Tuesday afternoon. The day before school would start once again. Just a few short hours until bedtime and then I would be able to send one of my beloved children away to be educated for most of the day.
It’s been a long summer. I’m hoping that the summer between kindergarten and 1st grade is the longest because it is the first “real” summer after starting school. It’s the first time you truly realize how wonderful school has been for your sanity. So, there I was, totally ready for the first day of school to arrive. It was time.
Why did I do it?!
And then I took my children to a park. There were a few of those spinning/rotating play structures. My son, my soon to be first grade attendee, rode them. Again and again. And (I really hate saying things like this on the Internet because gross/too much information but it serves the purpose of this blog…), my son vomited in the car on the ride home.
Not only did I have to clean it up (with the gracious assistance of my work-from-home husband), but then I was left with the questions (which OCD loves): was it just “park/car sickness” or the dreaded stomach flu? Would the rest of us get sick? Would he keep being sick the whole afternoon and evening? AND WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL?! WHY ON THE DAY BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS!?!
Normal vs. OCD reaction
So I was pretty depressed. Not only did I have to break out the disinfectant wipes and spray (which I’ve been fairly good about not using so much) to clean up, but I had to resign myself to the fact that back to school was going to have to wait at least one more day.
The little man never registered a fever and didn’t have any more incidents since the fateful car trip home. He woke up chipper and ready to go (my husband would have sent him out the door and not worried), but I said “no.” One more day of summer, just in case. Because that’s what the cautious mother who has OCD does. In a different time of life, I probably would make him stay home a few days. Maybe even be quarantined for a week as a precaution. And maybe there are some moms out there who will be upset to know that I plan to send him back for his first day on the second day of school. But don’t judge too harshly because summer. Is. Long. (And because it seemed to be an isolated incident. If he was super sick I would do what honor and health would necessitate).
Regression, Stability, or Being Awesome?
This is the first major brush with OCD-triggering sickness for me since the big strep debacle of winter 2015. (We have had colds, and while they are not fun, they are not as bad for my OCD). Even earlier this week I worried that a sickness in the house would throw me off my recovery game. My doctor and I decided to go five weeks until my next session, and I’m motivated to stay stable so I can start weaning off my medication in the next few months… so I was terrified that somehow we would get ill and then I’d be back to square one.
So how am I doing, OCD wise? Like I said, I was a bit in denial right after and feeling pretty low. I made myself check on him and be close to the potential germs/virus. I read him stories and talked with him before bedtime. But I did spray the couch (and car) with disinfectant. I threw away the chair cover from the car and his (new) shoes (sad face). But I kept his clothes and part of his booster seat cover, soaked them overnight, and washed them with color safe bleach. I used a disposable cup and plate for his ginger ale and saltines… but I let him use normal dishes for chicken soup. He cuddled up this morning while I read to him, and I’m trying not to go too bonkers on the whole “don’t touch anything! At all! Seriously!” thing. I’m just a little bonkers.
Overall, it hasn’t been that big of deal, besides him having to miss the first day of first grade. But I guess whatever day he goes will be his first day of first grade. Fingers crossed it wasn’t actually a virus and we are all safe—because I’ve got things to do and places to go. (I just became our congregation’s leader of the ladies, AKA the Relief Society President, so I’m about to get real busy! Hello lots of exposures and chances to overcome my OCD!!)
How was your week been? Any funny/traumatic back to school stories?