My son was very sick before he had his tonsils out. First grade was exceptionally rough for him. I was one of those moms who was all like “If you aren’t puking and don’t have a fever, you are going to school!” I was also one of those moms that was picking her sick child up at the school nurse’s office, hours after taking my firm stand against school skipping and faking sick. I’m an asshole who contaminated plenty of circle time. I will accept my bad mom award any day now. So like any kid who is sick and needing his tonsils out my son missed the majority of first grade. We got to the point that he was on antibiotics all of the time. He would come off of them and within a week or two he would be sick again. Needless to say this was hard on his system and also a kid cannot live on high doses of antibiotics for long periods of time. So he was inevitably sick on Halloween.
He woke up and it was close to Halloween and he had missed some school already and it was only the second month of first grade and he comes to me and says “I don’t feel very good.”
I put my hand to his head, because I am practically a nurse that way and I state “You don’t have a fever.”
He says, “I have a headache.”
“Do you really have a headache or do you just want to stay home today?” I ask, because of the many hats a mom has to wear, sleuth is one of them.
“I guess I’m fine.” my son says. I smile because I am proud of my nursing and sleuthing abilities. I am really awesome and if this stay at home thing doesn’t work out I am definitely qualified for an assortment of positions.
I drive my kids to school and I get home. I get the youngest one all set up to do some coloring when I answer the phone, it’s the school nurse. “Your son vomited at circle time. You need to come get him. He said that he told you but you didn’t listen to him. Also he has a fever of a hundred and three.”
“OH my poor son. I will be there right away.” I grab my little one pile her and her dolls into the car and go to pick him up. (All of you one nighters think you have the walk of shame….Fucking do this more than once. Walk into the school nurses office every couple of weeks after your child has already told you he wasn’t feeling well. This is more than a walk of shame. It’s the shuffle of Assholism.) I mean come on. Kids tell their parents all of the time that they are sick and they magically feel better around three pm after the bus drops off their siblings. How was I to know that sometimes they are telling the truth?
I do the shuffle of Assholism into the building and first you have to hit the buzzer and wait to get through the first step of security clearance. Which I am totally all for, but when you are standing there with a sleeping toddler that is almost the same size as you, it would be great if the person who is buzzing you in takes you seriously.
“Yes, can I help you?” the black box calls out on my third buzz. And this black box is super annoyed that I dared to bother it.
“Yes, I am here to pick up my son. He is sick in the nurse’s office!” I call into the black box.
“Ok. I will check!”
Check what? If I have a son? If there is a boy in the nurse’s office? Are there really people claiming to have sick children while carrying another sleeping child that weighs fifty pounds of dead weight? I mean come on people…just let me in. I mean no harm. But then again I get it…safety first. So I stand there while the feeling in my hand goes out. I juggle the sound asleep toddler onto the other arm for comfort.
“I am going to buzz you in.”
Buzzing noise. I go over to grab the door with my numb hand and my arms full of sleeping sack of potatoes and I miss my opportunity. (This is like when your brother picks you up at cheerleading practice and every time you go to open the door he drives away. But so much fucking worse because I have a sick child that needs me. A sleeping child that is heavy in my arms and a judgmental school staff waiting to meet the “dick of a mother” who sent her kid in to contaminate everyone there. Yes again I have to say, so much worse than the walk of shame. The shuffle of Assholism is never going to go well.) I finally get into the building on the fourth try of walking from the black box to the door handle quickly enough to reach it while it was unlocked. Thank God. (this also should be an olympic sport…going from the call box to the school doors with a heavy sleeping child in your arms before the doors lock again) I would lose…but I still win the bad mom award so I’m good.
