(Photo credit: Kathleen White with Kathleen Elizabeth Photography // @_KathleenElizabeth_)
Yesterday afternoon I got a dreaded call from Harley’s school. I needed to come pick her up – she had just thrown up. Thankfully, I was already getting ready to get her, so it was just minutes between getting the call and holding my sick kid.
Turns out that another kid had puked an hour before. So, like something out of Theme Hospital, I figured it was a bug that moved through the class like a gross wave. Still, it meant spending the evening taking care of a sometimes miserable but still surprisingly peppy princess. Plus, the school has a policy that kids sent home sick can’t come back the next day without a doctor’s note. So, Harley and I were set for a day home together.
At first, between worrying about my sick kid and obsessively washing hands to try and keep from getting the bug myself, I was worried about the sick day. How would I get any work done? I’m already close to a deadline for work – I can’t miss a day of work!
But then I decided to accept my fate and make the most of it. I can’t change what’s happening right now, but I can change my attitude. So I’ve decided to embrace the day home with this kid. We have read books and played with pipe cleaners and chased each other around the kitchen. Now, I’m writing this by hand in a notebook while Harley watches Chowder (transcribed after bedtime, obviously).
I will try to work during nap time and maybe make up the rest of my hours later or this weekend. I am very lucky to work freelance, so I didn’t need to call a boss or explain the reality of having a sick kid. I can spend the day taking care of my princess with a tummy bug. I can even enjoy spending the day together.
She seems to be mostly better. No more puking since early this morning, she’s in good spirits and generally doing fine. I’m glad she stayed home, I’m glad I was able to take care of her. And I’m glad that I stopped stressing and enjoyed the day with my amazing little girl.
[Update after bedtime]
The rest of the day really was quite lovely. Harley fought me at nap time, but then managed to sleep long enough for me to make a decent dent in my work. It’s not as much as I would have gotten done if she were at school, of course, but better than nothing. I’m still worried about her with the bug – she is doing alright but her stomach still isn’t right. I’m hoping that a good night’s sleep will get rid of the last of it, but we shall see. I’m sending her to school tomorrow, but will obviously tell them to let me know if I need to pick her up during the day if she’s unwell.
I keep thinking about the attitude thing. Some days, I would have been too stressed, too busy to enjoy myself. But actually, I had so much fun playing with Harley today. I took it as a pure day off in my mentality. I didn’t spend our time checking emails or reading the news or trying to multitask. Instead of worrying about being productive, I had an absolute blast with my two-year-old. I wouldn’t be able to do this again tomorrow thanks to the deadline stuff, and it really was exhausting in a way that only time with a toddler can be, but it was also so lovely, and I’m glad we had the day together.