Stomach Aches and School Worries

7 02 2011

Ellie woke up saying her stomach hurt and she didn’t want to go to school. She looked a little wiped out and didn’t have a temp. I asked if there is something happening at school that she is avoiding. No mommy, nope. I wasn’t so sure she was telling the truth, but she swore up and down she was sick. Every time I’ve sent her in not feeling well and not believing her, I’ve been called at work to pick up my puking burning up little girl and then feel horrible for sending her.  So I kept her home for a bit and still got ready to take Katie to PreK.

I noticed she was suddenly very chipper and playing with Katie. I decided to test a few things. I offered her a cup of orange juice, thinking if her stomach really is upset she’ll either say no thanks or she’d drink it and her stomach would hurt more. She drank it down without a single problem. I started packing her backpack up and got them to get their socks shoes and jackets on, while observing Ellie didn’t seem to have any stomach pangs during any of it. I was really torn about this… do I believe her and let her stay (on seriously one of my busiest days of the month) or do I risk not believing her and sending her to school? If I send her to school she’ll cry and protest, if I stay home and she’s not sick, she’ll try this again. So I prayed “God pleeeeeease give me some guidance on this”.

After a little bit I had an idea. I’ll take her to school, walk into the office with her, and ask to see the school nurse to see whether the nurse thought Ellie was too sick for school. I waited until I was ready to go. Said alright time to take Katie to school, handed Ellie her backpack and said ‘and you too’. She didn’t like this. I told her my plan. She said “but I’m worried I’ll get everybody sick”. I said the nurse can help us decide that. Then she started crying saying, but nobody will play with me or be my friend if I go to school. Aha! I knew it! (Didn’t say that outloud to her though). I let her tell me her worries, hugged her, came up with a few ideas of what to do and then we prayed about it – God help her to be a good friend and look for others who will be a good friend to her.

Then we were off and she told me right away she didn’t need me to go in with her, that she could handle going to the office to get a late note and walk into class on her own. Dropped her off and she was on her way. An hour and fifteen minutes late… but she is there and don’t have to worry about finding someone to watch my sick child so that I can lead my PEPS group this afternoon and prep for a work meeting tonight.

This instance brings back to my mind, how do Doug and I coach our daughters in friendships. It is really hard when you don’t know what is really happening. The questions that fill my mind with curiousity — is my child being bullied at school? Is she being a bully? Is it as big of a deal as she makes it out to be? I don’t want to dismiss it, but I don’t want to make it a bigger problem than it is.

Last night I picked up a book I forgot I had… tucked under a few others. “Little Girls Can Be Mean”. I read the first few pages after last night’s/this morning’s post. The book mentioned that a symptom of bullying or simply not being comfortable with confronting others at school is a stomach ache. I believe God gave me those words last night to help me work with Ellie this morning.

Now if I could only find my wallet…. my day would be a lot better!

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2 responses

8 02 2011
Jinny

What a great mommy you are! Logan had troubles with this at the beginning of the year, partly because he had one close friend from the previous year, and they would be on again/off again, and Logan did not like the "off again" time. I talked to his teacher about it, and she recommended helping foster other friendships for those times. She mentioned a few boys in his class as good candidates :). She recommended having a boy over to our house for a playdate, and my job was to make sure they are always having fun during that playdate. Logan ended up going over to the boys house for a playdate, and he had a great time. In the meantime, I'd talked with his other friends mom about Logan thinking that he was mad at him, and turns out the other boy was oblivious to all of it…wasn't mad at Logan, never was, and didn't know that Logan was sad about it :), just different sensitivities. His friendship circle has grown since then, and he is doing well, but we did have some really hard times at first. I wish I had your head on my shoulders at times like those!

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8 02 2011
Leena

Thanks Jinny! You're a great mommy yourself. :)Playdates is a great idea. Its funny because I love our little playgroup but for some reason the whole playdates idea stresses me out. I remember growing up on a dead end street with a lot of other children, we all went to the same school. Even children at church and preschool all went to the same school I did for elementary, middle and high school!Ok, except for a few home-schoolers. That is not the case so much anymore with so many options of public, private, homeschooling, etc and the kids down the street or at your preschool or church Sunday school class aren't guaranteed to be in the same school district or school. That validates playdates a bit more for me. I guess I'll have to kick promoting playdates up a notch. 😉

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