William and I had strep this week. FYI, that shit HURTS. I haven't had it in eons, and let me tell you, strep in a grown up is not for the weak. I had lumps the size of golf balls on my neck, and it felt like my throat was lined with a million shards of glass. The headache was awesome, too.
Of course I had it the whole time William and I were up north for a hockey tournament. So, to his entire hockey team and also the very good looking Canadian hockey parents we all partied with at the hotel, YOU'RE WELCOME for the disgusting strep germs that William and I breathed all over the lot of ya. (I feel immense guilt for that, for reals.)
I'm now halfway through my Z-pack (which is what they give you when you have a deadly penicillin allergy) and can finally swallow again (insert lame blowjob joke right here). I tested my new pain-free throat with a martini last night and IT'S ALL GOOD.
We are home from work and school today thanks to the Polar Vortex which has blessed us with below zero temps. Again. My kids have not had a full week of school since before Christmas. And William had already missed two days this week courtesy of the strep. His school has a weird absence policy, if they have 7 absences (excused, even) they send home a vaguely threatening letter which states that if your kid is absent again, you have to have a doctor's note. I'm not one of "those" moms, who bitches and moans about everything that makes life a little more difficult, but this letter, and the follow-up phone call, felt a lot like my parenting was being called into question.
Now, you can accuse me of many things: stress eating, poor vacuuming skills, an addiction to Downy Unstoppables...but leave my parenting out of it.
I'm a good mom. And I know when a kid shouldn't go to school. William is my fever baby. He gets fevers. My other kids, not so much, but William gets them. He had a febrile seizure when he was a few weeks old, one of the scariest moments of my life. I've asked his pediatrician about it, and the swarthy, somewhat sexy Dr. K shrugged and said, "Some kids just get more fevers than other kids."
I work in a school so I'm well versed in the 24 hour rule about fevers. DON'T SEND YOUR SICK KID TO SCHOOL. I've followed that rule religiously because I don't want to be That Parent who sends her sick kid to school. And now I'm being held under some sort of parental microscope because of it. So that's my first thought bubble: Don't punish the good parents, schools. I'm sure there are some parents who let their kids stay home if they have gas pains or if they don't like the lunch that day. And that's none of my business. But I'm not one of those parents and I really dislike being treated like a quasi-criminal. So you can bet your butt I'm going to march into school with William on Monday and be brandishing that Doctor's Note like a 4 carat engagement ring. SUCK IT, PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE JUNIOR HIGH ATTENDANCE POLICY!
My next thought bubble involves the high road I've been traveling in regards to my ex-husband.
I've been really, really good. And I mean capital G good, when it comes to speaking positively and kindly about Big Daddy. Really! I had one slip up recently during a conversation with one of my kids and it went a little something like this:
KID: "Hey, Mom...Dad said he'd help me pay for some of my textbooks this quarter!"
ME: "Really? That's great!"
KID: "Yeah, the only thing is, Secretary is demanding to see receipts for all of them before they'll give me any money."
ME: "I wonder if your dad misses his balls."
ME: "OMG. I'm sorry I said that. Pretend you didn't hear it."
KID: "Okay. But it was pretty funny, Mom."
ME: "I know. But still...pretend it didn't come out of my mouth."
P.S. The kid did get the money for books. And I hope the balls are being kept in a BPA-free container.
Third thought bubble also involves the ex:
He comes to a lot of William's hockey games, which is great. However, he always, and I mean ALWAYS brings Little Spawn with him. I'll admit right here that I'm kind of jealous, on behalf of my kids, when I see Big Daddy and that little effer together. Because my kids didn't get that kind of time with their dad. But whatever.
When I see him walking around with Spawn, all I can think of is Michael Jackson carrying around that monkey. Bubbles. So heretofore and henceforth, Spawn shall be known as Bubbles.
FOURTH THOUGHT BUBBLE:
Jonah Hill makes my skin crawl. The fact that he's up for an Oscar (again) makes me question everything in this world. Everything.
Thought Bubble number Five:
My job is still disappearing in August, as far as I know. And I'm vacillating between full-blown panic and a very Bobby McFerrin-sort-of "Don't Worry Be Happy" feeling. Things always seem to work out for me, somehow, but this is a terrifying sort of limbo to be in.
I dropped William off at a friend's apartment a while back. For a sleepover. Henry was with me and as he watched William go into the lobby to be buzzed up, he said, "I could never live in an apartment, Mom." I decided that this would be a good time to be that Honest Parent I'm always claiming to be, so I replied, "Henry, you never know what's going to happen. We might have to live in an apartment someday. Would that be so horrible?" Because that's the truth. I have no idea what's going to happen between now and September. Henry's chin quivered, just the slightest bit. And he said, "I can't imagine it. I'd have to go live with Dad." He looked out the window again, and added, "I don't know what I'd do. I'm sorry Mom. I don't ever want to move again."
And that right there helped me decide that no matter what, I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep my kids here. Safe and sound. I don't care if I have to work 5 jobs, if I have to scrub toilets or shovel dirt or wear a freaking hat and name tag. My kids are worth it.
No more thought bubbles for now...time to go be outrageously unproductive and enjoy the Vortex!