Last Friday, I returned to school after a day and a half absence. I found myself a little sniffly on Wednesday and a little stomach buggy on Thursday. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by The Boy For Whom All The World's A Stage:
"Oh my God!! You're back! I don't mind telling you I was VERY WORRIED. You are almost NEVER absent, let alone for two days! I thought you were DYING or something!!!
I assured him that I was not dying, although there were certainly points during the process that I wished for something maybe along the lines of a brief coma. I still wasn't feeling tip-top, but I still felt like I was gonna beat this. After all, every cold I've had to date this school year has been summarily beaten back by my iron-clad immune system and my stone cold will to survive. I thanked him for his concern and suggested that he save his drama for something like earthquakes and starving nations.
My weekend was less than pleasant. The cold, apparently the stubborn type who takes challenges seriously, hung in there. I cancelled my appointment with The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach for the second week running and shuffled around the house with a tissue wadded up my nose because I no longer care what I look like. My hair is a train wreck...why bother anymore?
I spent some quality time staring at the Very Bright And Peppy Toe-Up Sock, but after a while it started to hurt my watery eyes and I never really worked up the will to knit upon it.
I beat back the low fever that started on Sunday night and stocked my purse with cough drops. My day and a half away from school resulted in a great deal of clean-up and my little inner voice told me I wouldn't be happy with myself if I took another sick day.
The Boy For Whom All The World's A Stage arrived late today. He surveyed the situation and gave his assessment in true form.
Yeesh! You look horrible. You should be home in bed or something. I'll just get a that hand sanitizer out of my bag and glop on a gallon or two. Nothing personal, it's just that...HEY! Where is the Cheerful Teaching Assistant? Don't tell me she isn't here! I cannot function in my Social Studies class without her!! Is she out today? Is she all right? Is this going to be a long term thing or do I just have to suffer through one day? Why does everything happen to me???
I calmly told him that the CTA was sick, but that she'd emailed and said she would be OK. I promised to help him with his work and not so much as exhale my foul germiness in his general direction. This seemed to soothe him somewhat.
Oh. Well, that's OK then. Besides, we have the Organized Teaching Assistant. We'll be just fine. All I need to do is breathe slowly for a minute...OH MY GOD! Her desk! It's empty! WHERE IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY IS THE OTA?????
That one was more complicated. The school's automated sick day system hasn't been working well for some staff and I honestly didn't know where the OTA was. I did my best to reassure TBFWATWAS, but he wasn't buying it.
WHAT??? You don't know where she is? Well, that's just great. She's probably fell and is lying in her driveway right now, calling weakly for help and clinging to the hope that someone at school will miss her before she dies right there. Alone. In the cold. AND THEN THERE WILL BE NO ONE TO HELP ME IN MY SCIENCE AND LANGUAGE ARTS CLASSES!!!
I wish he hadn't said that. Now, all I could think about was my raging cold and how my teaching assistant was succumbing to hypothermia ten steps from her front door. It was a long day. And not just because I have a classroom that is open to students all day and that I was drinking lots of water to combat the cough with no hope of a bathroom break until the kids were dismissed at 2:45.
It all worked out, though. I was able to reach the OTA on her cell phone and it turned out she wasn't face down in the gravel. Two kids were dismissed early and I managed to sneak a bathroom break in around 11:00 right about the time the coughing started to make the bladder situation just this side of dicey. With any luck, I'll have at least one person back on the team tomorrow and I can spend part of the day sitting in my office with a tissue stuck up my nose like a respectable sick person.
However, I am starting to think that TBFWATWAS might be onto something. Normally, I find his theatrics a little amusing and sometimes maybe just a bit annoying. He does tend to go over the top every now and again.
But maybe a dose of panic and dramatic expression isn't exactly out of place at the moment...