Monday, August 30, 2010

Did My Award Get Lost In The Mail? It Did, Right?

Wednesday when I was driving carpool, I was five minutes from home when my cell phone rang. It was Sean and he was crying. Somehow through all the tears I was able to decipher that he wasn't feeling well. I told him I'd be home soon and we'd talk.

When I got home, the tears were gone and Sean stated that he just wasn't feeling good. He was tired and his head hurt. He didn't want to go to football practice.

Now, I must state for the record, that this is almost a weekly occurrence. At least once a week my boy tells me that he doesn't want to go to football because: a. something hurts, b. he doesn't feel well, c. he's tired, or d. some variant of those three. And my usual response is "Tough luck, cowboy. You signed up for it, you're in it for the season," and then I say some words that are encouraging and we get him fed, suited up, and out the door.

On Wednesday things were different because instead of his usual habit of telling me he's not going even as he's getting ready to go, this time he had a melt down of epic proportions. I sent him to his room to calm down and regroup. Meanwhile I was fixing something for him to eat and getting his water ready.

When I went up to his room he had calmed down. He insisted that he felt "like crappin' crap." Oh the silver-tongued wordsmith, my boy. I told him that I would take his temperature and that if he wasn't running a fever then he had to go to practice and there would be no more complaints. He begrudgingly agreed. His temp was 99.5. He assumed this meant that he wasn't going. I told him that it wouldn't keep him home from school, so it wasn't going to keep him home from practice. My boy was not happy. He insisted that his head hurt.

Being a sufferer of migraines, myself, I am sympathetic to anyone suffering a headache. I told him that I wanted him to down some water and eat something. I said that if he wished I would let his coaches know that he wasn't feeling 100% and that he wasn't going to push himself at practice. He whimpered that he guessed that would be okay.

Fast forward to me picking up both boys from practice. When I met Sean at his field, his face crumpled when he saw me and he could barely control his tears. I still chalked it up to being tired and told him to sit in the curb while I walked to James' field to get him.

As we all walked to the car, Sean just kept telling me that he wanted to get home. I told him we'd have to make a couple of stops--one for food and one to pick up Maggie from a friend's house. By this time, he was sitting in the back of the van with his head back and his eyes closed. I didn't think too much of it because James and Mary were arguing about breathing each other's air, or something equally stupid.

As we pulled into McD's for food for the boys, Sean said he didn't want anything. This should have been a red flag. I missed it. Then as we picked up Maggie he said he was cold. This should have been another red flag. I didn't see this one, either. Apparently I am color blind when it comes to red flags. I told him that he was cold because he was sweaty and the evening was cooler than we'd had in a long time and he was in an air conditioned car. He nodded his head wearily and rode in silence the rest of the way.

When we went in the house I helped him get his gear off and told him to take a hot shower while I fixed him something to eat and that he'd feel better after that. Again, he just nodded and then he droopily plodded up the stairs.

I went up later to check on him. He was sitting in a bathtub so full of hot water that if he so much as hiccuped there would have been a flood of water pouring over the edge of the tub. I asked him what he wanted to eat. He said, "Nothing. I just want to go to bed."

You know what? I finally saw one of those red flags.

He got himself ready for bed and climbed under the covers. Then he asked me if I would run my fingers through his hair--something he has loved since he first started sprouting curls. (Truly he is his mama's child, because I would do just about anything to have someone run their fingers through my hair.) I snuggled up next to him and stroked his hair and told him silly things he did when he was little. He snuggled closer to me and closed his eyes.

After a bit, I left him with a kiss on his cheek and wished him a good sleep. And then I went downstairs for awhile. As I was doing other things, the red flags started popping up and my head and wouldn't leave me alone. Finally I decided that I would go up and check on him.

When I stood next to his bed and put my hand on his cheek I knew that I was going to have to apologize. He was burning up with fever. I shook him lightly and told him I was going to take his temp and give him some Motrin. His temperature was 104.6 and I about lost my tiny little mind. I gave him some ibuprofen, apologized profusely for making him go to practice and told him he wouldn't be going to school in the morning. He just nodded sleepily and rolled back over to sleep.

I went back downstairs to make arrangements for work and carpool. Each time I told the story I told people that I would be awaiting my Mother of the Year award. I'm thinking it's going to be a long wait.

On Thursday, the doctor confirmed what I already suspected: Strep. Fan-cussing-tastic. Because one of my kids is highly susceptible to strep. In fact, just mentioning the word might cause him to come down with it. I told Sean, "I know it's going to be hard for you, but don't kiss your brother, 'kay?" That gave me one of the first smiles I'd seen in 24 hours. He smiled again when I told him that I was a loser for not picking up on him not feeling so good sooner.

He's better now, but it was a LONG three days before we started seeing some improvement. Guess that's what I get. So, I guess there won't be a Mother of the Year award for me. Unless I make one for myself. I'm just glad he's better. That counts for something, right?

Now, please excuse me while I go find some scissors and glitter. I have an award to make.

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