Around 11:30 I just received a call from Cole's teacher (actually substitute teacher) saying he was under the table, wouldn't come out, and was complaining that he wasn't feeling well. Cole always has his own way of expressing things. I guess hiding under the table might be smart if you feel horrible and don't want to deal with the world.
I'm actually noting this as a future go-to maneuver for not wanting to deal with the kids. I bet if nothing else it would totally confuse them enough to be angels for at least 15 or 20 minutes.
Every time I have received this call, instead of immediately thinking of my poor sick child, I instantly run through all the things I still had left to do before I was going to have to pick up the kids. It's always disappointing to find out my alone time is cut short. Today I had planned an exciting trip to JC Penny and I was quite frustrated that it wasn't going to happen.
Oh and I was really sad for my poor Cole, of course. JC Penny and Cole, both sad.
Cole started this morning off a little odd, but to be honest he starts most mornings off like that so I hadn't thought much about it. I just assumed that it was going to be another day of Cole life. After a long morning of me attempting to get Cole to cooperate, without much success, I had us both pretty irritated with the other.
In the van on the way to school, Cole informed me that he no longer wanted to live with me. He had plans to hop on his bike immediately after preschool and journey to Grandma and Tractor's house in Indiana where he was going to walk in the woods with Tractor. He also let me know that he could walk if he got lost on his bike, it didn't matter if he didn't have a map. Solid plan Cole.
He even had me phone my parents on the way to see if they would have his room ready. They were, of course, ready to oblige, though Cole was completely confused and a little perturbed by my Mom's and my laughter during the conversation. My Dad said that he would fly down, buy a bike and make the trip with him. This only peeked Cole's interest in perhaps flying to Indiana instead of biking....he is pretty smart.
After we got off the phone he immediately told me he was not going to change his mind, ever about leaving our house. He would feel the same after school and he wouldn't miss any of us. I was actually very proud of Aiden chiming in to tell Cole that he would miss him and didn't want him to go. Every so often he stops hitting Cole long enough to be nice.
When I picked Cole up from school I broke the news to Aiden that he had to leave also. There was no way I was hauling a sick Cole back in an hour and a half to pick up Aiden, just so he didn't miss playground time. I was pretty sure all kindness to Cole ended there.
Aiden spent the van ride home trying to get to the bottom of how exactly did Cole get sick. Where were the germs? Why did they stick in Cole? Why did Cole always have to get sick and make him miss school? (Just to clarify, this is the first time I have had to make Aiden leave school early for Cole being ill....Aiden tends to be a bit dramatic.)
At home Cole was a lethargic mess. His fever was around 103 and he didn't even care about the Diego episodes I turned on for him, a true sign of illness. He was though, very enthusiastic about being able to finally drink Gatorade (Cole calls this Gatorader and asks for it daily, despite the fact that he has only had it once after puking about six months ago.)
As I was rubbing his feverish head he started telling me how his favorite "friend" at school had told him that no one wearing a red robot shirt could play with him on the playground. Guess what Cole was wearing....yep, a red robot shirt. He went on to tell me that there are only four boys in his class and this "friend" said no one else likes him or his robot shirt.
Note to self: Burn red robot shirt. Punch mean kid in face.
My heart broke. I am crying typing this. My goodness life is cruel fast.
This isn't the first time that his favorite "friend" has told Cole that he couldn't play with him. The truth is that this little boy is a full year older than Cole, I know he comes from a nice family (ok has a nice Mom,) and is probably just feeling like the big guy on campus and Cole is very much the youngest kid on the playground. This boy is by no means a bad kid, but oh my goodness I don't want my Cole treated like that.
I dug deep for the exact perfect thing to say, because I am really spectacular in these big moments (remember how sarcastic I am) and always say the right thing. I finally decided to go with,"that must have made you feel really sad. It sounds like he wasn't being very nice to you...".and some other powerful stuff that I'm sure I'll one day read in a bullying pamphlet because they were effective and poetic.
Finally I asked, "Do you ever talk to Ms. Sharon about it?
He looked up at me with tear filled eyes and said, "Ms. Sharon got hit by a car."
OK, I was totally confused. What?
Then I remembered that Cole had a substitute today and I think I heard that his teacher, Ms. Sharon, was out because her dog got hit by a car. Oh my poor baby felt like crap, had his favorite friend telling him he can't play with him and believed his teacher (whom he loves) got run over by a car.
Tough day for Cole. Tough day for me. Tough day for JC Penny not getting me to hit their stores when I was in the mood to purchase.
These are the moments that I really don't ever want Cole to grow up. I know I am constantly wishing for more time for myself, less urine everywhere, more peace and much less chaos, but Cole is just so amazing and hearing him have such a rough day makes me want to wrap him up in bubble wrap (except for the fact that this would probably suffocate him,) and never let anyone be mean to him again. That could work, right?
I am praying that tonight he is healed of whatever is giving him that ridiculous fever, he feels nothing but love and kindness from us (even if I have to strap Aiden to his bed to make it happen) and he never thinks anyone he loves is hit by a car.
Maybe we'll have a ceremonial burning of the robot shirt just to make everyone feel better.