Thursday, April 10, 2014

Crying Wolf

Evan had a bit of a stomach virus last week. His tummy kept cramping and he was occasionally doubled over in pain. But like labour, when there was no cramping, he was perfectly fine. So I told him that he had to still go to school but if it got bad, he could ring me and I would bring him home.

He did ring me. And I did bring him home. But I couldn't help but notice that he didn't look sick and he was extremely chirpy. Even our family doctor commented on that and then proceeded to deny him leave from school.

While I do admit that he does have a stomach bug; he wasn't liking food as much as he normally did, we didn't think it was a really bad one.

So it came as a surprise when the day after, he rings me again from school. Evidently, he had realised that he could go to the office and ask to call Mommy and no one would say no to those eyes. Unfortunately for him, it was 20 minutes before dismissal and I pragmatically told him that by the time I got to him through the school bus and parent crowds, I would get to him later than if he rode the bus home.

This happened again yesterday where he rang a total of 4 times claiming to have a tummy ache. For the first two times, I told him to just rest till his tummy ache went away and go back to class. This was once again for practical reasons; I did not want to drive down to pick him up, drive back up to pick up Jordan for swimming and drive back down again to pick up Muffin before swimming. The sheer thought of doing that made my head spin. The next two calls went to voice mail but that did get me worried enough to chuck all previous arrangements out and race down to get him. Unfortunately, after F-1ing all the way to school, I couldn't find him at the sick bay or the office. Evidently, after call number 4, he had felt well enough to go back to class and forgot to let anyone know.

It was at that point that I read him the riot act.

1. Do not call Mommy if you have just a stomach ache. Rest, go to the bathroom, wait for it to go away. Only if it doesn't go away, gets a lot worse and makes it difficult for you to talk do you call Mommy. I realise that I could easily be giving someone in labour advice as to when she ought to go to hospital.

2. Only call Mommy if you are bleeding. I decided to be specific. Only call Mommy if you are bleeding severely. So, if you have a nose bleed, don't call Mommy. Stop the nose bleed. Only call if the nose bleeds and bleeds and bleeds. 

3. Only call Mommy if you have a fever; you have a thermometer in your bag and the number must be over (37.5).

4. Only call Mommy if you are going to die. (That elicited loud guffaws)

It isn't because I don't care that he is unwell. More that, the boy's got to learn that he can't call Mommy at the slightest twinge. I am often running up and down so much, picking him up would cause more disruption and stress to an already harried day (Yesterday, I drove so much and in such a hurry, I had fumes in my fuel tank and my car told me I had 39 km to go before she wouldn't move another inch). If he were really taken ill, of course I would appear. But to jump every time he beckoned, it wasn't good for my nerves at all.

I also took the opportunity to tell him the story of The Boy who Cried Wolf. And I explained to him how when the boy really needed help, no one showed up because he had used up all his chances (benefit of doubt) before that.


  1. Doesn't the school nurse give kids the once over before letting em call the parents?

  2. There isn't a school nurse. :)