Oh yes...this mom is sorry to report that her son missed his second day of kindergarten because he was home sick.
Not exactly the kick-off to the school year we were all expecting.
Tuesday was a total whirlwind at our house. We did the whole "first day of school" thing with the pictures and the excitement and the bus ride and everything, and let me tell you, I was pretty worn out by 9:15am and I wasn't even the one going to school.
I told my daughter we'd celebrate her "first day" of just her and Mom, and celebrate we did. She chose to go to Meijer Gardens, a favorite spot of hers, and we had a great time playing outside, going for a walk, and just enjoying the beautiful weather and hanging out together. (Not to mention, trying to keep Mom's mind occupied so she wouldn't be missing and worrying about her kindergartner too much!)
Our next stop was to meet Grandma and Aunt Katie for a special lunch date, and my daughter actually fell asleep in the drive across town.
It was 12:06.
This should have been my first warning.
This kid -- the fighter of all things sleep related -- has not taken a nap in I don't know how long. Let alone that early in the afternoon. Not only did she fall asleep in the car, but she then stayed asleep when I took her out of her car seat, and then for a good 30 minutes or so in the restaurant.
This is absolutely unheard of for her.
I chalked it up to all the fresh air and back-to-school excitement and lack of sleep at our house, and we went on our merry way. We watched a movie and cuddled together for a little while on the couch when we got home.
This should have been my second warning.
We then greeted my happy, tired son as he got of the bus, heard bits and pieces about his day, had him scarf down a snack or two while my husband got him in his soccer gear, and we were out the door to soccer practice. He had a blast and ran and ran and ran for a good hour. I have no idea where he got his energy from, after having just completed his first full day of kindergarten. But run and laugh and smile and play he did.
Once we got home, it was time for dinner, my husband was off to his softball double header, and I was on bath and bedtime duty. Needless to say, it had been a very full, busy day.
But this is where it gets exciting.
At 12:34am, I heard my daughter crying from her room. For the Queen of Night Terrors, this is a pretty regular occurrence for her. I let her cry for a couple of minutes, and then heard "Mommy, I need a napkin!" so I figured I'd go in and check on her. She tends to yell lots of weird things in her sleep, so again, this wasn't cause for alarm, but rather another insight into her bizarre 'sleeping' habits.
In sticking with advice from our pediatrician, I kept the lights off to keep the room dark, and reached down to pick her up. She felt damp, and I thought she must have been crying quite a bit, so I took her out to the kitchen to help her calm down.
Except the damp wasn't tears.
Oh no. I'm sure by this point, you've all figured out what the "damp" was, so I'll spare you the details. And it was not only covering her little body, it was also now covering my not-so-little body.
This is the first time in her 3 1/2 years she's gotten sick to her stomach, so this lovely experience was all brand new to her. I mustered up my most soothing Mom voice and tried to reassure her she was OK and we'd get cleaned up and sometimes people get sick and it's OK, all the while stripping off both of our pajamas and trying not to get sick myself.
We both hopped in a hot shower, at which point my husband came upstairs from watching TV downstairs and hesitantly asked:
"Is everything OK?"
I think the sound of the shower after midnight when I had already been asleep may have tipped him off that the answer to this question would inevitably be "no."
Bless his absolutely amazing heart, he took on the tough job of cleaning up her bedding. And I'll leave it at that, because my stomach is turning just typing those words.
So to avoid that less than pleasant mental picture, here's a little comic relief: Throughout this ordeal, my daughter kept referring to getting sick as "spitting" and wanted to know where the "spit bucket" was my husband had gotten for her. Spitting? Really? Yeah, so not in the same ballpark. When he was her age, my son referred to it as "burping." Apparently, we have not properly educated our children on the true definitions of bodily functions.
I'm sure there's an app for that, or some cute printable diagram on Pinterest that would help with this very situation.
I know you're all extremely eager to hear more about "spitting" and "burping," so back to our happy little story.
We got everyone dressed, sleeping arrangements were made, and all things considered, life was good.
Until it was quiet, and I instantly started worrying about my son.
What if he was exposed to it? What if he is sick? Should I keep him home tomorrow? It's only his second day of school...I can't keep him home if I only think he could get sick. What if he gets sick on the bus? What if he gets sick at school? What if it scars him for life and he hates school and he ends up being a kindergarten drop out?
As you can see, I have this worrying thing down to science.
But it wasn't too long until all my worries were gone.
His light flicked on around 3:00am, and I heard him whimper and whine from his bedroom. Sure enough, it was off to the bathroom with him, and he joined the ranks of his sick little sister. The good news? I knew for sure I'd be keeping him home the next day. It absolutely broke my heart -- especially when he said through tears "I don't want to do this ever again in my whole life!" -- but at least it wasn't something for me to wonder about any more. At least that way, I could get some sleep instead of laying awake worrying all night.
All you veteran moms are laughing hysterically right now at my naive line of thinking, as you know that sleep was the last thing that would be happening in our house for the next few hours.
I spent the remainder of the night "bed hopping" from my son's room to my room (where my daughter was now sleeping) to help whoever was sick at that moment. Thanks to super-sonic-mom hearing, the second I heard the whine start, I was running to that bed to grab that kid and race them to the nearest bathroom as fast as I could.
Our overall record for the night: on 3 out of 4 occasions the sick kid in question made it to the bathroom in time. I'd consider that a victory.
Needless to say, I now know how to use the school's attendance hotline to call my kid in sick, and yes, I found out it even works at 3:00am. I'm guessing we may have been one of the first -- if not the first -- call for the year. Maybe my son will get some kind of award at the end of the year. Or maybe some kind of "free pass" so both kids can avoid any illness that may come their way this year. Like immunity. But real, actual immunity, as in being immune to real, actual germs, not just where you can't get voted off the island.
We can only hope.
I'm thankful we were able to have a really low key day yesterday, and basically watch all of their allotted TV time for the next 6 months in one day. I'm thankful for an incredible husband who helped with all the clean up duties, and who is paying the price by now being sick himself. I'm thankful that I was able to be there to comfort them and take care of them in the night and during the day today. I'm thankful that no one has actually gotten sick in our house in the last 19 hours, and hopefully everyone is on the mend. I'm thankful I haven't gotten sick myself.
But seriously? The stomach flu on the second day of kindergarten? Not so thankful for that.
Here's to hoping that this round of "spitting" and "burping" has come to an end.
Whether you're sending them off on their first day, or keeping them home on their second, You Are a Good Mom.