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A Case of Fakeritis

Our parenting columnist shares what it's like to raise Bart Simpson.

My 13-year-old son claimed to be feeling unwell late Sunday.

Interesting timing. The eve of a (gasp!) school day.

No fever. Mysterious tummy ache symptoms he did not think Pepto Bismol could possibly cure.

Hmmm. Could this be another case of . . . fakeritis?

Since age six, my son has contracted fakeritis at least twice a year. Sometimes I catch on to him; sometimes, I don’t.

When he was in kindergarten, he limped into my bedroom one morning, flopped on my bed and said, “It hurts. It huuuuuurts. I can’t walk.”

Half awake, I groggily rubbed his legs as he lay beside me on the bed, face down in a pillow. “What happened? You fall out of the bunk bed again?” I asked.

A devilish smile crossed his face. “Yes!”

“Go get dressed, Sir Laurence Olivier. It’s time for school.”

“I can’t move!” he said, tears now rolling down his cheeks. That’s the impressive thing about my son. From a young age, he could make himself cry on cue.

I’m telling you, at age six, my son acted well enough to be an honorary member of the Screen Actors Guild. If we lived closer to Hollywood, he’d have his own series by now.

I wiped his tears. Gave him a hug. “Nice try. You’re going.”

But he would not give up the ruse. As we walked from our house to Hidden Hills Elementary, just a block away, my son limped like Quasimodo.

“C’mon, Drew. You’re gonna be late.”

I dropped him off at the playground blacktop just before the final bell rang and watched as he limped away.

A few hours later, I happened to come back to the school to drop off paperwork and thought I’d say hello. That’s when I spotted him —running across the playground like an Olympic athlete, playing tag with friends.

I stood at the gate, waiting for him to see me. When he finally did, the limp suddenly stopped. He hobbled over the gate. The Hunchback returning home to Mama.

“Hi Drew. I saw you running out there. Glad you’re feeling better.”

His face reddened as a big smile crossed his face.

And so you can see why on Sunday, I might doubt the veracity of my son’s claims.

However, I was wrong. Turns out he really did have a cold, and I know this because I’m starting to come down with it myself now.

Dang. Wish it were fakeritis.

Penny February 09, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Best case of "Fakeritis occured by my then 10 yr old son.,.,. He had me going with complaints that sounded like "Lock Jaw"... the one that you get from stepping on a 'rusty nail'.. I was so scared, as we lived in the Boonies at the time and getting him treatment was not going to be easy..Fortunately we had a neighbor that was a doctor, so I called him. He asked me one question! "had he had his shots; including Tetnus ?; and of course I replied,"YES".. "then he does not have LOCK JAW~!!" Got him; he broke into a huge grin.. For an hour or so, he had me..!
Julie Knight February 09, 2012 at 05:40 PM
That's hilarious. Kids. They're natural born actors, I swear. Thanks for sharing your story and making me smile.
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