Home > Uncategorized > Someone is Faking. Or Not.

Someone is Faking. Or Not.

Once again I am home with sick kids.  My kids have been sick more this winter/spring than they have in their entire lives.  Sometimes it feels like they’ve been sick more than I have been in my entire life.  Thankfully, it’s never anything serious, just a frustrating series of colds and viruses.

I kind of feel like I should qualify that by saying my daughter is sick again.  My son is also home, but his level of sickness is questionable.  He’s kind of a tough nut to crack.  I’ve always had trouble getting inside his head the way I can do with my daughter.  There’s no question when she’s sick.  She woke up crying because her sinuses hurt so bad.  Melodramatic, yes, but it makes my job of determining the level of illness a lot easier.  When she doesn’t feel well, she needs to let everyone know it.  Often and with much moaning and wringing of hands.

This is not the case with the boy.  I’ve lost count of the times that he’s cranky and out of sorts and I touch his face to find him burning with fever.  Most of his life, he’s seemed to not even realize when he’s sick.  I may ask, “Are you feeling all right?” (because mothers know…sometimes, at least.) and I can see the realization dawning on his little face.  Why, no, he’s not all right, he has strep throat or an earache or mono or something.  No, he didn’t really have mono.  Come to think of it, I’m not sure if he’s ever had an earache, either.  Sturdy little kid.  However, this spring, he’s been introduced to seasonal allergies with pollen counts in the bazillions.  He hasn’t felt quite well for a month and we’re learning a big lesson in sucking it up.  He wakes up feeling kind of rotten pretty much every day, but a dose of Claritin and a good breakfast usually put things right.

Until big sister is sick.  Sometime around the time he notices me dosing her with DayQuil or Pepto, he suddenly feels crappy.  Really crappy.  Really, truly awful and incapable of learning today, Mom.  I generally diagnose this as a bad case of “my sister is sick and I shouldn’t have to go to school.”  I know what he’s up to, but I have a confession.  Sometimes I let him get away with it.  I have my reasons.

  1. If one kid is sick, it stands to reason that the other one might be sick, too.  They won’t share games, tv or snacks, but they share cooties with unmatched generosity.
  2. I am a sucker for his sad face.  He knows it and uses it against me like Kryptonite.
  3. I am not that concerned about him missing one day of school.  It’s a ridiculous understatement to say he’s a good student, so whatever he misses, he’ll make it up tomorrow.  It’s not that big a deal.
  4. I have enough repressed Mommy-guilt on my plate without sending a sick kid off to school and getting a call from the nurse midway through the day.
  5. Most shameful, but I’m being honest here.  If both kids stay home, I don’t have to leave the house to take anyone to school at 8 am.  I also don’t have to wear real pants today.

Yes, all that, but mostly, I don’t want to send a sick child to school to spread germs and feel awful all day.  And I enjoy wearing yoga pants on my day off.  I enjoy it a lot.  But that’s neither here nor there.  The fact is I now have one very pitiful sicky hopped up on DayQuil and chicken soup and one question mark dosed with Claritin and bacon pancakes.  (Have you tried these?  I highly recommend them.  Just mix crispy bacon pieces into your batter. mmmm)  We had the “suck-it-up” talk about how you don’t take a sick day when you feel a little bad, you only take a sick day when you’re really, truly and honestly too sick to function.  I also instructed him that he’s not allowed to smile at me today.  That may sound crappy of me, but the last time I let him stay home, he spent the entire day smiling at me.  When I called him out on his “lying-and-got-away-with-something” grin, he repeatedly told me, “I just like to smile.  It’s true.”  Jeez, if you’re going to lie to me, you really need to get better at it, kiddo. 

So here we are, all unsmiling and grim.  The kids are segregated, just in case the boy isn’t really sick, or if he’s sick with something else, or possibly just to keep them from fighting and talking and louding in general.  Kid sick days are not exactly a vacation day for Mom.  It may be my day off, but I did have things planned for the day, now I’ll be doing good to catch up my laundry and maybe clean the toilets.  I’ll be busy taking care of my children.  The boy needs many things, such as soup and medicine and warm cozy naps.  After all, if he didn’t need my constant care, I might forget that he’s “sick.”

  1. April 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I remember faking being sick to get out of school, fun times.

    • April 23, 2012 at 11:36 am

      Hopefully less fun if you’re not allowed to smile. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  2. April 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    nothing wrong with letting them stay home. My mum used to let me. She called them ‘mental health days’. Beats letting them learn to skip school when they are older!

    • April 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      It would be so much easier if he would just ask for a mental health day, but forthrightness is not a big quality regarding ten year old boys and school and their mothers…As long as he knows that I know what he’s up to. 🙂

      • April 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm


  1. April 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: