I have a kid home sick today, so I’ll keep this brief.
Assuming that most of my readers are over thirty, do you remember sick days as a kid?
I do. In a word – they were, besides bearing all the trademarks of typical childhood illnesses (low grade fevers, puking, sore throats and horrid head colds) – BORING.
In my family of origin, staying home sick from school meant sleeping, reading, pretending the lines of the quilt were roads, drawing pictures and occasionally, if one had an exceptionally bad headache, and if one of my parents had stayed home to adhere to those lines in the unwritten contract of parenting (Section II, article IV: “When your kid runs a fever over 101.5, you are required to take a day off of work.”) – then we might get read out loud to for 20 minutes.
By the time I had done all of those things, I only had another six and a half hours of feeling lousy and bored until one of my siblings came home from school.
By the time I was a teenager, the sick day repertoire expanded to listening to records or sometimes being allowed to bring the 18 ton “portable” black and white tv into my bedroom to choose between three channels of daytime television.
The beauty of sick days back then were that they were so horrendously mind-numbing, the motivation to get well soon was very very high. Anything at school (except for the cafeteria food) was better than being stuck at home with a snotty nose.
Here at my house, in this grand new year of 2010, being physically ill is no less of a drag, but the stay at home perks are abundant.
First off, I work at home – so Mama is on call all the time. Since 7:30 this morning, I have delivered tea, pancakes, re-warmed the tea, whipped up an egg and toast, administered children’s ibuprofen and opened a fresh tissue box. The many voices of Jim Dale (brilliant reader of all the Harry Potter audio books) is drifting down the staircase into my office, and I know that when I go to check on my rosy-checked girl, she’ll be contentedly snuggled down in the blankets in a Hogwarts induced stupor.
She’s already asked for the laptop and Netflix, to which I replied with a firm negatory. An order for the next in a series of books she is reading will hopefully be filled at the public library. An art pad awaits when she feels ready to sit up, and the kitchen won’t close all day long. She’ll be amused, but not too; we’ll both be grateful that I work at home, but I’ll surrender much of the day (in accordance with section II article IV).
She’ll whine a bit, sigh a few hundred times, and her healthy little body will race through this with nary an issue. All will be well.