Last Thursday night my husband and I returned from Back-to-School Night to find Snags and the babysitter relaxing on the sofa as they raptly watched Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase. Actually, I think the babysitter was probably itching to leave and go home already, but Snags begged her to stay until the very end and so she sat, for the remaining 20 minutes of the movie, and did exactly as Snags instructed: “Watch this! Watch! Watch this part! Watch!”
When we finally let her make her escape, Snags announced that he had a sore throat. My husband gave him Children’s Tylenol and sent him to bed where all was well… Until 2:30 in the morning, when Snags woke up felling very ill, and vomited. “I feel better now!” he said, somewhat jubilantly, as he stepped back to flush the toilet.
Friday morning dawned, and Snags, while not feeling entirely up to snuff, was able to eat a slice of toast and drink some water. Since he kept that sustenance where it belonged, in his stomach, and he had no fever, just the same sore throat as the night before, I decided that he should go to school. Because that vomiting? Maybe it was just a fluke. Maybe the Tylenol didn’t agree with him. And also? It was only the second week of school. You can’t start raking up absences in the second week of school. Because the school? They’re keeping score.
It was also show and tell day. Snag’s first grade teacher was bringing in a snake skin that her dog had sniffed out in her yard. I mean, how cool would that be? A kid with just a sore throat wouldn’t want to miss that, right? Plus, said kid with sore throat had his own cool item for show and tell: a hornet’s nest knocked down from our roof (don’t worry, we sprayed it with killer bug spray and stuck it in a ziplock bag).
And so Snags got dressed and set off for school. I kind of expected a call from the nurse that day, but it never came. Snags soldiered on and stayed in school all day. That afternoon I even took him, with his sore throat, to get his hair cut.
Saturday dawned dark and gray and the skies opened and rained upon us. But it didn’t matter. Snags was still fighting that sore throat so we stayed home where it was warm and dry and we could watch TV and play board games. But by evening, Snags was decidedly miserable. His throat still hurt, and he had a slight fever. He was so miserable that he decided it was all MY fault. As if I’d opened a box a sick and poured him a big bowlful of it for breakfast. Here, eat this. It will make your throat sore and you’ll get really grumpy and mean and blame me for your illness. Good stuff. He blamed me because I’m not.a.doctor.
“This is the WORST virus EVER!” he cried, over and over as he shot piercing accusatory glances in my direction.
I tried to make him feel better. I told him how I bet a bunch of kids in his class at school had sore throats too. Because that always happens when school starts back up in the fall. Kids get sick. Viruses go around. Snags, I said, could rest assured that he wasn’t the ONLY one feeling under the weather. It was just a virus, he’d fell better in the morning, I was sure.
And the thing about a bunch of kids in his class having sore throats too? Ahem…cough… cough… It’s probably true, NOW. Because this morning we took Snags to one of those health clinics that’s open on Sundays with the hope that they’d do something to stop his whining and complaining and blaming… and they did! They gave him an antibiotic for his STREP THROAT. His STREP THROAT that I unwittingly sent him to school with on Friday. His STREP THROAT that he started complaining about on Thursday night. When the babysitter was here.
And so I’d just like to remind the babysitter, that I paid her very well, and she should think of anything else that she may have received on top of the cash I handed her as she walked out the door, as a special kind of bonus!
Mea culpa. But then again, Snags was right. I’m not.a.doctor.