Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17: Really, Is It Day 17 Already?

Jack stayed home from school today. He has a bug. My children never get defined illnesses; no flu or pneumonia for them, no ear infections, no Hepatitus. No, they just feel sick and have mild fevers and stomachaches.

Now, considering the possibilities, I can't complain. I'm glad that when they get sick, they usually only get a little bit sick. However, their vague illnesses do make it hard to decide whether or not they should go to school. It doesn't help that their regular temperatures tend to run low (mine, too), so it's almost impossible to tell when someone around here has a fever unless they're really burning up.

Jack's particularly hard to diagnose, as he is always pale and somewhat lethargic. Yesterday morning he came down saying he felt hot and nauseated, and he did indeed seem on the warm side and looked rather ill, though Jack always looks ill in the morning, like he could twelve or thirteen more hours of sleep.

The Man's rule of thumb for whether or not a child claiming illness should go to school is simple. Are you still alive? You are? Well, then, have a great day! Tell your Algebra teacher I say hi! The Man, it could be said, is a stoic. He's never, ever sick, or if he is sick, he refuses to admit it. He landed in the hospital once because he stoically believed what he had was just a little cold, when it fact it was a major sinus infection that made him an ideal candidate for several days of intravenously administered antibiotics.

I, on the other hand, have a reputation, for dramatically taking to my bed at first sniffle. So the Man doesn't consider me a good judge of a child's fitness for schooling. He thinks I'm wimpy mom, ready to send a child back to bed at the first, tiny sneeze. And okay, I sort of am. But I know a hot forehead when I feel one, and Jack's forehead was hot. Or at least sort of hot. No, it was definitely hot.

Really, I might have sent him to school, except for visions of angry moms dancing in my head. It's a week before Thanksgiving, and the last thing anyone wants is a sick kid in the backseat of the minivan as you head out to Grandmother's house. So yes, I let my vaguely sick child stay home. I did it for the mothers and the grandmothers. I did it for Thanksgiving turkeys and cornbread stuffing. I did it for America.

Mothers of Our Fine School, you can thank me later. Preferably with pie.


GretchenJoanna said...

I think it is nice when a child for any reason prefers home to school.

Gumbo Lily said...

A breakfast-tray delivered to the bed of an ill child is such a comfort that I think everyone should be sick once in awhile to get that luxury of being tended to. Do it for America! Yes!


Angela said...

as a teacher, I say "Thank you wise mother- for you have thought of the welfare of us all"
I also say "but your Jack is a fine lad, whose presence will be missed - why do the mothers of the little $*&$*£s never feel the need to keep THEIR children home when I have to sub for their class?"

blessings x

Betty said...

My sons are good at convincing me they need to stay home so we have a new sickness policy, unless there is visible evidence, they go to school, school make a judgement if they ask to go home. They always get there, forget all about feeling unwell and stay and don't mention it again until the following morning when it's time for school again!

magsmcc said...

'Fraid Betty and I have the same strategy- rule is go in and teacher will phone. They did once; actually Miss Johnston took one look at him, threw me a withering glance and dispatched us both immediately! It is guilt-maiking when sun wakes up in hospital the morning after having had a fish bone removed under general anaesthetic and asks if he could have a break from school that day. Hmm. Better by far to save a nation! Jesus loves nation savers!

Tracy said...

Most of the time my kids are only vaguely sick too - apart from this last massive pneumonia and chest infection effort.

For me, if the kids stop eating that's a big flag and warrants a the office with Dad, unless it's my day off.

As one who works in a school I thank you. It's so hard to figure out if kids are sick enough to go home. It's even worse when they cough in your face and you end up coughing for six weeks. You're right - no one wants those bugs, especially as a big holiday is on your doorstep. Tell The Man I said you did good!

Danielle said...

I agree with Tracy... decreased appetite is a red flag. My kids get "sick" eyes. I've always said this out loud to them so that they think I know when they are "really" sick. It seems to work.

"Sick" is something very specific and personal to each person. I am hoping to help my kids learn to listen to and understand their bodies. What signs does your body send to you when it is getting sick, or need to rest more, etc? I get a deep ache in my back. May never get a fever or need antibiotics, but I DO need to get on the PJs, hit the bed, get extra sleep and drink lots of liquids.

I hope everyone is healthy for Thanksgiving!