Beware of the Redhead

Friends, today I offer you a warning of serious, potentially epic proportions. I am writing to warn you of the Redheaded Snickelfritz. One Jude Shingleton, that is.

After keeping himself pulled together in fashionable form for his school Christmas program (is there anything better than singing children? No there is not. Beyond precious), he collapsed under the strain and fell victim to the dreaded duo of fever and vomiting on Friday. In other words, both of the things that ensure that he doesn’t have to go to school that day. So we ended up packing him up and hauling him down to the lake for the Christmas house tour and he laid in bed off and on all weekend, but seemed to improve. Then Sunday night his temp spiked so I planned on keeping him home Monday. All day he was pretty chipper until late in the afternoon when the temp came back. Baffling. But by Tuesday morning he was FINE.

Except he didn’t want to go to school. Because it is so much more fun to stay home with me and watch movies all day on the couch, natch. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that? But being the mean mother that I am, I made him put on his clothes and get ready for school. Now internet, when I take Jude for carpool, this generally means I focus everything on getting the child fed, brushed, and dressed in time for school. In other words, I usually have on no bra and am still in pajamas. But whatever – it’s carpool. I mean, isn’t that what it was made for? ( I can neither confirm nor deny that I secretly think to myself every day, “today is the day that I get in a wreck and I’ll be seen splattered on the side of the road looking like this.”)

This particular Tuesday, though, I upped my game. I had on last night’s makeup (YUM), hair in a bun, and multiple layers of teeshirts, pregnancy pajama pants, and Uggs. I WAS HAWT. SO SO HAWT. (This is what 8 months pregnant looks like, all you teenagers who are thinking about having sex.)

As we pull into the parking lot, the child begins to sniffle. I look in the backseat and there is The Redhead, pulling out all the stops. Starting to cry, getting all red and blotchy in the face. “I (sob) just (sob) want (sob) to stay (sob) with YOUUUUUU,” he wails.  I rally up all my happy feelings and say things like “Mommy always comes back! It’s only a few hours! You’re going to have so much fun! You can do this!” (As an aside, there has been lots of this behavior this year – I chalk it up to anxiety over life changing with a new baby on the way).   He gets out of the car and pitifully walks into the building.

I get all the way home (about 8 minutes) before the phone rings from the school. Apparently he is not running a fever, but he said he *had* run a fever before, and thus I need to come get him. So I turned that car around, and marched into the building in my last-nights-makeup/Ugg boots/pajama pants ensemble. It was a walk of shame like no other. Because what kind of mother makes her kid go to school in such a state?

So we homeschooled that day. And Jude got a super special science education at my OB appointment where I got an ultrasound (what’s a cervix?).

Again, I offer a warning: DO NOT LOOK AT THE REDHEAD DIRECTLY IN THE EYE. He will overcome you with his superior secret superpower. Veteran educators and Sunday school teachers have been overcome by this. (I am, however, immune, as I INVENTED this particular method. See also: blotchy red face, watery blue eyes, ability to cry on command).  He is a master of sick day deception. Consider yourselves ALL WARNED.


Now go to school. Mommy loves you.

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