I never know what to do with the kids when they’re home sick from school. This is especially true when their illness miraculously vanishes with the dawning of a new day.
Yesterday, Co had to be catapulted out of the bed after repeated attempts to rouse her with just my soothing voice proved futile. When she finally staggered into consciouness, she kept saying that her stomach hurt. I figured that since she didn’t want to get up in the first place, an achy tummy was just another arrow in her quiver of morning complaints. I brushed it off, motivated her to get washed and dressed and to meet us downstairs. She and her sisters at a hearty breakfast and did a passable job of clearing their places before running around the house like half-sized superheroes, the living room throw blankets rucked up about their shoulders. I guess the tummy ache disappeared when the threat of crime rears its head. I guessed wrong, though. When I summoned them to the car, the tummy ache was back.
In any event, they were jettisoned out of the car and off to school. I went about my routine with Viv, until I got “the call” at about 1:30. Could I come and get Co from school, please? She’s saying her tummy and her head hurt. And she’s got a fever. Cue the mommy guilt. I boogied on over to the school, scooped up the girls and came home. We were precariously low on apple juice and didn’t have any children’s aceteaminophen on hand. A trip out with one under the weather, one out of sorts for having to come home early and one just being on year old was highly off-putting. Thankfully, my dad was kind enough to brave the Kroger for supplies and drop them off. We managed the rest of the day with Co swaddled and resting on the sofa, Viv trying to kiss her, and Mo peppering the house with post-it note Sick Tips such as “Washing Hands = R.I.P. to Germs”!
Co was on the mend, having rallied after a dose of juice, crackers and some medicine. She and Mo passed the afternoon being elementary cartographers, coloring landscaped named “Mo-land” and “Co-ville”. As the sun set, we all went upstairs to start the bedtime routine. I got caught up pulling out my fall fashions and packing away my summer duds, while the girls amused themselves. After a prolonged absence of “She’s touching me!”, “She’s in my stuff!”, and “She won’t let me have XYZ!”, I got curious and went to have a look at what was going on.
My three little biscuits were having a MIchael Jackson dance party in Co’s room. Viv was perched on the bed, wiggling and giggling in time to the music. Mo was doing her best approximation of the Thriller dance even though the song on the dial was “Shake Your Body Down to the Ground”, and Co was shaking down and popping up in time with the lyrics.
Wait . . .did you get sent home from school today?
Talk about a speedy recovery. Evidently, I’m Florence Nightingale and I didn’t even know it. And yet, the achy tummy re-surfaced just as I was turning out lights and tucking in blankets. I find that in order to get to the bottom of things, you’ve got to provide some options as to how the tummy feels, otherwise you’ll just get “achy” and between you and me, I don’t know what to do about that.
Does it hurt like you have to go poop? No.
Does it hurt like you have a bruise? No.
Does it hurt like when you go on a Grover Coaster? No.
Does it hurt like you’re hungry? Yes! I’m hungry.
So, back to the kitchen for crackers and a cup of water (I’m keeping it real austere in here), before sending her back up to bed with promises with a tuck-in.
Fast forward to this morning and your girl Co is bright-eyed, asking, “So, what are we going to do today?”Good questions, kiddo. Fever’s gone, tummy’s full, and I’ve got you and your sister looking me dead in the face like I’m Julie from the Love Boat (if you don’t know, look it up).
And now, it’s almost lunchtime (I know what to do about that), and then. . .maybe we’ll fire up the Michael Jackson.