The 5-year Old has seen someone be sick at school. On the plants, apparently. Never having been sick herself, she’s quite eager to get in on the act.
“I feel like I feel like I’m going to be sick,” she tells me.
“You’re going to be sick?”
“No, I feel like I feel like I’m going to be sick,” she replies.
“Do you mean you feel like you’re going to be sick?”
“No. I haven’t been sick yet, but I feel like I’m going to be later,” she clarifies.
“What does that feel like?”
“Well, I can feel it coming up from my tummy. It’s nearly reached my chin.” She suddenly claps a hand over her mouth, and continues in a less audible fashion. “I’d better do this to keep it in!”
“I think it comes out a bit faster than that,” I offer. “If it’s got as far as your chin, it’s usually all over.”
She drops her hand and thinks.
“I’m going to stop swallowing and breathe more to keep it in,” she muses.
I ask if it’s possible to stop swallowing, which strikes me as a reflex, but she is already too engaged in taking great wheezing breaths like a tiny and more animated Darth Vader.
“Careful not to hyperventilate!” I warn.
“What does THAT mean?”
“It means… well, if you breathe too much, you might pass out,” I explain.
“I’m not sure that’s what I meant…”
“BREATHING makes you DIE??”
I try to correct this misconception, but she is already puffing out her cheeks and holding her nose in an over-dramatised display of saving herself from the hidden dangers of breath-death.
At least it keeps her quiet. And she’ll probably start breathing again if she does pass out…