|I have a tummy ache ... oh wait, it's time for recess? Never mind.|
My child - I'll give you 10 guesses WHICH child I'm talking about - is in the nurse's office just about every day it seems.
Yes, of course it's Adolpha. The nurse has called home, because she's had a tummy ache, she bumped her head on the playground, she needed a band aid after gym class, and the list goes on and on.
Earlier this week I had a call that she was having some digestive issues. She'd gone to the restroom and had some trouble in there. Her teacher took her to the nurse's office and they called me.
Me: Well, did she mess her pants?
Nurse: No. She's kind of embarrassed.
Me: OK, let me talk to her.
Me: What happened? Did you get to the bathroom in time?
Adopha: Yes. But . . . I just want to come home.
Me: I know you do. But you can't come home.
Nurse: Actually, if a child has diarrhea we could send her home. She's a bit traumatized. The auto flush on the toilet kept going and scaring her while she was trying to clean herself.
At this point she only had a couple hours left in her day. She'd miss Spanish and Computers probably. Plus, I just knew that if Adolpha tried to clean herself up, it wouldn't be enough. She'd need some adult supervision and the Kindergarten teachers frown on wiping butts (as well they should).
Me: I'll come and get her.
It was a good thing I did. As I had suspected, she was a mess. She went straight in the tub. After she was all cleaned up and in her jammies and in her bed (you go to bed when the nurse sends you home from school, don't you know) she admitted, "I really just wanted to be home with you."
"Yes, I know, Adolpha. Today it was OK, because you needed to get cleaned up, but you can't keep going to the nurse's office every day for stuff. She's not going to send you home again."
Cut to later that week. The phone rings and the caller ID says it's the school. I just know it's the nurse's office. Sure enough, it is. Only it's a substitute nurse, because the real nurse is out with the flu (one of the "perks" of her job I would hope is twice as many sick days as everyone else in the building).
New Nurse: Hi, is this Adolpha's mom?
NN: Adolpha was in here complaining of a sore throat.
NN: Well, she's got a low grade fever and it DOES look a bit swollen on one side.
Me: Uh huh.
NN: (I can tell this woman is not impressed with my maternal instincts.) Well, I just wanted to alert you since you might want to get her in to see the doctor.
Me: Are you sending her home or can she stay?
NN: I sent her back to class and told her to come and see me if she feels worse.
Me: OK. Look, I'm not unsympathetic, it's just that I get a call almost every day from the nurse's office that she's in there complaining about something. She's a hypochondriac and a bit of a drama queen. I'm actually glad to hear that she has a low grade fever and a bit of swelling, that's more tangible than 'my tummy feels like an elephant is walking on it - oohh nevermind is that dessert?'
NN: Right. Well, she does have a low grade fever and the weekend is coming. The doctor might want to see her in case it turns into strep throat.
Me: I hear you. Obviously call me if she comes back again or if it gets worse.
This woman is new. She sees an adorable Kindergartener come in with big, sad eyes and she melts. She doesn't see Adolpha as the wily manipulator we know and love in this house. This is a girl who can turn tears on and off like a faucet. She has a tummy ache and can't eat "anything" for dinner until she finds out that I'll let her have macaroni and cheese. Every night at bedtime her leg twitches or her ear buzzes or she sees spots (if I was a worrier and believed half of what she complained about I'd have her scheduled for an MRI in a heartbeat).
If I had to guess today, I would say that she had Gym and she was looking for a way out.
The throat is a new one, so it might be hurting her a bit. I will keep an eye on her, but I'm not calling the doctor. That's why we have those walk in clinics at the drugstore now.
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