Today is the 4th day of school, and That Girl is home sick with a cold.
I know that kids are just fast-moving petri dishes and grade schools are merely incubators for said petri dishes, but… three days and she comes home with a cold? Really? Good grief.
Usually, I can see it coming a mile off, because her behaviour and personality change so much as an illness starts ramping up. But honestly, I was not expecting it this early in the year.
In retrospect, the signs were all there.
She does homework with me in the late afternoons, usually some math or reading or her therapy exercises. On Wednesday, it was time for some visual memory/spelling work, followed by math.
Usually, she’s pretty good at the visual memory stuff. We make it into a competition, to make it more motivating. She is shown a word for 15 seconds, while singing the alphabet song. I hide it, and she has to write it down. If she gets it right, she gets the point; if not, I get it. So, if she gets more words right than she does wrong, she wins.
The prize for winning is always changing but usually something super-motivating, like adding whipped cream and sprinkles to her dish of ice cream for dessert. Because OMG WHIPPED CREAM AND SPRINKLES. And I generally let her choose the prize the winner gets.
But on Wednesday, she got two words right and eight wrong. So I chalked it up to being tired from starting back up in school, and we moved on to math.
Two questions in, and she was hopeless. Nothing seemed to be clicking. And she started to cry. So I quickly put things away, assured her that it was probably because her brain was all tired out from being back in school all day, and that was that.
And then yesterday, she woke up with the sniffles. Nothing major, just a few sniffles. But I gave her some medicine (which BDH had to run out and get because we were out — because, again, who’s expecting a cold on the third day of school, and during a week with 40 degree humidex?) and she immediately said she felt better.
We walked to school. Once there, she was quiet. She said she was tired and lonely. She was very clingy. And when I picked her up from school at the end of the day, it was confirmed: she had a full blown cold. She was oozing and sluggish and had no appetite for a snack.
So I told her to get her jammies on and tucked her up in a blanket on the sofa. And she promptly fell asleep.
There was no way she was going to school the next day, today, so I called in her absence. And also cancelled her therapy appointment for this afternoon.
Day four, of the first week of school. Our first absence of the year. I mean, she’s only in grade three, so it’s not like it’s that big a deal. But as I mentioned a couple of days ago, the first week is all fun and games and “get to know each other” stuff, and she doesn’t even know who her teacher for the year is yet. So it is kind of a drag that she has to miss it.
Still, it can’t be helped. She spent the long weekend here doing yard work and playing video games at home with us, not playing with other kids or going anywhere — OH PUT YOUR JUDGYPANTS AWAY, IT WAS HOT AND IT WAS MOVE IN WEEKEND HERE IN TOWN FOR THE UNIVERSITY, SO WE WERE NOT GOING ANYWHERE TYVM — so it’s something she picked up on the first day.
But STILL. THREE DAYS.
Anyway. She’s home today, resting and sneezing and after a weekend at home, we’ll get back in the action for Monday. I hope.
She certainly does get her fair share of colds. Not being around lots of people with kids her age, I don’t know if she gets more than the average kid or not. She does get a decent number of ear infections, though. Her doctor says that the third week of September is when he starts to see kids with ear infections coming in. And That Girl spent a long time and a lot of antibiotics fighting off persistent ones this past year.
So we have THAT to look forward to, potentially, when this cold runs its course. OH JOY.
But you know, it’s kind of lovely at this age that I can tuck her into a blanket and kiss her on the forehead (still my favourite way to tell if she has a fever), and to have her look up at me and say, “Thank you, Mommy, for taking such good care of me when I am sick.”
I can put up with a lot of sick days for a reward like that.