Maternal ambivalence

By Mir
September 14, 2004

This morning started out like most other school mornings: Monkey came and had his snuggle and play time in bed with me, and once we heard Chickadee’s alarm, we went to get her up. She didn’t want to get up (shocking). She was too tired to get dressed (astonishing). She couldn’t possibly brush her teeth (how interesting).

It was when I had half-dragged her to the bathroom and she stood on the stool, listing to one side, toothbrush dangling from her mouth, and she started crying that she needed to lie down, that I began to suspect something was amiss. Fine, go lie down. While you’re at it, hold this in your mouth for a few minutes.

Then came the moment every mother dreads. No fever; go to school. High fever; commence coddling. Low fever? Crap. Barely even a fever, really. Lower than what the school considers the cut-off point, even. Maybe I could give her some cold medicine and still send her…? It was at this point that my inner Mama Bear smacked me upside the head. Hello! a shrill voice scolded me. She’s only been up for ten minutes! By this afternoon that fever will be taking charge!

Hmph. And here I’d had a big day of… ummmm… stuff… planned. Oh well.

Monkey ate his beloved poptarts and chattered on while I packed his lunch and Chickadee lay in bed with a book. I dosed her up with medicine before we left. We ran him over to school, then returned home.

For a little bit, it was lovely. Then the medicine kicked in. Then, by all accounts, Chickadee was perfectly fine! She played and read and asked for more breakfast and generally made me wonder why I’d let her stay home.

Only now, she’s parked on the couch in front of the television, and getting shorter by the minute. I think the medicine is starting to wear off, and it’s taking with it her resolve to remain upright. I’m probably a lousy mother for being delighted to see her clearly unwell. But those few hours of normalcy were making me feel like I’d been duped. If you’re home sick, be sick, dammit!

I am so going to hell.


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