Unexpected Kid Sick Days aren’t so Bad

I’m sitting here typing this at 8am from home. Abby is still sleeping after getting up to pee and requesting to go back to bed. Her own bed; not snuggled up with me. (This is how I know she’s still not feeling well.)

I tweeted yesterday how some of the worse words you want to hear as you pick your kid up from preschool are, “(Insert kid’s name) just threw up.” Of course I’m concerned for her and my heart aches as I see her little pale face down in the dumps. But as a working mom with no family nearby, the gears in my head start going. If only she had puked earlier in the day I would have had some head start on sub plans by scooping up work before leaving to pick her up, thus having items to help with last minute sub plans. Of course, life doesn’t pan out that way.

Whenever Abby is sick, my husband and I have to compare our schedules. He works in conventions and fall time is super busy for him, with today not being any different. And for me, Tuesday the 30th, well, it’s Fund Run time at my school. Lots of logistics involved. Shortened class periods, a crazy different schedule. Thirty-one students to maneuver through the Fund Run with. And it’s my first year doing this so I’m a bit lost on how it all works out.


When it came down to it, the stars didn’t align with one of us having an easier day to be able to take off. The person who can call in for back-up to help with classes gets to stay home. You know, me because I have a sub system to call on.

My initial freakouts subsided, and I did what any momma does in a situation like this…I bucked up. I did what I had to do and created sub plans from home, utilizing the internet for help with curriculum materials, got a colleague to photo copy stuff for me, got a sub squared away, and stopped worrying about work. The kiddo comes first.

And then with my new outlook on life and a glass half full kind of perspective, I thought about how this whole last minute kid sick thing isn’t so bad. And I’ve learned a lot about myself  in these almost three years I’ve been a working momma. So I thought I’d list some half glass full thoughts and all the perspective I’ve gleaned as I’ve been doing the last minute stay home with the kid thing for a a while.

  1. I’m pretty damn good at doing last minute sub plans. Whether it’s 5pm just home from work plans or 4am the kid woke with a fever plans, I’ve got this under control. The internet is my friend.
  2. Students will be taught, my classroom will not implode, and the world keeps turning while I take a day to be with the kiddo.
  3. For today’s Fund Run, it’s expected to rain. So yeah, I don’t have to stand outside for an hour in the rain.
  4. As my kid is on the cusp of turning three, and I’m missing my baby, I get lots of extra snuggles from her.
  5. She’s sick before before Halloween and her third birthday, which is on Sunday. Celebrations will still happen.
  6. I got to sleep in this morning.
  7. I get to wear pajamas all day.
  8. There is no guilt from having a whole day of watching movies.
  9. I taught my kid how to puke in a plastic bag while driving her home from preschool. Well, she mostly made it all in the bag.
  10. Having to clean a little puke out of the car seat straps is no biggie when people on the East Coast are dealing with such a horrific tragedy.

See, I’ve done some growing and learning these past three years. I’ve got this whole dealing with the unexpected thing under control.

What about you? How do you react with last minute sick days for the kiddo? Has your outlook on this changed any, the older your kids get?



  • Melissa says:

    This happened to me yesterday. Luckily it was my 9mo son and not my 4yo daughter so he came to work with mommy. I work at a very flexible office. I normally would have taken a day off but I’m out of sick leave for the year. Hubby has been taking off but he was at beaver trapping class for his job. (Yep, you read right. I told my friend, it’s more fun to say beaver trapping class than just class. LOL) So he couldn’t be off. He slept some and played some and I got the main thing done my boss wanted done. Oh, and I got to leave early because my son decided to pee on me….dang leaky diaper… Anywho, other times I pack up the laptop and work from home. My outlook totally depends on the day and what’s going on at work. Sometimes, I have to be here others I can work from home. There is value and difficulty in being the only one who does certain things. :)
    Twitter: melissamott

    • Tracy says:

      Still, that’s great that you can take him with you. And for me as a teacher, my sick days get renewed in September with the start of every school year. Today I chose to take a Personal Leave day, though, since I only get 5 of those a year and they don’t roll over to next year, while my sick days can. I’m learning to work the system to boot!

      Just so glad there are flexible workplaces out there and that you can too figure out how to get work done with an employer who understands :)
      Twitter: wa_tracy

  • Annemarie says:

    So true how the dual momma brain processor kicks into gear. One is focused on the kiddo – how they’re feeling, will or won’t they puke in the car, etc. The other is ticking through the work contingency plan. And I can so relate to your comment about how with the third birthday approaching, the “baby” snuggles are fewer and farther between. Greyson is the same way. I’ll take them any way I can get them! :) Hope Abby is feeling better!
    Twitter: annecalla

    • Tracy says:

      Thanks momma! She is feeling better and keeping food down. Since she still was sick this morning, she can’t go to school tomorrow…the whole 24 hours puke free rule, but lucky for me the husband can take tomorrow off.
      Twitter: wa_tracy

  • Donna says:

    When I was in the classroom I always had 3 days of lesson plans prepared and ready to go. These plans always had something to do with Job Skills or the Common Core Standards for all of the department (I taught CTAE Courses). Or it would be a project done on the computer since I taught in a computer lab. Now that I have moved to the guidance office it is not earth shattering if I have to call in sick. They don’t even get a sub.

    When I first started teaching I always paniced when the kids were sick. When another teacher told me about her “sub notebook” it really helped. No longer was I writing plans and emailing plans. The book was always on my desk with 3 complete lesson plans ready to go, class rolls, and notes about the classes.
    Donna recently posted..22 Days of ThankfulnessMy Profile

    • Tracy says:

      You’d think by year 6 of teaching that I’d have something like this going…Note to self….create a sub book and ALWAYS clean up at the end of the day ;)
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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