Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Sick" Day

As a child I was famous for being "sick".  I had some sort of weird aversion to school.  So, I took on being "sick" as a profession.  My mother was so proud. 

I became an authority at my trade by the 3rd grade.  It helped significantly that I was a toe-headed, shy little girl with the face of an inner devil-child was undetectable to all except for my family and close friends.  And, my 3rd grade teacher was easy prey.  She was months from retirement and had once even told me that I was "cherubic".  I had no idea what that meant, but I knew I had her exactly where I wanted her. 

It was an easy process, really.  First, transform eyes into puppy-dog mode with a hint of a glaze.  Second, pinch cheeks for a flushed appearance.  Third, bend over and hold stomach.  Fourth, breath heavily.  And, finally, exit desk and approach teacher.  Use standard line such as, "Mrs.  Denney, I don't feel....very well."  Proper English always impressed her. 

"Oh, you poor sweet dear" was usually her response.  "Come on now, let's go to the nurse."

Yes!  Score!!  I'm goin' home!  Ooo, settle down, don't blow you're cover.....

Tell nurse the problem, check.  Act extremely pitiful, check.  Go lay on cot while nurse calls mom, check.

The tough sell was, of course, Mom.  And, typically she wasn't in a buying mood.  Unfortunately for her I knew only too well that she would show up and she would take me home and she would save the condemnation for the car ride home.  She had to save face in front of all present school officials as they all too often had on their pooched lips, tilted head "aww" face as they watched my mother sympathetically escort her ill child out of the school. 

Manipulate much?

Well, a little.  Sure.  But, home was awesome.  School wasn't.  And, really, what was I missing out on in the 3rd flipping grade for pete's sake?

The standard speech from mom was, "Julie, you've got to stop doing this.  I know you're not really sick.  You have to stay at school.  I'm not doing this again!  Unless you are throwing up or have a fever, I will not pick you up!"

Until the next time.

I remember once she even sent my older sister to retrieve me.  She brought me gumballs.  That was awesome.

My career came to a halt after that year.  Mainly because I discovered boys.  Perfectly good reason to want to stay at school.

So, Karma, as they say, is a b.i.t.c.h.

Here I am today, using my last paid sick day of the year to stay home with my "sick" 5 year old.  I did take him to school this morning.  As we walked into his classroom I couldn't help but notice that he was particularly quiet.  And very huggy.  Hmmmm...he did not eat his breakfast this morning. 

Then his teacher said this, "He was like this yesterday.  Very quiet.  Kept coming to me for hugs.  Not his normal self."

As I became relatively alarmed I couldn't help but notice the little darlings eyes widen a bit.  But, these symptoms were usually an indicator that something was brewing.

So, I knelt down and asked him, "You feeling okay, baby?"

"Uh, uh."  Dumb question, mom.  You know how this works.  "I'm sick, mommy."

Crap.  Teacher heard.  Sigh. 

"Ummm, yeah.  I think I'd better take him home.  I have a feeling something might be on the horizon."  But, I knew better.  As soon as that statement came out of my mouth I caught a glimpse of a smile cracking on my son's lips.  Little s**t.

He has had a low grade fever, so I feel a little better about that.  Which, I realize, is a tad bit backasswards.  But, you know what I mean.  It wasn't a complete fib, on either of our parts.  It's just the "mom can I play, I'm, can I get up and play now" comments that are ticking me off. 

I'm on to you kid.  I'm a pro.  Don't mess with me.

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