Earlier this spring, both #4 and #5 went home sick from school on the same day. This type of thing happens only when CC is out of town, and then most often on a Wednesday, my longest work day (for the record, snow days work like this too).
I called my sub in to cover me and made it to the middle school in record time. We got home with no hurling, and when they felt up for it, I heated up some chicken soup, pulled out the saltines and ginger ale and joined them at the table.
The nurse had told me more than 25% of the kids were out sick with the bug that was going around.
Me: I like your nurse at the middle school.
Me: Whatever happened to “me too”?
[They stare at me blankly.]
#5: The middle school nurse is way nicer than the one at the elementary school.
Me: Yeah, that one scared me. She yelled at me.
#4: Wasn’t that because of me?
Me: Pretty much. You showed me this teeny-tiny spot on the top of your knee where you had poison ivy and I gave you Caladryl, but you neglected to mention that the back of your legs were completely covered with it and festering. Then you went to the nurse.
#4: Oh yeah, I remember that. I though they were bug bites.
Me: Yeah, well they weren’t. She screamed at me when she called. I kept expecting DYFS to show up on our doorstep for like a month.
#5: What’s festering?
Me: Festering is gross, that’s what.
#4: I remember I got poison ivy on my eye one time.
Me: When I was a kid, I got it on my whole face and my eyes swelled shut. It was awful. Though I wasn’t as bad off as my friends. They went to the bathroom in the woods and used poison ivy leaves to wipe.
[They look, horrified, in my direction.]
Me: Yes, I actually knew people that happened to.
[They look, horrified, at each other.]
Me: They got poison ivy really bad. In their … ah… nether regions.
[They both put their spoons down and scoot away from the table]
#5: Julie? Don’t ever say that again, okay?
Me: Which part?
#4: ANY OF IT!!!
With my innate nurturing skills (feed a cold; starve a fever; gross out a bug) both #4 and #5 made full recoveries. #5 and I played an epic game of Monopoly in which we bent the rules and he beat me by ending up with every single piece of property. It was an entirely different win than the one the week before where we bent the rules and he beat me by ending up with every single dollar, and I had to then explain that we couldn’t just “make” new money because that’s how economies collapse.
Meanwhile, I have a couple posts up on Family Circle’s Momster blog.
When you’re a stepmom of teenagers, you have to expand your definition of parenting wins: Treasured Moments
Attempts to teach a reluctant worker the value of a job well done: Hey Kids, Guess What? Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!
So, ah… where’s the worst place you ever got poison ivy?