Monday, March 30, 2009

Sick Days (in which I get to use the word "hornswoggled" in a sentence)

Back when I had a paid job, I found it hard to take sick days. To stay home due to illness involved agonizing over whether to call in, resigning myself to the fact that I needed to, making the call, and feeling a bit better as soon as I'd hung up... leading to hours of second guessing myself, thinking maybe I should've just sucked it up.

Now I'm responsible for deciding whether my lovely children need to stay home from school. I've found that while it's easier to err on the side of caution on their behalf than it was on my own, the second-guessing part hasn't gone away.

Thankfully neither of them are school-averse; so far, they both love to go. The Bean hates even the idea of missing a day, and gets very upset if she thinks she might have to be absent. I can see that for her, taking sick days could someday involve the same tortuous process it was for me. But it's easy for me to make the decision for her: if she's that upset, she's probably that sick.

With the Peanut, it is harder to tell. She's so happy about everything that her mood isn't a good indicator. This past weekend, she had a fever on and off, some coughing and congestion, and not much of an appetite. But she seemed much improved by suppertime yesterday. We'd figured she was OK to go to preschool for Pajama Day today (the kiddos got to wear their PJs and bring a favorite stuffed animal along). The Peanut thought so too, and had her horse pajamas and stuffed horsie ready to go.

This morning, she stalled out during her Cheerios and banana. It came down to this: if you're not feeling good enough for Cheerios and banana, then you're not feeling good enough for preschool, Peanut. Usually, if she's dragging over breakfast (she's always taken a verrrry looonnnng time with meals) and I hint that not eating it might cause her to miss preschool, then she eats, pronto. Not today. She put down her spoon and said she thought she should stay home. But could she still wear her horse pajamas all day?


I decided to keep her home. It's possible I'm being had because she doesn't love Cheerios and banana as much as, say, raisin toast and apples, but no matter. She can use an extra day to rest and get past whatever she was fighting off, and missing a day of preschool (even Pajama Day) is certainly not going to set her back any.

Aside from two seconds' sadness when she realized she wouldn't "get to see what the boys' pajamas looked like," she is regret-free. As I type, she's in the living room stringing plastic bead necklaces and singing something to the tune of "if you're happy and you know it."

If her nose weren't stuffy, I'd be feeling hornswoggled.


  1. Tis a lovely sounding word...


    BUT, before I use it (probably inappropriately to the Vicar or someone...) Do tell,What does it actually mean?


  2. I'm glad you kept her home. I have worked in schools for years and the sick little ones come and sit with me in my office until Mom or Dad get there. For a child to feel so punky and sick when the other kids are having fun just makes it worse. I love pajama day, though one year we had some new young Moms and teachers dress totally innapropriately (yup, I'm talkin leopard,silky negligees and 3 inch pumps with feathers etc, I kid you not!)

  3. that was my week too. we had the same thing. Red would seem fine and then be like, "I think I should stay home". It was a whole week for her. Home. Rough one!

  4. My daughter is a very good faker. She even has figured out that if she perks up around ten, I will make her go in to school, but if she looks peaked and stays in bed reading until lunchtime, then it is ok to get rowdy afterwards.