Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sick or scamming?

I woke up this morning 45 minutes before the alarm went off. Usually this is a total bummer, right, because you can't fully relax and get back to sleep knowing that the alarm is coming for you real soon. But today I was filled with energy and optimism about the day ahead. I felt rested and ready to roll!

After getting Jason's clothes ready for work and doling out peanut butter bagels to the kids, I turned back to the ironing board and ironed my workout clothes. (Stop with the snickering - I have issues about wrinkles, okay?) Today is the day that my self-defense class meets, and I was so ready to go kick the crap out of those bags after missing last week's class. I even shaved my legs in the shower and remembered to apply deodorant.

And then, just after Jason's car pulled out of the driveway, and just before I marched the kids out to the van for the ride to school, Madeleine broke down in tears. She was curled up in a ball on the hand-me-down chair in the living room with Puppy Dog, her stuffed friend, thumb in mouth, cheeks red, and eyes moist. Annabelle was exasperated - "What's her problem?" I, on the other hand, was moved to float over to her on mom wings and scoop her up close to me.

"What's the matter, honey?"

"I don't feel good," she replied in the tiniest voice.

"Aw, honey. I'm sorry to hear that. What is it?"

She shrugged, and then, when it became apparent to her that I needed more than nothing for an answer, she added, "It hurts here," and pointed vaguely to what could have been her chest or her stomach.

Hmmm. Mom, M.D. kept prodding for more details, but got nothing else out of her other than a faint claim of nausea and a request that I take her temperature.

Now I can almost see you right now, shaking your head in disapproval as you guess that I ended up keeping her home from school. (I did.) You think I've been scammed. I admit that it is a possibility. BUT! Mad did mention to me right away this morning that she didn't feel good, and she barely touched her breakfast, which was usually such a favorite that only a bowl of Princess Glitter Choco-Sugar Smacks could have topped it. (I can see the execs at General Mills right now - "Johnson - it's brilliant! Get this woman on the phone and buy her off. We'll start manufacturing in the morning!")

And then there's this: Mad loves school. If she loved her teacher any more, she'd be a Lifetime movie creep. She wakes up every morning with excitement and enthusiasm, brimming with compliments about her teacher and friends. Except for today.

So I bought into it and kept her home. In my defense, I had to make the call on my own - Jason had just left, remember - and in a flash because it was time to go to school right then.

And she is such a cute little peanut. I'm a sucker for a cute little peanut.

Maybe there was the teensiest little spring in her step when I suggested that she lay down on the couch and watch TV. Maybe I can hear her singing happily with Nathan right now as I type. Maybe I got scammed. But don't scorn me! I'll have to miss my kicking ass class again this week, and I got a wicked dirty look from Annabelle as I dropped only her off at school this morning. I'm already paying for my (possible) mistake.

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