I finally get inside and have to talk to the bitch who was watching me struggle with the door on the security camera and try desperately to be kind to her. What I really just want her to do is to give me my child without any hassle. There is always a hassle. I am now inside and I sign in. Then they have to go back to the nurse to let them know that I am in the building. Then they say that he has to go back to his classroom to get his things. Like, I said I was coming….why didn’t you anticipate this when we hung up. What is going on with you people? I stand there with my toddler who is moving around and starting to wake up. She is going to be grumpy and I am just waiting for it. She looks at me and smiles. The black box bitch tries to talk to her….this child has a bullshit radar that could smell BS a fucking mile away lady…don’t talk to her.
Toddler shoves her face into my shoulder and the office lady is still trying to get her attention. SHE DOESN’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU!!!! I get it that she looks adorable and maybe you want to be her friend but she just woke up and she hates you…Please be quiet because you are upsetting her and I have to live with her when we leave here. Nope the lady pisses her off so now she is scream-crying and I am just so over this day. I finally collect my poor sick son and he looks like he has been through a war since I dropped him off a few short hours ago. He is carrying his huge book bag that is bigger than he is and it is filled with his homework for the next week. We have been through this a few times already and his teacher knows he’s not coming back any time soon. I will point out again that it is only October and the teacher already knows that my kid is the sick one.
I get him home. I call the doctors. We get an appointment. I bring him in and sure enough it is tonsillitis and he is on antibiotics….AGAIN!!!
I get him home and he is all snuggled on the couch watching Scooby-Doo and he looks at me and asks “What about Halloween?” he is all big blue eyes and sadness. “It’s in a couple of days.”
“I don’t know kid.” I look at this child and I already can tell that he is over being the sick kid. “I’ll think of something.”
“Can I still go trick or treating?” He looks terrible. There is no way in hell he is going out on a cold Halloween night in some sheer fucking costume to get candy.
“Sorry bug. That is probably not going to happen.” I tell him.
I get a phone call from my neighbor she is checking in because she heard that my son got sent home from school again. She means well and she is also kind of worried about her child getting it. She tells me how to raise my kid for a little bit…as much as I can stand and I had to go because he was puking.
Why do mothers do this to each other? I then start to think how I am going to make Halloween fun for him. He was going to be on antibiotics for a while and no longer contagious. I decided to invite the neighbor kids to our house for a piñata before they all go out trick or treating. He will help me hand out candy. My husband was taking the girls out trick or treating because the dads mostly hand out candy and they usually offer my husband a beer and male bonding. He’s into it. He also likes to take his kids out on Halloween because he doesn’t always get to do things with them. It’s a win/win for almost everybody, not my son, but I am trying!
I let all of the neighborhood parents know that we will start at the house first with a little party. I let them know that it will actually be in the garage away from any germs. They can all hit the piñata until it breaks and then everyone gets candy and it’s fun. All of the parents think this is a great idea. I also put together some fingerfoods for the parents. It was a huge success. My son was dressed up in his costume and happy. His friends were all there and laughing. When they all headed out for trick or treating my son and I put on some tv and handed out candy. When my daughters came back they told me that the neighborhood moms put together a bag of candy for their brother. They felt bad that he was unable to partake. The piñata was such a great tradition that we did it few more times before it became a hassle. I am not a fan of hassle. Also it was a bit much trying to have all of that candy around. My kids are not big candy eaters and so I would find myself giving it to my husband to bring in to work.
It was a good time. I miss having little ones around. I am glad that my children grew up to be the people that they are though. They are my favorite people!
Moral of my story: Trying to break the school skipper’s code is near impossible. Sometimes you are going to have healthy kids sitting on your couch eating jello and popsicles until three pm. They will miraculously feel better and you will go on with your lives. Other times you are going to have the school nurse calling you, and the shuffle of assholism to look forward to as you are trying to catch the door while it is still unlocked. Don’t worry, you’re a good mom. You are doing your best. Also, if you have a sick kid home for Halloween and you know that they are no longer contagious, get a neighborhood piñata, it was probably his favorite Halloween ever. Also the parents loved it too. We were all such a great community that year. We were all there for one another and it was lovely. You don’t even need to have a sick child…try getting together with your neighbors and start a tradition. Doesn’t that sound fun?
Until next time 🙂