**WARNING! WARNING! THIS IS AN EXTREMELY LONG POST**
This was a wild week. Monday was Monday. Tuesday rolled around all too quickly and it became abundantly clear that the stomach flu had arrived in our community. Wednesday was up next and I was simply working for the weekend. But wait....Thursday.
I had sent one little person home in tears on Wednesday. She just burst into tears. Like to scared me to death. She is one of those little people who never complains. She has a smile on her face and love in her heart all the time. Her poor little head hurt so bad that she couldn't stand it anymore. So on Thursday when she wasn't at school, I wasn't surprised.
UmHmpfsigh. Thursday. Somehow kids have barometers inside of them that tell them the weather is changing and they must all be crazed chatterbugs. And inside recess just adds to the fun. Can I just say that I hate inside recess?
I have one little person who has come to school and informed me that her stomach is in her throat. She proceeds to tell me this a gajillion times throughout the day. I fed her peppermints all day. I have several others who look like death warmed over. I have several more that are simply talking to hear their heads rattle.
I was patient and I was understanding and I did my level best. I must say that I wasn't overly peppy but I wasn't grouchy pants either. I really did a nice job of managing my words. Miracles do happen in the strangest of places.
Oh, and did I mention that Thursdays are the day that I spend half of my plan period in a meeting? And that I hate inside recess?
At 1:35, the office beeps my room. Can I take a phone call? This never happens unless one my own children is ill. I instinctively know it is not girl twin. Yep. Boy twin is in the office with a horrible headache and dizziness. They don't think he should drive himself home. OK. I am on my way. I step into my lifesaving friend Robin's room and say HELP. I gave her options--go to get boy twin or teach third grade for 15 minutes. She heads into my room while I head out to get boy twin.
It's a really good thing that I went to get him. I get up to the high school and I take one look at him and think OMG his lips are huge and his eyes are swollen and his cheeks are so red. He complains of stomach cramps. He is struggling to breathe. He isn't wearing his sweatshirt and doesn't put it on when we get outside. He takes several deep breaths which sets my mom alarms off. We talk about what he should do when he gets home--blahblahblah.
When I return to school, I send him a text message checking on him. I ask him if anything else happened during the course of the day. He tells me that he feels some better after the bendadryl and some 7 up. He had a sack lunch. (His own fault because he was out of lunch money--I only give them a certain amount of $$ and if they don't budget it wisely, then they must take a sack lunch or use their own $$) He also tells me that they had served peanut butter rice krispy treats for lunch.
Again, my mom alarms go off.
You see, boy twin is allergic to peanuts. And anything to do with peanuts. Peanut butter. Peanut oil. Peanuts. PeaNUTS. PEANUTS.
I cannot tell you how old he was but here is the story.....We lived in the country and had been to town to run errands. We bought the kids a treat as we left town. I am sure College Girl had a non peanut butter Little Debbie treat. How do I know that? Because she was allergic to pb and eventually grew out of it around the age of 10. And Little Debbies are cheap. Her allergy was never ever as severe as boy twins. Anyway, we bought the twins those nutty bars so they could each have one--we are part way home when after maybe 2 bites boy twin announces, "This is yucky." And hands it to me. He has hives all around his mouth and on his hands where the pb had touched him. 45 minutes later he is vomiting. I cannot tell you how many things there are out there that have peanuts in them. Things that you wouldn't even suspect having peanuts.
Thank goodness he was out of lunch money or else I am fairly certain that the ambulance would have needed to be called for the allergic reaction. You see, 300 peanut butter rice krispy treats require a fair amount of peanut butter and just having that in the air triggered an allergic reaction. If they had touched his tray with gloves that had had that residue on them and the transfer of peanuts....oh my. My mom imagination goes crazy. This isn't the first time that has happened to him. Yes, he is that allergic to peanuts. And trust me when I tell you that his reaction is much less severe than when he was younger.
