Remember that part in ET where Elliot fakes sick by holding a thermometer up to the light bulb near his bed? When I first saw that scene, I thought that was so diabolical, a kid feigning illness to stay home from school. I guess it never crossed my mind (I know, I know: I was--actually, I still AM--one of those weirdos who actually LIKE school) to try to actually GET OUT of school by pretending to be ill.
Unfortunately, my children have not inherited my love for education. I can't begin to count the number of times Lauren or Jonah has begged to stay home in a croaking voice, pleading a serious case of sore throat/upset tummy/plaguing cough, only to have a full recovery before lunch.
Today was one of those days. Jonah complained last night of a sore throat and sniffles (now that I think about it, he was just setting up his plan). This morning, I had to use a crow bar to pry him out of bed, but he seemed fine, so I retreated to my room to get dressed. As I was poking my arm through my shirt, a timid knock sounded on my door. "Mom?" a weak shaking voice called. "Mom?" It was Jonah, looking unbearably pathetic. "My throat," he rasped, "it really hurts. I think I need to stay home."
My reaction was pure and simple: I caved. Just like I do every time. What kind of mother sends her sick child to school, right? Even after twenty-three miraculous recoveries, I caved. "But I can't stay home with you, hon," I said. "You'll have to stay home by yourself."
He nodded slowly. "I can do that," he said.
"Go back to bed, sweetie," I crooned, smoothing down his hair.
I went back into my room to grab a pair of socks and that's when it hit me: today was the trifecta dentist appointment. All three kids in one shot. If Jonah missed his appointment, it might be months before we could reschedule him.
I popped back into his room and explained he'd have to go to school after all. But as he got showered and dressed, I reconsidered. I have plenty of sick days, and if I stayed home WITH him, I could pick Lauren up from school and take her to the dentist myself without having to ask
someone to do my chauffeuring for me. I called a sub.
And guess what? Jonah recovered in record time. Before nine, he was dressed, kicking a ball around the family room, asking me if we could go to the pet store. It's a miracle, and I am so so grateful that he had such a remarkably brief illness.
Of course, I got to stay home today, too, with my not-so-sick boy. And you know what? Sometimes it's nice to take a day like this and get some things done. I finished a sewing project and started a new book, caught up on some of my favorite blogs, and I still have time to get to the dentist. It's a good day.