Philip wasn’t go-to-the-doctor sick. My eight-year-old had awoken very early Sunday morning with congestion. By the end of the day, he was coughing from post-nasal drip. No fever. No gasping for air. A virus. One that made him sick enough to stay home from school on Monday.
I hated for him to miss two days in a row, so when he work up slightly less early on Tuesday morning, I gave him a hot, steamy shower, packed his lunch, loaded up his backpack and prepared to dress him for the bus. But when I looked, he was sound asleep on the couch. I called the school to report a second day’s absence and went to work.
Those two-and-a-half hours that he slept Tuesday morning did him wonders. When we spoke during my lunch break, Peter reported that Philip was looking and sounding better.
“I hope he can go to school tomorrow,” my husband said.
“Me, too,” I responded. “A third day and we’ll probably need a doctor’s note.”
How does a parent know when a child is fit to return to school? Schools usually have policies: no fever; no vomiting for twenty-four hours; nothing contagious.
Peter and I used the getting-into-shit test. By Tuesday afternoon, Philip had snuck into the master bath, smeared toothpaste on his chest and my body lotion on the floor.
“He’s going to school tomorrow,” Peter affirmed.
“Indeed,” I agreed.