At 8:45 this morning, I got a call from the school nurse: Maggie was not feeling well. Shit. I had only been at work for an hour and a half. I had only taught one class. It was difficult to get a sub when calling before 6:00 AM, but to get a sub when the day had already started? I felt slight panic (Not full-blown panic, mind you. I don’t feel full-blown panic anymore; Zoloft really works.). I took a deep breath, and I put my ducks in a row.
First, I did the most logical thing. I went to the principal’s secretary. In the fifteen years since I started teaching, I have learned something very, very important. It is not the principal who runs the building, although in theory he is the man in charge. The person who knows the ins and outs; the person who knows how to get things done; the person who knows who to call is the principal’s secretary. Of course, within three minutes of explaining my situation, she had contacted a substitute for me and had signed me out. All I needed to do was leave my lesson plans on my desk, and I was free to go pick up my daughter and be a mom today.
When I got to my daughter’s school, I must admit Maggie looked awful. She had no color in her face and her teeth were chattering. The little darling had caught some kind of bug. We stopped at the grocery store and picked her up some of that good deli chicken noodle soup. You know the kind that is made fresh every day, loaded with noodles, carrots, and real chicken. I also rented her two movies from the Redbox: Madagascar 3 and Monster’s High: Ghoul’s Rule. If she was going to lie on the couch all day and feel miserable, she might as well enjoy herself while doing it.
A couple of hours into her lying down, I noticed that she looked tired but that she wouldn’t let herself fall asleep. However, I knew sleep was what her body was craving. Our bodies heal while we repose.
“Honey, why don’t I turn off the television so you can take a nap?”
“I think you need a nap. Your body needs rest so it can recuperate. That’s why they call it R&R.”
“Nevermind. I want you to take a nap.” I walked over to the television and turned it off.
“I don’t like naps,” she whined.
At this point, I felt annoyed. Who doesn’t like a good nap? Afternoon sleeping is my favorite kind of sleeping, especially when you look at the clock and realize all the things you could or should be doing, but instead you are lying in bed. I hatched a plan.
“How about you and I go lie in Mommy’s bed. I will lie down with you because I think it is important for you to take a nap,” I said.
“You will?” Her eyes got really big and I could see how touched she was that I felt it that important for her to sleep. I almost felt guilty that all I wanted was to take a nap myself.
“Yes, Honey. Mommy loves you. Now let’s go lie down.”
She and I went up to my room and we crawled into bed. Of course, I had her sleep on Tom’s pillows and with Tom’s blankets. I’m not stupid; I don’t want to get sick. For an hour and a half, I slept.
She is still sleeping; hopefully, whatever is attacking her immune system is working its way out of her system.