Caroline is quite dramatic. This has its benefits--it's part of why she enjoys dance so much and why she is pretty darn good at it. It makes her laugh harder at things. Her love of drama comes with a love of the arts and she sat in awe and complete happiness last year when we went to see Wicked.
But, with the drama comes the D-RAMA FOR YOUR MAMA. The stubbed toe that requires ice and a 2 hour limp. The fake (yet tearfully productive) cry that I can spot a mile away. And the requirement for me to walk a fine line between sending a sick girl to school (because I didn't believe her) or letting a well girl stay home "sick" and feel like a fool when she is doing pirouettes by 10 a.m.
In kindergarten, Caroline became BFFs with the nurse because she "needed" to go so often. After a fundraising event where Josh met the nurse and learned just how frequent (and unnecessary) her visits were, we spent a week or so telling her the story of the little boy who cried wolf over and over again, explaining that one day she was going to really be sick and we wouldn't believe her. NOT KIDDING, a week later, Caroline "didn't feel good" and we called bull. I was pregnant with Sascha and so so so so so sick. Josh had agreed to work from home that morning to let me spend a little longer in bed. He took Caroline to school despite her protests, and as he walked back in the house, the nurse called to let us know Caroline had barfed all over the place. Whoops. Turned out she had the flu and slept for 26 straight hours. It was a great lesson to refer back to, though. (And I was slightly scarred by the whole event. How did I miss that as her mother?! The guilt goblin had a field day with me.)
Today, Caroline (who has been on anitbiotics since Friday afternoon for a potential case of strep--rapid test was negative, but Doc thought it looked streppy and wanted to get a jump on it in case the longer culture came back positive) tried to pull every heart string I own. She cried, she claimed her tummy felt sick, like she could totally throw up or gag (she had eaten 2 yogurts and some grits, I knew she wasn't really nauseous), she said her head hurt and her throat hurt. Yada, yada, yada. Even if the test came back positive, she's no longer contagious and she isn't running fever, and I know she perks up when she wants to, I just think that she wanted a personal day.
Now I am not above taking a day off of school because you need a break. I get that and we do that. But, today was not a day when I felt she should get to. I let her sleep in and go an hour or so late, but I made her go. You would have thought that she was going to the guillotine . . . her fake cry, the dramatic sobs, the faux sick shuffle. Emotionally, I was ping ponging between sympathy and guilt and frustration and annoyance. I hugged her and she asked if the Tylenol would settle her stomach. I said not really then offered her the rest of my Sonic Diet Coke from earlier this morning.
A spark in her eyes and a hint of a smile.
Then, her daddy let her sit in the front seat for the ride to school and as they backed out of the driveway she was all smiles and big waves. Her troubles forgotten, her illness on the mend thanks to some Diet Coke and the front seat.
(The Diet Coke part I get. I really, really do.)
What are your sickly standards?
6 hours ago