Why I Don’t Have the Attendance Office on Speed Dial

The oldest announced this morning with a low grumble and a lame cough that he has a sore throat and asked if he could possibly stay home from school today.

Now, you may not be aware that I am not only a card carrying Attendance Tyrant of the First Order, but I’m also a specially qualified Mother Nurse (*see definition below). Case In Point: The time I sent my child to school with a partially collapsed lung. There are other cases in point, but I think that one suffices.

I get this from my mother who, as a formally educated and highly skilled registered nurse (slightly different from a Mother Nurse), administered penicillin shots on the living room couch. By doing so, she averted precious time wasted at the actual doctor’s office, speeding my recovery by tens of minutes and thus, lessening the risk that I might miss that special day in First Grade in which the Teacher Imparts All Knowledge. Streptococcus never knew a fiercer foe than my mother.

Now, there are probably a few people in my circle who are tapping their chins at this moment, waiting for me to take a breath so they can be the first to point out the fact that I am no registered nurse. Highly skilled or otherwise. They may even say it’s people like me who brought about the necessity for a worldwide conversion to digital thermometers.

This may be true.

Okay, actually it IS true. I’m no registered nurse. In fact, I designed my degree program around how I could incur the fewest interactions with science majors. The closest I came was marrying a Political Science minor. I still get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

So, why is there a child upstairs lending new meaning to “texting feverishly” right now?

Is there a bone poking out? Not that I could tell.

Does he have white spots on his tonsils? I didn’t even bother to check.

Is the pool of blood larger than a dinner plate? I didn’t see blood, but if there is, he’d better get started with the bleach because that’s just gross.

No, as most Mother Nurse diagnoses go, I am certain he’s not all that sick.

But let me explain. There are some advantages a Mother Nurse has when performing diagnostic testing. In addition to the usual methods, Mother Nurses also take into account the symptoms a stethoscope and thermometer won’t reveal. For example, this patient is in the second semester of his junior year. Calculate that out to 3 semesters until graduation. One more summer vacation. One more Christmas vacation. And at the rate this Mother Nurse goes, maybe one more sick day.

Which doesn’t give her much more time to say yes.

So it was with gritted teeth and a stranglehold on a digital thermometer reading a cool 98.1, I did it.

This Mother Nurse said yes.

Stay home.

Go back to bed.

Regroup, son, and be stronger tomorrow.




*Mother Nurse©: A mother who uses diagnostic tools uniquely her own to confirm, but mostly dispute, alleged ailments in her children. Can also be used on other people’s children but with limited efficacy.

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