‘Tis the season indeed. No, not for cornucopias, marshmallow turkeys or Christmas decorations that are up wayyy too early in Target–but the season of sickness. Once school starts you just know your child is going to bring all sorts of little beasties home with him or her, as school is just one big petrie dish. Honestly, I felt quite lucky that neither Scout nor V had come down with anything yet this school year, but of course the luck is bound to run dry at some point.
I was actually out of town over the weekend, doing a much-needed cabin getaway with a couple of girlfriends. Vacation over, reality definitely struck as soon as I walked in the door and my son’s lower lip started to quiver as he announced that he felt like he might throw up. Lucky for both of us that never did happen, but apparently he had had a fever all day and was just feeling overall crummy. Fever, a bit of a sore throat, tummy ache….hey, wait a minute.
That is strep. I would know—whenever either of my kids have it, it presents itself in that exact way. Typically it’s not very dramatic, except for maybe the swabbing part of the test. The last time Scout had strep though, he was incredibly sick. He threw up so many times that he had to get the antibiotics in a shot verses the medicine form, as we knew he’d never keep it down. THAT was not fun. I didn’t even have to experience that one, Coreman actually was the unlucky parent that got to take him to the doctor that time. With it’s very big needle and thick syrup-like consistency, it’s the painful shot that kids’ nightmares are made of. You know it’s bad when the nurse tells you it’s gonna hurt. No candy-coating that one.
Needless to say, after that experience I’m completely paranoid that every time Scout gets strep it’s going to mean the Big Bad Shot. So I was pleasantly surprised this morning when he woke up after a good long sleep fever-free and having an appetite. I took him in for the swab just to be sure, and it came back negative. Hopefully we did indeed dodge that bullet. Or that needle!
Scout is so funny when he’s sick. Talk about drama, that is my son. Last night he was laying on the couch, watching TV in his feverish misery. We sat down with him here and there but I was also upstairs getting some things done in the kitchen. He had fallen asleep and I was going about my business when all of a sudden I hear, “Doesn’t anybody care about me??” from down in the family room. Apparently he didn’t think we should leave him alone for a second! Sitting with him he was convinced that throwing up was inevitable. “Any minute now,” he would say. And of course he wanted an audience. (thankfully he never needed one. I try to be there for everything my kids are going through, but when things are coming up in that way I go running to Coreman. I don’t deal well with the whole throw-up thing.)
It’s never fun having a sick kid. I think there is always that part way back in a haunted frightening corner of your mind that worries that whatever is it, no matter how mild, the sickness will turn into something sinister and life-threatening. Maybe it’s just ME being dramatic, but I’d be curious to hear if other parents felt that same way. So what a lovely relief and joyous feeling it is when the fever subsides, the child wants to eat, they have the sparkle in their eye again. And let’s face it, if your child isn’t TOO sick it’s really quite nice to have them play hooky from school and snuggle up with you all day, ‘No TV’ rule be damned.
It’s especially lovely when your child climbs into bed to rest with you, reciting this poem taken from one of his Bone books:
Round and round our busy feet go
Hurry and fury and apple red glow
The sites and sounds of places to do
The laughing and shouting will never be through
But after all that running, the rest is the best
And the best to rest with is you.
Oh how I do love that boy.