My oldest was home sick from camp today. Bummer for her, since it was the Camp's American Idol final performance and she made it to the finals. I swear - I can recount all the times when Emily had something important or exciting to do and she gets sick. As if she wills herself a fever, stomach ache or some other boo-boo of epic proportion. (school talent show, carnival, final soccer match, hip hop recital, a friend's birthday party). Unlike most kids, this one gets sick when there is fun shit to do - not when there is a math test or religious services or dentist appointments. She is warped.
So yesterday, she wakes up with unexplainable stomach ailment #42 and I say (yell) "Get up and get out of bed. You are not going to miss today's semi-finals 'cuz I don't want to hear about it for the rest of summer." I slam her breakfast down on the table, get her stuff together for camp and off we go. Two hours later, I get a call from the camp that she threw up. "Chunks?" I ask. Why did I ask that? I don't know...blowing chunks means food stuffs from yesterday and the morning. Liquid bile barf means too much water and juice. I know, I know - t.m.i.
Like it makes a difference in the sick factor, the consistency of the hurl... camp nurse just wants her to go home before she passes it to other kids.
So I go back to get her at camp - feeling like the worst mom in the world for not believing her. But I was a hypochondriac when I was little, so much so that my mom wouldn't believe I had a bloody nose until she saw the stuff gushing...even then - she would peel one ply from a two ply tissue for me to use. I didn't believe her - and a part of me still doesn't. Even when we got home and she slept for, like, 4 hours. Even when she tried to take some tylenol for the fever (that she willed herself) with water and gagged that up moments later. Even when she went to bed at 5:30 p.m. and slept right through til morning. Part of me doesn't believe that she is really sick...she does this as part of a master plan to prove me wrong. I am warped.
Today- she stayed home. We all did. Emily still hasn't eaten much except 1/2 a pbj and some water. She has no fever, and is kinda mellow. I believe her now. Normally she eats like it's nobody's business. So it shouldn't be a total loss, we cleaned out her desk drawers and organized her stuff for school. Rachel just bopped around playing with all the stuff that Big Sissie has found in her room and handed down. I am doing a bit of laundry, tidying up and what not. She was sick. I admit it. She had a fever and slept the better part of Wednesday away. She hasn't mentioned missing the competition which has been all she's talked about all summer.
Why am I so hard on her? I always say with Emily - it's all or nothing. She is either whining about not getting her way or sucking up and an uber kiss ass when she does. Does she act this way because she is 8 and 11/12ths? Is is just like this around here, or are there other 'tweeners with the same issues? She is generally a great kid; smart as a whip, funny, creative, clutzy, a voracious reader, a choca-holic, still on the innocent and clueless side of woman-hood, semi-athletic, daring, not the least bit self-conscious, a great big sister who puts up with her little sister (who's pretty terrific too) more than the average big sister should have to. But she makes me nuts. She's all or nothing Emily.
The other day we went school shopping for supplies and clothes. I spent a fortune on the two girls and Emily is all "oh thank you , mommy" for the rest day, until I ask her to do something like avert her eyes from the bright shiny object (insert t.v., computer, nintendo here), or put her clothes away, or that it's time to take a shower. "Emily now, Emily now, Emily now , EMILY NOW!! "
Why am I writing this today? Because I have been struck with guilt of shittiest kind. The kind that makes you mad and sad at the same time. The kind that gets you wondering if you have any maternal instinct at all. The kind that hits you when you realize that your kids notice all kinds of things about you that you don't think they will.
Actual conversation at dinner last night with just Hubby, Rachel and I (since Emily was sick)
Rachel: "it's so nice at the table tonight and sooo quiet"
Me: "well, babe - sissy is sleeping, so we are trying to keep it down"
Rachel: "no, i mean because you aren't yelling at her"
Me: " I yell at Emily during dinner?"
Rachel: "no, you do all the time."
I am such an ass.