So today Brad and I did the whole "is this kid sick enough to stay home from school" dance. I hate that dance because more often than not I find myself fixated on whether or not I made the right call.
The Little Man has been fighting with a cold for about a week or so. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a whole lot of snot pouring out of his nose and a bit of a cough. This morning he woke up to tales of how he was planning on staying home because of his terrible cough . . . which really is not bad at all. I left him to ponder all this terrible cold he has so I could get ready for work.
Showered, half dressed and working on drying my hair so that I could finish the whole getting dressed process, I hear arguing, crying and a cough . . . you know the cough . . . that cough could be a signal that the person coughing is about to get sick. I head down the hall to Little Miss's room to find the boy on the floor crying really hard and making a horrible cough/gag noise. I think it was that noise that got Brad's attention and soon we were all in the room trying to calm down one rather upset little boy. Turns out that he had been poked in the eye and was none to impressed by that. It was that that started the whole hard cry, which lead to the whole cough/gag, which lead to a room full of people trying to figure out if the Little Man was okay or not.
It was during this whole fiasco that Brad became concerned with the boy's breathing. I admit it did sound a bit laboured but he had been upset and he has been fighting a cold with a great deal of congestion and I was more than willing to chalk it up to that. Brad was not so willing to chalk it up to that and thoughts perhaps the boy should stay home.
Perhaps it was because I was aware of the boy's plans to stay home, or was in the room when he happily outlined his plans for the day that started with never getting out of his jammies but I found myself less inclined to take a day off from work to stay home with a kidlet who appeared more than able to make it through the day. It is mornings like that when I find myself feeling more than a bit envious of parents who stay home.
You see, if I were already at home it would have been easy enough to keep the Little Man home with me. But I am not already at home and staying home means a whole lot of things come into play when deciding to keep a kidlet home sick. Immediately, since Brad made it clear that he was not available, I did a roll call in my head . . . upcoming deadlines, status of ongoing projects and how much vacation time I have left . . . all to determine if I was willing to take the risk that the boy did indeed need to stay home and was not just playing up not feeling great to stay home.
This morning I decided that he was okay enough to at least start the day at school but told him that they could always call me if he started to feel bad again. Of course, I then spent the rest of the day with half of my focus on a little boy who I sincerely hope is okay and dealing with the whole guilt thing about sending him to school when perhaps he actually is sick and maybe I should have been worried about his breathing and oh my god I am a terrible mother.
This winter has seen Brad and I doing this dance far too often. It is times like this that I feel some of my worst guilt for not staying home with the kids. How sick do your kids have to be to keep them home from school?