Last week, I got my first "Hi, this is the nurse calling from **** School. Your son has a terrible stomach ache and his teacher would like you to come get him."
The call came in roughly 17 minutes after I dropped him off.
To be exact, the actually came in roughly two hours from (the first time) he told me he had a stomach ache and didn't want to go to school… to which I responded, "A tummy ache… Hmm. Maybe you should use the bathroom…?"
He said that wasn't the problem. It was just his tummy and he wanted to stay home. In fact, he needed to stay home.
Considering that that day was the second day back at school after a three week break though, and the day before I recalled a moment in the morning where he said he'd rather stay home and play video games (just like vacation), I didn't give the tummy ache much heed and sent him on his way. Moans and all.
When I got to school to pick him up, he was in tears. I felt awful and guilty. He definitely seemed like he was uncomfortable and in pain… once we got home though, he began to feel better. Not only did my work-from-home-"who wants TV all day"-desperation-declaration help the sitch, but the privacy of his own bathroom seemed to make the biggest difference…
Ahh, the public bathroom anxiety. Yes, I know this all too well. In fact, (if he's like his mom) this could be a problem as he has 12 years of elementary and high school left… The bathrooms ain't gettin' any better than the ones in transitional kindergarten… I can tell you that. But I digress…
In my heart, I knew right before we left school, though he was in tears, that this might not be a stomach bug or worse, appendicitis. Just as we were about to leave, he said "Wait!" and darted back into the classroom to beg for homework "Hard homework, actually," to do while he's sick. (Oh, he's so my son). His teacher shot me a wink and handed him what was basically a plain piece of paper with a dotted line on it to write his name. "Have him read a story then write and draw his own." (We were told at back to school night, homework was simply given to make the kids excited to do something. But really, in Pre-K it was hardly necessary…)
That night as I tucked him into bed, almost 12 hours after picking him up from school and a good 11 hours of what seemed to be perfect health and "can you download a game on the iPad" antics, he sat up.
J: Mommy, wait. One thing…
J: My homework… I didn't do it.
Me: Oh, right. Well, I think Mrs. S will understand.
J: No. No. NO. I cannot go to school without doing my homework.
(I love him)
Me: Well, we'll have to do it during breakfast before school.
J: Nah, that won't work. Here's what you need to do.
Me: I need to--
J: Yes. Do my homework, kay? While I'm sleeping… Write a good story. And I'll see how you did in the morning.
Me: Um, no, Jonah. I'm not going to do your homework.
J: You have to. I'm sick.
He's good. He's really good.