Wednesday, as Miles and I were rushing to make it to school on time — it doesn’t matter what time I get up or get him up, 7:45 a.m. always creeps up on us — my little guy seemed fine. Not a single complaint or whine. He barely touched his breakfast, but that isn’t all that unusual.
I lift him up into his car seat and start to buckle him in when he looks at me with a bit of a pained expression.
“My back hurts,” he says with a whine and a squint.
My first thought isn’t, “Oh no, what’s wrong with him.” It’s, “oh crap, my big ol’ pregnant, sore self must be whining too much. I have got to cut that out!”
I make sure he’s not sitting on anything and say, “You’ll be OK. Let’s go to school!” and buckle him up. We drive the two blocks to his school, and he hops out of his seat, grabs his backpack and runs up the sidewalk like he does every other morning. We smile to the woman holding the door open and make our way down the hall to Miles’ classroom.
About four steps in he grabs on to my legs and starts to whine.
“Mama, don’t leave. I want to stay with you ALL DAY LONG!”
I keep moving across the classroom with him attached to my left leg and hang up his backpack on the rack. I look at the teacher who seems as puzzled as me at his clinginess this morning. He’s been going to school for three weeks now and not once has he even acted like he notices I leave, let alone does he seem affected or upset by it.
I kneel down, “Honey, I love you but I have to go to work and you have to go to school. It’s story time. That’s exciting! Daddy will pick you up soon, and I’ll see you tonight. I love you.”
The whines quickly turned to tears (real-live wet tear drops) and then tears to screams as I peeled him from my leg, and with a heavy (and somewhat concerned) heart I left the classroom. I could hear his shouts, “No, mama come back,” as I walked down the hallway.
ACK! It was terrible.
I went to work and did my best to put the thoughts to the back of my mind as I worked on finishing up a story and made a few phone calls for future stories. A co-worker was at my desk and we were mid-conversation when I see my cellphone flashing, “St. Theresa’s School.” Uh-oh!
I apologize and pick up the phone.
“Miles threw up in the classroom.”
“Eww that’s gross” and “Aww, my poor boy,” are the thoughts running simultaneously through my head. I call to alert Michael (who is much closer) and he retrieves our poor, sick kiddo.
After I know he’s home and is OK, just feeling terrible and pukey, I can start the inevitable, “You’re a terrible mom” guilt trip. Sigh. Will it ever go away.
“How did you not know he was sick?” “How could you leave the school when he was screaming for you?”
You get the picture.
Miles spent most of the day sleeping and whining about his tummy hurting. “I need to get the pukies out but I can’t.” Michael had him all set up with fluids, his blanket, “the real Thomas” (aka trains on YouTube) streaming on the television and an ice cream bucket from the recycle bin, just in case.
At one point Michael thought Miles was fast asleep, and he went to move the bucket to the side.
“No Daddy I NEEEEED that bucket.”
When I got home there was lots of snuggles and a few tears when the stomach cramps hit him. But by 9 p.m. whatever it was that had hit him had seemed to have left and the kid scarfed down some toast, blueberries and even an egg. He was asleep by 10 and when he woke up this morning he seemed fine.
So, the moral of the story — eh, I don’t know. I certainly can’t panic over every little complaint of an ache or a pain. Maybe the biggest lesson learned was the importance of the ice cream bucket. Yep, that’s it.