slice of life

There is no truer love…

Every year, on the first day of school, I would review sign-out procedures for going to the restroom or the bubbler.  There was one type of situation that didn’t require my permission in advance of the departure.  Sign-out was unnecessary if a child felt like they were going to throw up since I had a “no puking in the classroom” rule.  From day one, all a student who felt nauseated would have to do is cover their mouth and make a run for the door.  As long as someone saw them, they could leave.  We knew where they were going.  If they didn’t return from the bathroom within a couple of minutes (to ask to go to the nurse), then someone would go and look for them.

In the time I taught fourth and fifth grade, no child every threw up in my classroom.  Kids were known to have thrown up on the way to the bathroom.  Heck, one even vomited on the threshold of the door.  But no one ever threw up in Ms. Shubitz’s classroom.  It was a streak even the kids were proud of on my last day as a classroom teacher.

Isabelle hid from me when I told her I needed to give her something to drive-down her fever. As you can see, I found her among her bears.
Isabelle hid from me when I told her I needed to give her something to drive-down her fever. As you can see, I found her among her bears.

I have been really fortunate, as a parent, to have had a child who has only thrown up twice — until today.  Today saw more vomit than I care to think about.  (Isabelle threw up twice before 8 a.m. and once after we tucked her into her bed this evening.)  As I sat there mopping up vomit, washing her face, spraying carpet cleaner on the floor, and doing laundry, I was reminded there is no truer love than the love we show our children when they’re sick.  I loved my students, but I don’t think I could’ve ever handled from any of them what I cleaned up from my own child today.  (I did have three students throw up on a field trip to the Lower East Side once.  I was quite proud of myself for not throwing up on one of them as he puked into a paper bag beside me.  I took the three of them into a coffee shop to get washed up, but fortunately they were old enough to clean themselves up.)

On top of Isabelle’s stomach bug, she also had a 103.2 degree fever this afternoon.  Needless to say I canceled her speech and OT for tomorrow.  While I’m hoping she’ll be back at preschool on Wednesday (since I have to be in two different schools that day), I won’t send her to school to:

a) make other kids sick, or

b) be miserable while I’m gone a whole day.

We shall see what tomorrow brings, but I have a feeling I will be rescheduling my writing workshop visits for another day.  And that’s the other thing about having kids… they make you realize what is really important. Yes, I have a commitment, but when you’re the only childcare option (i.e., my parents and in-laws live out of state), your sick child comes first.

Head over to on Tuesday for more slices of life.
Head over to on Tuesday for more slices of life.



27 thoughts on “There is no truer love…

  1. Stacey,
    I can truly empathize with you! Kam and Nat were both sick with the puke bug and fevers 2 weeks ago. I did the same and agree that cleaning up there could be no truer love. They want mom when they are sick. Thankfully both got better…Nat got it from Kam but Nat took longer to recover. I ended up missing three days and thankfully did not get it. Praying you don’t get it and Isabelle feels better soon.

  2. My wish for you is that she’s not quite ready for a day back and school, but recouped enough to enjoy a day at home….forced confinement. Nothing you can do, but stay in your pajamas, make forts, read books, snuggle, have a tea party and snuggle some more. I did have parents in town to help me out. Consequently, I forged ahead and went to school some days, that, in retrospect, I wished I’d just called in sick. There were really just a handful of those days, for a handful of years, and then, suddenly I had teenagers, who felt like they needed to go to school or work or practice, etc. And sleepy, snuggly, sick days, were gone…too fast… forever.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Susie. It was the one that made me realize I definitely had to call out for tomorrow, which I did around 10 a.m. this morning. I’m scheduled to go into that same school on 12/17. Hopefully everyone will be healthy and there won’t be any snow that day!

  3. It’s the worst isn’t it? Sorry that Izzy has to deal with it, too. If she hasn’t had this stomach flu before, it’s a shock. I’ve had a few in my classroom, especially when I taught first grade, but the older ones usually make it to the bathroom. Best wishes for a ‘getting well’ day!

  4. Oh, that love sure is true. I wish your little one to be on the mend quickly! I’m reminded of when my little one was ill and her dear daddy walked in and quickly walked right back out, only to leave me to show my love.

    1. Exactly, Bob! I canceled my school visit around 10 a.m. this morning. There’s no way I can drop her off at school at 8 and pick her up at 3 tomorrow even if she’s better by the morning. If anything, she’ll go for a half-day tomorrow IF she’s 100% better.

  5. Oh man, we can tell some good stories about throwing up experiences. It is amazing how much we can handle when it’s our own child, isn’t it? I hope Isabelle feels better–it takes SO much out of a little body. You’re a great Mom, Stacey!

  6. Ugh…vomit. But, we’re so involved in making sure our kiddos are comfortable that the other stuff (smelly and yukky as it is) is soon forgotten. I hope Isabelle is over this bug soon – Hanukkah is just around the corner!

  7. Count yourself lucky with the throwing up in the classroom thing. I once had one throw up and then two more because of the awfulness. Poor Isabelle…thank goodness it is usually only one day. I’m a grandma in another country, wishing I could help Em today…Sammie sick…ears… but Em has the bad flu also! xo

  8. Ha! My dad cleaned up lots of vomit when we traveled to Toronto, Canada to see my mom’s family. Three kids could simultaneously do it together…. more than once on that 8 hour trip. How did he do it?

  9. Your story about your classroom & the no vomiting reminded me of the time one of my boys vomited ON the girl sitting next to him. Sigh…oh was that an afternoon in fifth grade. One I will never forget!! Stacey, I hope Isabelle is feeling better VERY soon!!!

  10. In a couple of years you can have the same room in your house. You would be surprised…. my boys shared a bedroom when they were younger and one night my 6 year threw up in the middle of the night and my 8 year old cleaned it up. In the morning all the sheets were in the washer and the bed was remade. Unfortunately my other son then got it, but I was still impressed by his effort not to wake us up! Hang in there!

  11. Always love learning more about you with each post. Always am in amazement at how alike two people can be, who until two years ago, never met 🙂 Praying that your precious one feels better really soon!

  12. I think it is the worry of your child being sick that makes it easier to deal with your own child’s vomit as opposed to another kid. I hope Isabelle’s on the mend, but I hear this flu is nasty stuff.

  13. Oh Stacy I love how you captured the REAL measure of a MOM’S love….we clean up puke….of course we do a WHOLE lot more..but we also clean up puke! I hope she has a speedy recovery as these events often offer fast in and fast out scenarios….if not, I hope she is well enough for some wonderful cuddles and some good stories!

  14. That is a lesson I try to instill in my teachers! Family first! I am glad of your throw-up streak in the classroom was vomit-proof! I tend to think that my first grown-up act as a teen was to not wake my mom up in the middle of the night when I was threw up and cleaned it up myself! (I was truly sick!) I’ve only had my kid throw-up once so far. I left that to her dad!

  15. Two truths… family first and not anything much worse than vomit! When my now 30-something son was about 10 and my Army husband was out of the country on a temporary duty, my son got a stomach bug, and threw up from the top bunk on top of the Legos he had been building with on the floor. It was awful! The only other incident that might have been worse was the time my daughter threw up in the back seat of the car…after having spaghetti for dinner.

    Just this week here at my school, a 4th grader got up to get a tissue and vomited all over his teacher’s desk and adjoining table with stacks of handouts.

    Hope your little one is all better now. I know she appreciated the tender care.

  16. My kids didn’t have too many stomach bugs, but Michael had constant ear infections & strep throats. One particularly bad day, we watched Sleeping Beauty five times in a row! Hope Isabelle is feeling better!

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