Your baby is sick. Without hint or warning, his or her temperature soars from normal to 103 degrees. Remember the panic, the sense of helplessness?
By the time your child is in grade school, he or she is able to describe what doesn’t feel right. You listen and a solution is thrashed out.
Kids are like sponges. They listen to everything around them and soon learn about symptoms: stuffiness, sore throat, tummy ache. Maybe they heard you tell your spouse how you pulled a fast one at work: you weren’t sick, but certainly not 100 percent either and left early. Little ears hear everything. Their antennae is in high gear even when you think they’re asleep. Some parents believe their children would never pull a fast one.
Here’s a story. The names have been skipped to protect the blameless or not-so-innocent.
Mom is sick all weekend. She spends two days in bed but on Monday morning makes an effort to go to work. One of her kids cries half an hour before school. She doesn’t feel well.
“No, I think you should go to school. You’ve no temperature.” Mom’s voice is stern.
Half an hour after Mom arrives at work and her child arrives at school, the dreaded phone call comes.
“Your child doesn’t feel well. Please arrange to pick her up.”
Enter grandparent. The child is made comfortable, allowed to watch TV but not allowed her iPad. Grandma is busy making pots of soup. The house smells marvelous.
“Is the soup ready yet? Can I have some?”
“Sure. Coming right up.”
The ill child snacks all afternoon, second helpings, lots of crackers and no upset stomach. Hmm…
The next morning, the child says she’s still not well but this isn’t an issue. Minus 40-degree temperatures, with wind chill factored in, have put the kybosh on school attendance. She eats better than usual and looks the picture of health.
How do you handle the slippery slope of separating truth from dare? Do you err on the side of caution? How much? How much would you as a grandparent butt in?
The problem is a kid can become hot / raise his or her temperature when agitated because she believes in what she’s selling. She made up her mind she wants to stay home.