Sunday, October 4, 2009

spelly ache

A few Fridays ago, I was called to come and collect my sick daughter from school. The nurse said she wasn't running a fever, but she was complaining of a tummy ache. When I got to the office, there she sat. Wearing her backpack. Lethargically slumped on a chair. She saw me. She perked up. And then unperked. Suspiciously.

We walked out to the car. I had her get in the front seat. She perked all the way back up. A little alarm bell went off in my head.

me: "What's going on? Do you feel like you have to spit up?"

her: "No."

me: "But your tummy hurts?"

her: "Yes."

me: "Are things going okay with your friends?"

her: "Yeah."

me: "You sure?"

her: "Oh, Yes. Yesterday we played on the playground and I got to be the mom and Susie was the puppy and Minnie was my daughter. And then Mckenzie was also my daughter. And then I was the puppy. And Minnie was the mom. And Mckenzie was aslo a puppy....."

Hmmm. No girl drama.

Spelling test. The first one of the year.

me: "How was your spelling test?"

her: "Um. We haven't done it yet."

me: "Huh. You worried about that?"

her: "Yeah. Last year, the teacher would tell us the words and then we would write them down. This year, they just give us a paper and we have to write them all. And they don't even tell us what they are."

me: "Did your teacher tell you that?"

her: "......no..."

me: "No teacher would give you a spelling test without first telling you the words. And if a teacher tried to give you a test in a way you didn't understand, mom and dad would talk with them and come up with a way that works for you."

her: looking at me....awaiting my next move

me: "Let's pray about it. Sometimes when a person is nervous, they will get a sore tummy. But it doesn't mean they are sick. It just means they are nervous. The only way to get it better is to take that spelling test."

We prayed. I walked her back in. We found her class on their way to the library. Her teacher asked if she was feeling better, and I told him she was a little nervous about the spelling test. He gave me an understanding nod. She joined her class with great trepidation and a near melt down halted only by a penetrating glance from her mother and the hand of her best friend.

me to her best friend: "She's feeling a little nervous. Do you think you could help her find a good book to take her mind off the spelling test?"

her best friend: "Yes! I know right where the High School Musical books are."

Perfect.

Crisis averted.

I knew that this was a very dangerous situation. I know that test anxiety is real. And I want my girl to know that I will always take care of her. I will believe her when she tells me she is sick. I just don't want to encourage tummy aches on test days.

I drove by the school at recess, just to see how things were going. She didn't see me. She was too busy not having a tummy ache.

The spelling test? A perfect score. And the teachers in second grade give spelling tests exactly like the teachers in first grade. Who would have thought?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are such a good mom.

LocustSt said...

Glad I got to hear the whole story! and another good thing that came out of this story... said tummy ache allowed a perfect dodge of a reporter wanting a nice big headshot for the momtime article! :)

underthebigbluesky said...

So this is a universal conversation?

We had this discussion last week with the anxious prone one.

Worried about school? Friends ok? What did you eat? Do you have gas? You are not going to throw up.

Good call Mama, I think you did superbly!!! And aren't girly best friends the perfect non-mama remedy!

Anonymous said...

Katie, you handled that beautifully! I need some of your patience and understanding!