob’s Creek Semillon Chardonnay (£5.49 Tesco) in an attempt to restore some common sense. I seem to remember having a similar irritating grunt pointed out to me by a school friend once, so maybe its genetic. I daresay that by the time the boys are teenagers, irritating grunts will be their sole method of communication.


Helena said...

How annoying, thank goodness you had the Chardonnay, I always find ear-plugs useful too. My son did a similar clearing his throat thing for a few weeks but he seems to have got over it so hopefully your's will too.

Stay at home dad said...

That will last well into adulthood, believe me.

Have enjoyed your blog greatly since arriving today - very much the literary equivalent of an early afternoon glass of wine. The Whitney Houston story is still making me grin.

See you again soon,


Drunk Mummy said...

Helena - I hope you are right, although if past form is anything to go by, the grunt will stop, only to be replaced by something even more irritating.
SAHD - what a lovely thing to say! Thank you, I am flattered, especially as in my opinion, there isn't much that can beat an early afternoon glass of wine (or three).

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