The gods must be crazy — or they have it in for me

            Shel Silverstein wrote a poem called “Sick.”  In it, a little girl invents a series of ailments that will prevent her from attending school, only to be miraculously healed when she realizes it is Saturday.

            We have sort of the opposite situation around here.  Zachary has never missed a day of school in a year and a half.  No, he is not the healthiest preschooler on the planet.  No, I don’t send him when he is sick.  He is just apparently committed to getting sick only on weekends and school holidays. There was the stomach bug over winter vacation.  There was the time he and his brother got conjunctivitis on the very first day of spring break and finished their course of treatment the day before school started back up.  And of course the countless fevers that start on Friday and end sometime in the night on Saturday, so that the requisite 24 hours has elapsed between the end of the fever and his return to school Monday morning.

            So, I shouldn’t have been surprised that he was perfectly healthy at noon on Friday when I picked him up from school but by 1:30 was clearly too sick to continue his playdate.  By 3:00, his fever was over 102°.

            Now, those of you who are either under-occupied in your own lives or who are stalking me will have noted that this was the weekend my husband was taking out of town with friends, in exchange for my getaway next weekend.  While I have lined up some help for him next weekend, no one was around to assist me this weekend.

            So, as I looked at the almost-four-year-old who was too sick to do anything but sit and be read to and the almost-two-year-old who was too healthy to do anything but run around outside and my own six-months-pregnant self, I had to stop and wonder.  Maybe there really is a God.  And that deity has decided that the transcontinental move and the new house and the book and the husband working insane hours and the pregnancy and the potty training and the forty-nine other things I have going on are just not enough and that what I really needed this weekend was one child with cabin fever and another with a real fever.

            I looked imploringly at the heavens and thought that perhaps this was how Job felt.

            But there was the mother of three whose sons go to school with my boys who offered to take Benjamin Saturday morning.  Firmly of the opinion that she has enough going on, I reluctantly declined and took them to a playground for awhile, where Zach sat on my lap while Benjamin scaled the equipment.

            There was the call when we returned from the neighbor with whom I had cancelled a playdate for that morning.  Her husband had taken their elder child out of town for the weekend, and she offered to take Benjamin for an hour to play with her son.

            There were the two friends from college who – after returning from a week out of town – took Benjamin to a playground all Saturday afternoon.  Zach and I spent the hours on the couch, reading all of the Frog and Toad books.

            And, of course, by Sunday morning, Zachary’s fever was gone, just in time to leave him clear for a return to school today.

11 responses to “The gods must be crazy — or they have it in for me

  1. Maybe your kids are already like me. I’m too busy to get sick, so it never fails that it happens every time there is a vacation. That’s horrible if it is starting so young.

    I’m glad you had some friends in your new locale to take the cabin fever one off your hands for a while. It’s really so much nicer when everyone is sick at the same time!

  2. That’s one of those classic parenting problems isn’t it! Happens to anyone with more than one kid at some time or another and there’s nothing to do but try to comfort the sad little hot muffin and keep some sort of reign on the busy one. Thank goodness for your timely and generous friends!

  3. I think my son is the same. Every single time my husband has taken vacation time, toddler has gotten the stomach flue. Every. Single. Time.

  4. I cannot go to school today
    Said little Mary Ann McKae.
    I have the measles and the mumps
    A gash, a rash, and purple bumps.

    Have I ever mentioned I have most of “Where the Sidewalk Ends” memorized?

    We’re having a similar problem in our house. Prohibitive heat keeps me from taking the newborn anywhere outside that is not also shaded, and my toddler is scaling the walls in response.

    Glad Zach is feeling better. You’ve earned your vacation next weekend.

  5. well yay for folks lending a helping hand, eh? 🙂
    and your boy is crazy. I was inventing all sorts of things to get out of going to school….constantly.

  6. My kids only get sick when the doctor’s office is closed.

    That’s their rule.

    Apparently, they prefer minor emergency clinics and E.R.’s of course.

    Good for Zachary– getting better in time for school! What a student! 🙂

  7. The husband-out-of-town rule always applies in our house.

  8. perhaps you should cancel the lined up help for next weekend. just a thought. i mean, what’s good for the goose and all.


  9. I liken it to how you cannot drag them out of bed school mornings, but come the weekend they are up at the crack of dawn. little buggers.

  10. oh – both types of fevers are no fun at all.

  11. You poor thing. I definitely think that everything happens at once, just to up the ante and give every individual event an added nightmare glow. I’m so glad that there were friends around to help out, and I’m most glad of all that it didn’t turn into anything serious. But you must be worn out. Do take care of yourself in any way you can.