I’m the kind of sick that means I can’t go to school

“NOT the kind of sick that means I can’t go to ballet,” my 3 year old clarified, standing in the hallway yesterday morning. “Just the kind of sick that means I can’t go to school.”


Just so you get the full picture, this is how she looked when she said it.

This is how my daughter likes to roll these days: backpack, purse, lunchbox, baby. She watches me trudge around New York City like a sherpa with my laptop and Seamus’s soccer cleats and fourteen other bags, so it’s my fault. 


I had a LOT to do yesterday. This was not what I wanted to hear. “Never mind, you are going to school,” I said.


“But Mommy,” she whined, “my tummy hurts.”


Connor (my 8-year-old) overheard her. “My tummy still hurts too,” he said, which he had been saying since Friday. He seemed fine to me. Then he threw up Saturday night.  But 36 uneventful hours had passed since then. 


“We are both staying home,” Maggie announced with great finality, “since we have two sick tummies.”


Then they frittered away a pleasurable day watching TV and playing with their toys while I got about 25% of what I needed to accomplish done. And while they didn’t eat much, they didn’t complain of stomach pains once, either. (And Maggie was right: she wasn’t the kind of sick that meant she couldn’t enjoy ballet class as thoroughly as usual.) 


This morning, after a full night’s sleep and a toaster waffle with syrup, Maggie said, “I think my tummy hurts again.”


“Mine isn’t really good either,” Connor offered, having just finished an absolutely enormous bowl of Raisin Bran.


“You are GOING TO SCHOOL,” I growled, because I couldn’t take another day of moping around. So I took them, and I dropped them off, trying to ignore that Connor did look a little peaked under the eyes.


Now I’m sitting here trying to get work done with 1 1/2 eyes on my cell phone, waiting for the school nurse to call. 


With my luck, it’ll be Seamus that yaks.


How do you decide whether your kids are sick enough to stay home, in the absence of any measurable symptoms? 


If you live in the Dallas TX area– or know someone who does– please spread the word: I’ll be doing my one-woman show MOTHER LOAD at the Uptown Theatre in Grand Prairie, TX on April 1 and 2 (get your tickets here). I’ll also be giving the morning keynote address at Project Mom in Dallas on Saturday, April 1. Hope to see some of you there! 

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