Herr Munchausen Would be Proud


Today it was a monsoon at the castle. Sleeping Beauty moaned and cried because it was raining and she couldn’t go outside. Really, it was for the best since Miss Beauty has been barfing all day.

Just another morning in Sally’s imagination. Over the past few weeks we’ve been running a veritable hospital–nay, comprehensive care center–in our home. Sleeping Beauty might be faking it–she’s a total drama queen—but you should see Dumbo. Poor little guy’s had a terrible cough for days. Kitty has the flu. Duck has a cold. Minnie Mouse is the worst off, though. She needs to be carried constantly and she has multiple, shifting symptoms that make her very hard to diagnose. When she didn’t get better despite several trips to Dr. Sally, I started to wonder . . . maybe Sally is the one who is sick.

Baron von Munchausen was an 18th-century German officer known for embellishing the stories of his life and experiences. Munchausen’s Syndrome is the type of fictitious disorder named for him. I’m starting to think Sally (and every 2-year-old) has got Munchausen’s and several other fictitious disorders. This particular disease goes beyond imagined physical ailments. Everything is exaggerated. She told me my nail polish was not just lovely, but LOVELY. The lights in a public restroom were beautiful. Today she re-enacted a crying episode I’d missed–complete with sound effects and pained facial expressions–so that I’d understand the drama that is her life. Three-inch high Bay waves are “humongous” and brushing the tangles out of her hair is utter torture.

The good news is, when her Munchausen’s by Proxy sets in, she becomes calm, cool, collected . . . like she’s 5 or something. She wields her doctor’s kit like she’s already completed medical school, recommends treatment, then puts on her mommy hat and becomes a loving caretaker. It’s a sight any parent would be proud of.

And then she discovers her milk isn’t cold enough and goes into a rant that would rival a pop diva. Today peanut butter is DISGUSTING and she loves, loves, loves Finding Nemo. I’m pretty sure Munchausen is smiling down on her in approval.

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