You know how schools all have those rules about keeping your kids home when they are sick? Free of fever for 24 hours and all of that?
A few weeks ago, Emma woke up at midnight sobbing because her stomach hurt. She said she felt like she might vomit. And because I am no rookie mom, I got the trash can ready right next to her bed. Good thing, too, because within minutes it was being filled.
By the way, you want to know a parenting moment made of awesome?
That would be when your kid learns to aim for the bucket and not say their entire bed. Nothing says fun like changing the sheets at 2:00 a.m.
So, after the puking incident, she fell back to sleep and slept soundly until morning.
No additional upending of her stomach contents.
One and done as they say.
Of course, I kept her home the next day, because I am a rule follower.
Except that by 10:00 a.m. she was performing a concert in my bathroom complete with very loud singing and some kind of stomping that may or may not have been an attempt at the River Dance. When she asked me to take her to McDonald’s for lunch I knew we could count this day as more of a “mental health” day and less of a “sick day”.
Now, could I have sent her to school? Technically, no.
Do I wish I had? Um, decidedly yes.
See, I think she was suffering mostly from acid reflux and less from the dreaded stomach virus of 2013. So, between you and me, she was F-I-N-E.
It got me thinking about bending the rules as a parent, especially when it comes to the school’s sick policy. Lisa and I discussed it over the phone and agreed that it would make a good “Would You Rather” scenario.
It is Thanksgiving week. Monday if you will. Your child wakes up at 10:00 p.m. Sunday night and vomits. They return to sleep. They wake up in the morning with a temperature of 99.2, which according to the school handbook does not constitute a fever. They don’t eat a ton of breakfast, but also don’t outwardly complain of any further stomach pain. You know that school is out for the week starting Wednesday.
This happens to be the day of their big Thanksgiving feast. They have been planning for it and practicing with their little Pilgrim hats, and your child is just so excited to be at school that day. They do not want to miss the big celebration!
You, let’s be honest, have kind of been counting on those precious child free hours to get all the groceries bought for turkey day. Those cans of cranberry sauce aren’t going to buy themselves, you know.
Here is where it gets a little dicey.
If your kid does in fact have a stomach virus, you are potentially infecting the entire class right before the busiest travel time of the year.
If they are not sick, you are subjecting yourself to a kid who wants to perform their entire Thanksgiving festival for an audience of one (you, by the way!) and also cries because you “made them” miss out on their most anticipated school day this entire year!
Now, remember that this is a judgment free zone, so be honest in your answers.
Would you rather follow the rules and keep your child at home or cheat a little and send them to school?