An Unsympathetic Mother (Dedicated to Jen)
Mornings are always hectic as none of us in this family are classifiably morning people. This morning was no different and I was rushing to get breakfast on the table and lunch in Hazel's backpack so as to get to school before the Star Spangled Banner stopped us in our tracks. In the middle of the rush Parley started to complain (he does this a lot, frequently to avoid eating).
Parley: Mom my arm hurts.
Me: I'm sorry to hear that. Hazel, keep eating!
Parley: Mom, my mouth hurts.
Me: I'm sorry, buddy. Hazel-- get your shoes on!
Parley: Mom, I'm cold.
Me: Sorry, Parley. Hazel-- brush your teeth!
And it was off to school. Then I bundled my boys and me up and we went out for our morning walk. Not too long into it, Parley started to complain again: Mom, I'm cold. I shed my coat and bundled him up tight and said, "You're okay buddy, we'll be home in a minute."
An hour after returning from our walk, Parley emerged from playing in the basement.
P: Mom, I'm still cold from our walk.
M: No, honey, it is just cold in the basement. Why don't you come up and have lunch before preschool.
I helped him upstairs, and noticed his little body was warm. When he got in better light I could see he was quite pale. I called to Jed to feel him (I always need a second witness on sickness).
Jed: Are you feeling yucky, pal?
P: When I swallow my mouth hurts.
At this point, my conversations with Parley throughout the day flashed through my mind.
"My mouth hurts." "I'm cold." "I'm really cold."
"Sorry." "Sorry, buddy." "Sorry." "You'll be fine, buddy."
Now I was feeling bad. Maybe he was actually sick--not just whining. I felt even worse when the doctor told us he had strep.
What, are you always really sympathetic when your child has strep?