I spoke too soon about the idyllic vacation week and uneventful return to school. Truthfully, my breath was held waiting to hear that Monkey celebrated his first day back by shattering into a million angry little pieces, but his day was perfectly fine.
No, I answered the phone yesterday afternoon when the caller ID said it was the school system (all the schools come up the same), steeling myself for a Tale Of Monkey Woe, but instead a little voice said, “Hi. I’m miserable.”
“Chickadee? What’s wrong??”
“My throat hurts. And my head hurts. And I am miserable.” In case you missed it, she was miserable. TWICE. Please make a note of it.
Of course, my girl has been known to exaggerate on occasion (I have NO idea where she gets that…), so I did grill her a little bit just to make sure this wasn’t a case of don’t-feel-like-doing-my-work-itis. But she convinced me she was truly sick, so off I went to pick her up.
[Digression: Wouldn’t it be awesome if one could determine the relative health of one’s child when such a call comes by having the kid go down to the nurse’s office and get checked out? Remember how we used to do that, back in the day? Well, that was before the school district started cutting out non-essentials. My daughter’s middle school apparently has a nurse on staff, but I think she’s only there once a week. Or possibly every other week. When the moon is full. Instead, the office staff has an ear thermometer which no one knows how to use properly. I know this because last year, when I foolishly told my sick kid go to down to the nurse’s office and get her temperature taken, I got a call back saying that the nurse wasn’t there but the secretary took her temperature and it was… 93 degrees. Uh. Well. That sounded like a problem to me, y’know?]
So I picked her up, yesterday, and brought her home. Where she said she couldn’t sleep because she was too miserable. And then she got up and did homework for a while, and then was uncommonly nice to her brother, and I became suspicious.
[“Oh, no, Chickie!” Monkey exclaimed, after arriving home and discovering she was unwell. “You’re sick? Do you want a hug?”
“Okay,” she said, brightly, flinging her arms out to receive him. That right there was enough to make me suspect she truly WAS sick, but then later she scarfed down dinner, so I was confused.]
Before bed last night I reminded her that she has a lot of schoolwork due this week, and, shall we say, STRONGLY SUGGESTED that she make it to school today. “And if you’re not well enough to go,” I added, “I’ll take you to the doctor.” Chickadee hates the doctor.
This morning she made it up and out, albeit verrrrrry sloooooowly. I felt a twinge of guilt—what if she was truly ill?—but she told me she was okay.
Still, I wasn’t all that surprised when she started messaging me from second period. She started out by saying she was miserable (shocking!) and it kind of went downhill from there. She asked me if I knew why her eyes hurt, and I said I didn’t, and then she corrected herself. “Not really my eyes,” she said. “But my eye sockets. My eye sockets really hurt. Is that weird?”
Uh, yeah. That’s weird! I went and picked her up.
Today she looks like death warmed over, and now she is upstairs asleep. I managed to get her a doctor’s appointment at approximately the same time that Monkey has an appointment with a different doctor, across town. Because my life is AWESOME. Otto has offered to cancel class this afternoon to help, if necessary, but on the last week of classes before finals it just seems cruel and unusual (not to mention weird) for him to have to cancel classes because his stepdaughter has achey eye sockets.
In other news, I do not feel that tickle in the back of my throat. AT ALL.