My teen complained yesterday about feeling sniffly. I was not really listening to her. Actually, I couldn’t help but listen to her whiny voice, but we had a fun family day planned so I was preoccupied. We were going to brunch at IHOP (thanks to a gift card from @KidsMealDeals), a showing of Where the Wild Things Are, and a family birthday dinner.
I mistook my teen’s sullenness for (1) not wanting to go to a kiddie film and (2) preferring to go to the mall with her friends. I dealt with my teen’s sullenness by ignoring her pleas to stay home and telling her to get in the minivan ASAP. She obliged as she had no choice.
My teen enjoyed the movie — in fact we all did. It was really geared more for older kids than the 4-year-old crowd. We took a gamble on taking our 6-year-old son. I wondered about my 11-year-old daughter who can get easily spooked by scary movies. Both my younger kids were fine.
By the late evening my teen was starting to look tired. Home we went. She went to bed early for her on a Saturday night without protest — my Mommy radar should have gone off at this point but it didn’t.
Sunday morning rolled around and I was in a fog of racing up and downstairs getting everyone ready for Sunday School. Picture the scene from Home Alone where all the kids are running up and downstairs while Joe Pesci cases the joint. My teen was late as usual and muttering something about not feeling well. I interpreted her demeanor as being an “I don’t want to go to Sunday School” funk.
I dragged all three kids to church — dropped each off in their classes and proceeded to chat with a friend and her friend for the length of the class. It wasn’t until I saw my teen in Mass that I realized that she didn’t look well at all. She said her throat and ears hurt. She was sniffling. My Mommy radar was pretty much dinging big time. Yep, I missed the teen’s sickness and sent her to infect her Sunday school class. Mother of the Year.
I asked her many questions about how she felt as I still had a glimmer of a thought that maybe she was faking it. After listening to her sniffle for a few minutes, I knew that she was sick. My husband joined us at church and I quickly left him with the other two and drove her to the walk-in clinic.
A post for another time…why sitting in a waiting room with your teen who is wearing a mask and listening to people sniffling and wheezing can make you feel as though you are copming down with H1N1.
Oh gosh! I did the same thing with my whiny 6-year old and sent her to a birthday party. Yeah, mother of the year, infected half her class!
Don’t beat yourself up too much, we all do it. I remember once being on vacation in Vancouver with my parents, who were going with my older sibs to a big family reunion party thing and I was sick. Same thing, they didn’t really buy and and insisted I go.
I wasn’t as accommodating as your teen-I basically laid down in bed and outright refused to get back up. They went without me.
Although for YEARS later, they remembered to remind me repeatedly about how I missed out on a great party.