Man-child cooked himself a big breakfast that morning before school, but suddenly he felt ill. “I’m going to throw up!” he yelled as he ran in the bathroom, and accomplished said task.
“Please go lie down. Stay home and rest, at least for awhile until you feel better. Then you can go into school later if you feel okay.” I urged, knowing that he would not take my advice.
I walked over toward him with my hand held out. “Let me feel if you have a fever.” No warmth, perspiration, or sign of a fever. No further vomiting. “You should still stay home,” I pleaded.
“No, I have to go to school. I’ll just check in with the nurse and get a pass,” countered man-child.
“That’s my line! This is role reversal again. Just stay home and rest for awhile – you can go in later.” Conceding this mother versus man-child battle, albeit minor in scope, I let him go to school.
The scenario continued to be amusing when I called in to the high school nursing office. I recognized the nurse Shelly as one of my workout friends from the YMCA. “Oh, hi Shelly. I’m the delinquent mom who sent my sick kid to school.”
“It was actually refreshing to have a student want to go to class. Usually they are in here trying to get out of going to class.” Shelly’s sense of humor was a welcome contrast to my frustration.
“Well, I tried at home. He doesn’t have a fever, but I wanted to keep him at home to at least sleep for a bit. But I couldn’t talk any sense into him. I was hoping you could.” My irritated attitude toward my son persisted.
“He was going to try class. I wrote out a pass for him just in case; he’ll come back to my office if he still feels sick.”
“Great. He’ll infect everyone in choir. Oh well. I tried. I just wanted to let you know,” I mumbled in guilty resignation.
“Don’t worry about it. We’ll take care of him. If he comes back and is sick, I’ll send him home.” With her optimistic nature and confident reassurance, Shelly absolved me of my guilt.
Who prepares you for these parenting challenges?! I certainly was taken by surprise when strong-willed man-child argued to go to school when given the option of staying home, stopped by the nurse’s office with an announcement of his illness yet insisted on attending class, and persevered through school after a vomiting episode. Strange acts of defiance against a mom who merely wanted him to stay home and rest.
Thank God for helpful, caring professionals in my community that help me with my parenting. And who keep me from losing my patience with puke-boy.
[Originally posted March 2015]