Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are You Really Sick?

I have learned from my oldest son that your children will "fake" being sick.  This happened a few years ago on a Sunday morning when we were getting ready to go to church.

"I am sick," he moaned with the best sick voice I have ever heard.  I asked him what was wrong which he quickly replied (with the ever so difficult symptom to prove and yet so effective), "My stomach, it really hurts."

So we let him stay home that day. This mysterious illness came back each Sunday for the next two weeks until I pulled my "softy and ever so trusting" husband aside and said, "That boy of yours is totally faking it."

And after we called his bluff, it never happened again. 

The other children, after seeing their brother with a bit of success through the years, too have attempted the "I am sick" routine.  I am a total proponent of letting my kids stay home from school/church every now and again, even if they aren't sick (just in need of a little break) but let's be sure we are honest about our intentions.

I quickly nipped the "I am pretending I am sick" performance in the butt when I instilled the simple rule:

If you stay home from school due to illness, you WILL NOT play with your friends that day.

It worked like a charm.

But the past two weeks have thrown me for a loop.  You see, there really is a stomach bug going around our elementary school.  Tate caught it a few weeks ago.  He woke up in the middle of the night with a stomach ache followed by a release of the day's intake.  There was no question he was really sick.  He missed school, followed by a long 3 day weekend.  He didn't throw up again but he did complain of stomach pain. He then started with a nasty cough. By Tuesday, his cough was gone but the stomach ache was still lingering. So I let him stay home.  Then Wednesday came and went...home yet again.  Thursday...home. Friday with complaints of stomach pain, I sent him anyway...I mean, we aren't perfect, right?! 

Within 15 minutes of the bell ringing in the new school day, I had a call from the school nurse (I will forgo letting you know how long it took before I saw she had called...oops), letting me know Tate wasn't feeling well.

I came and picked him up.

The weekend came and went.

Monday I informed him that no matter what, he was going to school!  He asked me to drive him. I did. Upon opening the car door, he cried, "My tummy hurts."  I had already written a note to his teacher asking her to give him free reign of the toilet. He had to eventually go to school right?!

I walked him in, spoke with the nurse...who explained to Tate, "There is a difference between being sick and not feeling well (his symptoms fell under the second explanation).  Now let's stop worrying about all this stomach stuff and go to class." 

With much hesitation, he went with Nurse Swingle and HAPPY DAY, he made it through the entire day!

Today however he did not.  He started crying about his stomach again. I called the doctor who then told me that indeed a virus was going around and recommended he go on the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast).  She said he could go to school.  Tate didn't agree. He begged me to let him stay home. 

So being the super nice mother that I am (yeah right), we marched over to the grocery store and purchased all of the above items. I told him he would only be eating these items.  He would get ONE MORE DAY and then this charade (I really think his tummy does hurt but how bad I question) would be over.

I ask myself, "Are you Really Sick?"

And I answer that question with a resounding, "YES! I am sick...sick of kids that are just barely sick.  That fine line where I need to hire a secret agent to determine if they are faking it or really need to stay home with me where I can mother them back to health."

Wish me luck. I do have 4 other healthy children that may or may not be sick in the coming days :)


Anonymous said...

What about his appendix?

Unknown said...

Hi Friend. Catching up on your blog and man alive I have sailed in this boat for years! Good luck!