Once we put vacation behind us, I also thought that we could put flu season behind us as well. I know, you're probably at home shaking your head at me and thinking, "you silly girl...when are you going to realize that you have chosen to work in an incubus of germ and snot?"
I guess sometimes I like to think that after years of hard work, and multiple advanced degrees that maybe, just maybe, my work place is somewhere that welcomes dry clean only pants and doesn't insist on giving me hideous ailments such as ringworm (oh yes...I said ringworm), the flu and snot-caked pants. But alas, pee, runny noses and wadded up tissues are my life.
Now, let's not get it twisted. While I have resigned myself to dealing with SOME aforementioned bodily fluids, there are still some that I prefer to keep out of the classroom. Such as puke, barf, boot...whatever you like to call it. And for some reason, the kids puke ALL THE TIME. I do not remember so much puke in my elementary school years. I chalk it up to the declining quality of cafeteria food combined with a steady diet of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for breakfast.
Usually there is a warning when someone is about to blow chunks. They will raise their hand with their other hand clutched across their mouth. Or start to dry heave. Or just run out of the classroom and I assume it had to be pretty urgent.
Friday a little girl calmly raised her hand (which shows she was listening when we talked about how screaming doesn't get things done any faster...) and said, "Mrs. Mimi, I need to hurl."
To which I replied, "Do you think you can make it?"
She nods her head yes, and with my blessing is soon off to boot all over the bathroom. When she returns, she looks pretty foul. I decide that she doesn't look ready to puke-and-rally (a term I'm sure many of you are familiar with from the college years..) and send her to the nurse with a friend. I scribble out a note on a nearby post it and send the girls on their way.
Several minutes later the girls return and Pukey Patty looks a bit worse for wear.
"Mrs. Mimi, we went to the nurse's office but she said we needed to come back to class to get an Official Pass."
"What?! An Offical Pass??!?" (insert an incredulous tone dripping with moderate sarcasm here)
"Yes. She said you should know better than to send her a note on regular paper."
"Let me get this straight. You handed her my note about Patty and she sent you back to class??"
"Is Pukey Patty ok?? She doesn't look so good.."
"She threw up again. But the nurse told us to leave, so I took her to the bathroom to do it."
"Ah, I see."
I sent the two girls back down to the nurse's office after digging up an Official Pass.
Ten minutes later, the girls returned once again.
"What's the problem now??"
"The nurse says Patty isn't really sick enough. She wrote you a note."
"Let me see it."
I DO NOT HAVE THE FACILITIES TO HANDLE CHILDREN THAT ARE NOT REALLY SICK. PLEASE HANDLE YOUR STUDENTS YOURSELF.
Oh no she didn't.
About thirty seconds after I finished reading the nurse's absolutely ridiculous note, Patty barfed again. A lot. But my poor little friend managed to make it to the trash can. She's such a good girl.
Then, despite some better judgement, I sent Pukey Patty and her friend back down to the nurse for a third time. This time they carried the trash can full of boot with them. They also carried a note:
IS SHE SICK ENOUGH NOW?
And wouldn't you know it...but my little helper came back to class alone and poor Pukey Patty mercifully got to go home.