Transfer is always the issue. Rarely does he have direct contact with peanut products. People mean well. It is a case of if you don't have that particular allergy then you don't understand how scary it can be for those who do. Take a potluck, for example. People bring a dessert but not a tool to serve it. They grab a tool from another dessert and there you have it--cross contamination.
Meanwhile back at the classroom, a little girl from my room asks to go to the bathroom. Sure. Knock yourself out. She returns with wild eyes and comes straight to my side to say:
3GG (3rd grade girl): In the bathroom. In the first stall.
Me: Yes? (my heart is beginning to beat wildly) What?
3GG: Someone used red lipstick. And wrote I love you. And then put lips all over.
Me: Blinking a million times. What?
3GG: Someone used like red lipstick, you know? And then like put it on their lips and kissed all over the wall. (she said this in the kind of louder and slower voice one tends to use with people who are slow on the uptake--you know the voice)
Me: Really. Seriously.
I march my fat butt down to the bathroom and sure enough this is what I see:
Yep. This gives me the heebiejeebies on so many levels. And the reason I have a picture? Lifesaving Robin thought we needed one.
Thankfully, it wasn't anyone from my room who created this masterpiece.
Continuing on....My second recess of the day occurs at 3:00 each day. We are dismissed from school at 3:30. Our school building is a very large, one story, sprawling structure. It is literally a city block from my room to the kindergarten wing. NO lie. The school nurse measured it. And we have two classrooms in the basement. One of those rooms is a third grade room. The teacher of that room and I share inside recess duties.
So back to Thursday. I have an appointment for enhancements at 4. I am using my 15 minute recess to return computers to the computer carts in the library as well as trying to get as much done as possible so I can leave to get the much needed enhancements at 4.
As I head out to greet my children, I am greeted with extremely excited voices. Voices I recognize. Voices that shouldn't be heard. And what I hear next is the second most dreaded sound in a world of a teacher....the word vomit. Yep. That little person who told me a gajillion times that her stomach was in her throat? Well. Now her stomach was in the hallway outside of a first grade classroom. She apologized profusely and thanked the teacher who helped her out. She managed herself beautifully. I mean, as beautiful as anyone can when in such a horrid situation.
As I head towards my class, I hear THE most dreaded sound in the world of a teacher. The sound of vomit schplatting in the hallway five minutes before 90% of the school needs to leave out THAT door at the end of THAT hallway. A little boy who had failed to mention that he felt bad, chucked it all right then and there. Before I knew that he wasn't feeling well, I had the following conversation with him (from a distance):
Me: So do you think you just vomited because you saw 3GG vomit?
3GB: Um. I didn't see 3GG vomit.
Me: Oh! I am so sorry!
3GB: I just didn't feel good and it got worse and worse and finally, well you know what happened next.
Count 'em. Two. Two pukers in the hallways and both of them are from my room. The lone custodian we have wasn't loving me so much.
The rest of my class was heaving and gagging and I was fearful a modern day barf-o-rama. I am using my best patient voice and screeching....Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Just relax. In. Out. In. Out. I am not sure who I was trying to help--them or me.
We are forced to reroute the entire school to the buses. Kids are completely befuddled by the situation and several figure it out and well are kids who have seen vomit. Enough said.
We call parents to get the sick ones on their way and alls well that ends well. Sort of.
I return to my classroom. I then wipe down all the tables in my classroom with disinfectant and spray lysol over every inch of the room until it permeates the west end of the building.
I pack my book bag and head out for my much needed enhancements.
I arrive at the hairdresser's. It is bustling with people. I wait. The magic princesses look at me in a puzzled manner. I comment that I am waiting for my magic princess to begin the enhancement process. Again, puzzled looks abound.
Um. The magic princesses huddle up and check the book.
I am apparently 2 hours and 15 minutes early for my enhancements. Ohmyeverlovingoodnesssakesalive I felt like a complete nincompoop.
I am done with Thursday.
And I won't even start on Friday. Just sayin'.