What is the deal with kindergarten? Miss S has been sick with a fever since Saturday afternoon; Miss Q fell late last night. After missing a week and a day of school (Miss Q) and three days of school (Miss S) two weeks ago, thanks to quarantine, I thought we were home free. Apparently not.
As they say: life happens while you’re busy making plans. Naturally, my Christmas plans didn’t include sleeping on the couch, with one eye on Miss S all Saturday night; or, being woken at 4:45 Monday morning by Miss Q saying she felt dizzy, only to find Miss S sitting in pee, shivering in the living room. My heart aches thinking about how long she was sitting there wet and alone in the dark.
Even though I enjoyed our days of quarantine two weeks ago, I could do without this latest round. Last time I just had to keep everyone away from the general public. This time my husband and I actually have to work – and I’m not just talking laundry and disinfectant.
To start, we aren’t a drug your child type of family. Every time someone comes down with a fever, it seems that whatever medicine we bought the last time is half full and, expired, so off to the drugstore we go.
Though there are some merits for the riding out method sans drugs, just fluids and solitary good times, knowing that something has been invented that can take the heat away from your shaking child makes a teaspoon or two of Advil, Tylenol – pick your poison – all the more lucrative.
The challenge begins in the aisle of the drugstore. There are so many flavours to go with the dye-free pill vs liquid option. The secondary challenge is having three different personalities to appease: one only likes grape flavoured liquid, one changes her mind each illness, and one just plain old hates it all – including the naturopathic stuff.
In fact, on this latest round of illness, Miss S has given us a run for our money – literally and figuratively.
Before this weekend, I thought we’d tried everything in the quest to get medicine into our child: taking it straight-up, chewing it, mixing it with juice, milk and chocolate milk, hiding it in pudding, logic, doctor’s orders, bribery: I’ll give you a chocolate to chase the taste away. Even when we went with natural remedies, I always felt like the witch in Hansel and Gretel.
And now, on day three of Miss S’s fever, and with miniscule, we’re talking traces of medicine going over her lips and through her gums, I’ve hit rock bottom. Of course, I’m also fresh off a 7:30 a.m. lecture from the clinic doctor who told me if I didn’t get medicine into her, Miss S wasn’t going to feel any better; and have I tried masking Advil in chocolate milk? Fools children every time, according to her friend the paediatrician.
Not to poke holes in her theory, but (a) tried that, (b) failed on all 3 girls, and (c) the patient you’re asking me to trick is lying on your paper covered bed with a mask over her face taking in this entire conversation. Arg.
So what does one do when faced with a picky 5-yr-old who has felt and looked miserable for three days? You go against all your senses; turn off the alarm in the back of your brain that worries that she’ll be scarred for the rest of her life remembering the giant dealio that was her fever; and once Jiminy Cricket is properly silenced, you look at Miss S, then at the TV and then back at Miss S. “How ‘bout every time you see a minon you take a sip?”
Miss S didn’t like the drinking game either.
Maybe she knows of which she speaks. Maybe at the ripe old age of five she’s onto something. After all, the business of being sick is just that: a business.
I am certain the pennies-a-glass hot lemon and honey drink I made, and that she’s also refusing, would do just as much for her, as the $10 bottle of bubble gum flavoured Advil we purchased in the wee hours of this morning… maybe more; but none of that matters if your child declares them both yucky.
This round, I’ve spent $26 on a virus that doesn’t care about laced chocolate milk or plain reduced salt potato chips. Merry Christmas, Littles, you’re getting a fast-track Strep Throat test, and a fridge-sized carton of ginger ale to go with your potato chips and Advil. Hope you didn’t want a pony.
And so, I’m throwing in the towel. Miss S wins; my wallet loses. The last 72-hours have been filled with creative negotiation, but what makes me feel good isn’t making Miss S feel good. So we wait, continue to keep her hydrated, and hope that something breaks – either Miss S’s stubbornness or the fever.
Smart money’s on the fever.