Monday, June 11, 2007

The Mom Detective

Sometimes being a mom feels like being a detective: who really hit the other one first? whose garbage is it that didn't get in the garbage can and on and on.

The trickiest one though, I think, is the "Is he sick, or does he just not want to go to school?"

Harry woke up this morning and told me that he was feeling sick. Too sick to get up. Too sick to even go into the bathroom.

Now - just a couple of hours before he'd been awakened by a bad dream, and other than that had been feeling fine - so this was slightly suspicious. Also, the G&T program that he attends Monday afternoons is done for the school year, so Monday's hold no great attraction now.

I played what I thought was my trump card. "If you don't go to school, you won't be able to play in your baseball game tonight."

No reaction. Hmm. Maybe he really is sick. I took his temperature. No fever. I made him go to the bathroom. He was out shortly and I found him sitting up in his room. "I just don't think I can go to school," he announced.

The thing is, to a certain extent you have to trust your kids when they tell you how they feel. After all, it's their body. But there are signs. And he just didn't look sick. But, maybe he was. Time to take a bit of a wait and see approach.

"I think I should eat something," he said.

"How about yogurt," I suggested.

He was good with that. (Can't be too sick, he wants to eat). He got dressed and came downstairs. He made a big deal of plopping himself in the middle of the living room before he made it into the kitchen.

But he did get into the kitchen and he ate his yogurt and two slices of toast.

He still said he was sick.

In the meantime he was joking around with his sister. Just didn't look sick to me.

Finally it was time to go and so I figured we'd start walking to school, and if he really couldn't do it, I'd be able to tell, and I'd send Pippi on alone and bring him back home.

We start out, he's dragging his feet (now this is the same boy who raced his sister up the stairs to brush his teeth). Finally I say to him. "If you are too sick to go to school, then there will be no playing outside, and it's a nice day, and no computer, and no TV. You'll just have to stay pretty much in your room. - When Pippi came home sick the other day she slept all afternoon. But, if you're not sick and you are going to school, you are going to be late and get a tardy slip if you don't pick up the pace."

Guess what. He picked up the pace. He went to school -- and I haven't heard from the school nurse yet (1:30) so I think we're good. I do think his stomach hurt a bit this morning, I don't think he was making that part up, but I don't think he needed a day of bed rest. Mainly I think that with nine days left of school, he's just plain tired of going for the school year. And I don't blame him - but the end is in sight.

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