Elaborate Plan



“Mooooommmmmyyyyy! I don’t want to go to school!!!!”

“You were off two days last week for strep. You will be going to school, by golly, unless you have a fever or are puking. So get up! Come on. Let’s go!”

7:58 AM

“I am sorry to inform you that your daughter just vomited all over herself and our floor…”

What?!??!? I just left her with you people. She was fine! She has been fine all weekend. How could she be puking?

8:00 AM 

Texting my office manager from the car at the stoplight:

I have to cancel clinic. I don’t have anyone who can watch her. I can see anyone that you cannot reach for the first hour.

I feel slightly guilty that I don’t feel guilty. I didn’t really want to work today either, I guess…

8:09 AM

“I am sorry I am late getting in to see you Mrs. So-and-So. I had to go pick up my daughter from school.”

“Oh? What is wrong with her?”

In the background I can hear a little girl telling the office staff that she needs a bandaid. Please don’t make anyone else sick!

9:30 AM

I close my computer. I walked in this morning to 45 documents on the EHR desktop. I have finally waded through all of that while holding a squirmy girl in my lap. Time to go home.

10:00 AM

My daughter is drawing pictures of princesses while singing a soulful, self written medley about those princesses and their pets eating snickerdoodles at a tea party.

11:30 AM

We finish her make-up school work. She has drunk a juice box and eaten pretzels and two applesauces. She wants to read books. Books about princesses. So we do.

12:15 PM

We make snickerdoodles. The oven will kill any germs, right?

12:45 PM

“Mommy, I love staying home with you!” Big slobbery kiss. 

I love big kisses even if vomit came out of that mouth a few hours before. 

“Me, too, sweetie, but tomorrow you WILL be going back to school.”

She scowls at me and puts a hand on her little hip. “I might have to make myself puke again…”

2:00 PM

We both take a nap!!!!!!!!


I realize that all of the work is done. Dishes are washed. Coffee is made. Kids are in bed. The house is sort of picked up. We got through the other homework OK despite the crying and screaming gnashing of teeth. Best of all, I don’t feel numb, exhausted, and disengaged. 

Maybe I could be a stay at home mom? I would be good at it. I know I would… Maybe she can puke at school again tomorrow?


94 thoughts on “Elaborate Plan

  1. Ahhh, I love this. My kids and I skipped school a few times. I too had one that I think could vomit on command. Very sneaky and it does tend to get everyone’s attention. Few people are willing to question it either, least you spew all over again.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. And, it’s not just little princesses that do that. Toward the end of her life, in the once again a child phase, my mother would get sick any time I told her I was leaving town. Today, if I go anywhere where I can’t get to wifi, some computer or other–usually one that has been running flawlessly for months–will get sick. Sometimes they just lay down and whine, but sometimes they puke bits all over the floor.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This morning my daughter said, “Mommy, are taking a day off today?” “No, I have to go to work.” Puts on a sad face and says, “You always leave me!” and starts sulking. But one thing I remember is her looking at me through the window while both watch one another waving goodbye.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It’s wonderful that you can appreciate those special times and write so beautifully about them! Those are the treasured “stolen” moments that carry us through a lifetime. I hope the two of you may experience many, many more (sans puke, of course)!

    With Love,


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awww, that is so nice that you and she got to spend some quality time together. Those are important times. That said, Code Redhead, you have hundreds who depend on you and that can be heavy burden but it is also a love of another type. You may well enjoy – and should enjoy – time with your daughter and yet my bet is that your big ‘ol intellect would soon be bouncing around inside your skull without the daily challenges. I have sort of done something similar in my life – sometimes spending years trucking alone while I pondered life and then doing university degrees or taking a management job for years. I call it “Do-Be-Do” – the pondering (in your case it would be attending to primal mothering instincts) being the “Be” and the use of the intellect being the “Do”. It is a balance and sometimes it needs to cycle over days or even hours – and sometimes over years. That is entirely up to how you feel at any given time.

    Oh, by the way – the “I don’t want to go to school” syndrome continues later in their lives. Our son got a bad case of that problem at about the age of 15 – “I’m sick” It actually turned out there were gang issues at his school and he was getting squeezed and did not want to join. The truth only came out when I had left work 10 times in a month to take him to the doctor and then convinced the doctor that an apparent “virus” needed blood work. Alain was terrified of needles. It was a dirty trick but after much screaming, we got the truth. When he knew that each time he refused to go to school, he would get blood tests, he caved. We could not get the principal to respond to our requests for a meeting, so my wife and I both put on our best business attire, complete with leather briefcases (we both had MBA’s at that point) and we literally sat on the steps of the school at 6:30 am while we waited to ambush the principal upon his arrival. We had his picture and when he showed up a bit before 7 am we bracketed him and followed to his office. He greeted us and when he entered his office he hung up his coat as we explained why we were there – the gang issues. He turned slowly from his coat rack and pointed to a pile of files on the right corner of his desk ( I will never forget this) and he said “See that stack of files? There are 57 files there this morning -a slow day – and every one of them will entail police action. If your son is not the subject of police action at this school then I do not have time for his problems . I am sorry.”

    We had Alain transferred to a special program that allowed students to proceed at their own pace – at a different school. The “illnesses” stopped.

    The moral of the story is that “i am sick” often (but not always) has a back story – as you have deduced.

    Liked by 2 people

      • As no doubt they miss you. I watched my wife struggle with the same concern. She went back and forth, sometimes spending weeks on work projects and sometimes taking the kids to their grandparents in New Brunswick. She is a director at Canada Post so she gets many weeks of vacation. We would take the kids to her parents’ about 5 or 6 times a year and she would spend time there with them before coming back. As they got older, they asked less of her time and it worked well for her as her career blossomed. She was, at one point, responsible for all on-line training for retail and would go away for a week or two at a time off-site. They were happy with that.

        It seems to be a sort of give and take Victo – changing minute by minute. You never get it right, but as long as you pay attention, you never get it wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Gee doc, your last posts sound like you need some serious time off and or away from the clinic. Kids are only young for such a short moment.
    snickerdoodles, love the word and love the cookie….. I would bake so much more if I was home, so I guess in that fact, its good I work 70 plus hours…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. About 22 years ago I had enough vacation and sick time to take almost a whole summer of paid maternity leave. Even with unplanned baby puking, It was like a slice of heaven to be a stay at home mom for those three months. I hope you get to take more time off with the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to give myself nosebleeds, when second grade got too boring to endure. A trip to the nurse’s provided some variety — and I was really proud of myself for how easily I could make myself bleed!

    Yeesh. [My thought today!]

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: My Article Read (11-1-2015) | My Daily Musing

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