Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crying Wolf

At least three times this school year, I have picked up Emily from school and she had a fever. She started crying the second she saw me. When we got to the car, I'd ask her why she didn't go to the nurse. She always has the same answer. That she is scared.

Emily is a different child in school than she is at home. At school, she is quiet, shy, respectful and always does what she is told the first time. At home, well, she is rarely any of those things.

I thought about taking her to meet the nurse to reassure her that there was nothing to be scared of. I was also incredibly worried that it would come back to haunt me and the nurse would become her new best friend. I asked her what she was scared of. She told me she didn't want to raise her hand and tell her teacher that she needed to go to the nurse. Her fear had nothing to do with the nurse. But, she's comfortable with her teacher, so I didn't know what else to do.

I've tried to reassure her that she needs to tell her teacher when she isn't feeling well. She is infecting other kids by staying in class and she is miserable all day. Still, it doesn't seem to do any good.

This morning, she told me her tummy hurt. She wanted to throw up. Is she acting? I can't tell. She sometimes will say things like that or her knee hurts to get out of doing things. I thought she might have been wanting to escape eating breakfast this morning. She is not a breakfast person. Well, she is if breakfast is served 3 hours after she gets up. I told her she didn't need to eat breakfast today. She insisted her stomach hurt and she wanted to stay home from school.

What am I to do? She had real tears. I was worried that I would send her to school and she would get worse and she'd puke in her class and forever have the nickname of Emily Pukeyana. I couldn't do it to her.

I let her stay home.

About 12:30, she came alive.

I think I've been had.


amyraye said...

the trick is to make sure they don't have so much fun at home; if i suspect that one of my kids is crying wolf, they spend the entire day in bed. if they're really sick, they don't complain about it at all.

you should definitely talk to her teacher and see if she's noticing any similar symptoms.

Linda said...


Sarah would tell you that I'm the world's meanest Mom when it comes to staying home from school. Unless she's half-dying, I send her. She and I do not always get fevers when we're sick (I have a much lower than "normal" body temperature and thus, my fever never appears as one, even when I'm really, really sick). So, all the times she's complained to me before school (which is by telephone, since it's either Jim or my Dad there with her before school and I'm already at work), I just tell her to buckle down and go. I also make all of her dentist and doctor appointments at times when school is not in session, much to her continued dismay.

Sarah was much like Emily in the early years of school, when it came to being very shy and not wanting to raise her hand for anything. All of that has changed since around the beginning of Junior High (6th grade) and sometimes I wish she could be a little shy there again, since she's now the social butterfly and is very gabby and wild at times. :)