Wednesday, March 16, 2005

In Sickness and in Health

You wake up thinking that it will be just an ordinary workday, but you are soon disabused of that notion.

Your daughter, normally pretty chipper in the morning, awakens in full-throttle hysterical mode and proceeds to cry pretty much constantly for the next hour.

So. What to do? The symptoms are nebulous -- the fever from the weekend is gone, but the cold symptoms are still prominent. An erupting molar is probably contributing to the misery. But how on earth can you send her to your sister's when she is obviously in such distress?

Okay, enough with the second-person narrative. I can't sustain it any longer.

Mornings like this make my stomach twist into knots. Of course I will keep my kids home when they are infectious, vomiting, or otherwise quite ill. Or hysterical for reasons unknown. But then Jeff and I must decide: who stays home? We hash out our schedules for the day to see whose is the more flexible. We even seriously talk about "working at home", like that's ever happened when one of us is tending to the sick ward. Very often, since Jeff's work schedule is even more hectic than mine, I'm the one who calls out of work.

But I HATE doing so. My job doesn't often lend itself to impromptu absences -- the journal must go on, blah, blah, blah. I'm fortunate to work with an amazing group of people who will pitch in to assist if I'm not there. Still, the imposition I pose makes me squirm inside. No one else in my group has kids, so the opportunity for quid pro quo doesn't arise frequently.

I can't wait to kiss this sick kid/work dilemma goodbye. Three more weeks to go!

(Allie's getting better, by the way, but the past few days have been exhausting for both of us. Lots of crying and clinging, not too much in the way of sleeping.)