There isn't a parent out there that has not gotten that phone call of shame from the school nurse. The one where they call you mid day and tell you your kid is sick and you need to come pick them up. As you drive over there you feel like the world's worst parent because you sent them in sick. How could you not notice they weren't well?
Pretty much any time my kiddo has been sick, this has been how it started. It's rare I notice at home that he's unwell. He's so stuck in his routine of going to school that he could be barfing and he would still want to go. In fact, I really wish he would barf more to indicate he's sick. It would be a clearer sign to me. As he does not have the communication skills to tell me "Hey Mom, I don't feel good. I need to stay home and watch The Price is Right and sip ginger ale all day."
I got a phone call from the nurse. He didn't have a fever. He hadn't barfed but he wasn't "himself." OK, I can get that. As he is always going at hundred miles an hour, if he's kind of lazy/lethargic, that's not him. Except he skipped to the bus singing "Feliz Navidad" at the top of his lungs not to two hours earlier. But these things can come down quick so I ask her what other type of symptoms he's showing to buy a little more time as I have to put on real pants and a bra.
"We asked him if his throat hurt and he said yes." Rookie mistake nurse. Are you new here?
My Kiddo is such a people pleaser. Asking a question in that matter will only get him to answer "yes". They are presenting it in such a way that he's going to say yes because he thinks that's what he should say. Asking exactly what hurts is better. Still, I go and get him because I know that's why they are calling me. Plus, I don't want him sick in school. I want my baby in pajamas all cuddled on the couch why I try to figure out what's wrong.
Sure enough when I asked him if his throat hurt, he smiled and said "YES!" proudly like he got an answer right on a test. However, this ain't my first rodeo and I need to see if his throat actually hurts or this was accidentally planted into his mind. So I asked him, "Does you uterus hurt?" He looked at me and said without hesitation, "YES!" He then wiped his nose with the back of his hand and I see a trail of snot. Methinks it's more like a case of the sniffles than he has his period.
Me: "What's bugging you kiddo?"
Him: "Want to lay down with Logan and Maya." (Our two dogs)
So he came home and did just that. Put on PJ's. Chilled out in front of the iPad and smeared boogers all over it.
If by any chance you are someone who works with autistic folks and you are reading this right now, do me a solid. How you choose your words is so important. Please put some thought into them. Yeah, this is just a simple little misunderstanding of what cold symptoms my kiddo is showing. There's a part of me that looks at this as just another reminder of how flipping vulnerable he is to the power of suggestion. He's so eager to fit in and get it right. He'll agree to anything. That frightens me. It makes me wonder what am I missing because I'm not asking the right questions. Help a sister out here. Make sure you aren't leading a conversation. Give them extra time to respond and use some simple speech.
Now pardon me as I go adjust my shopping list. It seems my son doesn't need tampons and Midol this month after all.