Monday, April 18, 2011

You're supposed to be sick, kid

"Look inside my throat and tell me what you see," my 10-year-old daughter said to me this morning, just as I finished making her turkey sandwich for lunch.  She opened her mouth wide.

"It hurts when I talk," she whined. "And when I swallow."

I looked. Saw nothing but a black hole. Found the flashlight. Looked again. Saw the back of her throat. It was red.


"Go back to bed," I told her.

"Really?"


Really. And hello, Monday! Good morning to you too!

She plopped her self on the sofa instead, working on perfecting her I'm-sick whine,  grabbed the remote and started flipping while I made a mental checklist of things I had to do.  Notify the office.  Notify the boss. Notify the husband (who still has not acknowledged that he has received ANY of my messages), notify the singing teacher that we'll have to cancel this afternoon (unfortunately, I forgot that one later) and call the doctor.

Yes, I'm one of those moms. I call the doctor. When it's me, when I'm sick, I'll over-the-counter myself to death (a  couple of times, almost literally). But when it comes to my kid, a little person who can't tell me how it hurts or where it hurts or even how much it hurts, I leave it to the professionals. Besides, it might be some horrendous tropical disease or something. And, if it is, I want them tell me what I'm supposed to do. That's their job.

And if you call early enough, you can get an appointment.

"How soon can you get here?" the receptionist asked.

"As soon as I can change out of my pajamas," I reply.

So, I drag my sick kid , still wearing her pajamas, off to the doctor, who looks in her throat, looks in her ear and looks back in her throat again -- as if she didn't see anything the first time. All of a sudden, I feel really stupid. I feel like one of those moms who drags her kid off to the doctor for every little thing.

And this is the kid who is never sick. She's had strep maybe once. A cold, maybe thrice. But never an ear ache. She didn't even throw up until she was four or five. Seriously.

"It's not strep," she says. And I am relieved. "It might just be a virus. Take some Tylenol and eat some popsicles. That should help."

Popsicles. The doctor prescribed popsicles.

So I stop at the grocery on the way home to let her pick out her favorite frozen treats and pick up some children's Tylenol. Then I get her nice and settled back on the sofa while I go back upstairs to take a nap. (Hey. I'm not one to look a gift day off in the mouth).

And while I'm up there she eats two bowls of hot chicken noodle soup, a bacon sandwich, two sprites and one popsicle.  And now she wants to play Wii.

"You're supposed to be sick," I tell her. And she immediately sticks out her lower lip and squints her eyes a little bit and slouches just a bit.

"I am sick," she whines. "I feel really yukky. Can I rent a movie?"

Sure. I'm going back to bed.

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