But I wanted the FRESH baked cookies....

I’ve always bragged that I never get sick.  And it used to be, back in the day, that I never did! The secretary would tease me when I DID call in sick, and ask what was really happening. 

I spent most of my life thinking about how odd it was that people DID get  sick.  Why was it that some people were sick ALL THE TIME?  I would shake my head and thank God for my super-immune system.

Over the years I’ve been sneezed on, coughed on, fallen on and puked on. I’ve always been surprised that most of the germs have avoided me altogether; until yesterday.

We’ve had a crazy stomach flu running rampant in the building.  It’s moved like a Ninja from room to room, child to child and teacher to teacher.  I didn’t pay too much attention to it, save for the horrible incident that involved Stanley, a garbage can and my inability to reach him in time last week.   

Then Monday Poppy came in all excited to share about her brother’s birthday party.  “We had SO much fun! There were tons and tons of people there and we had a bouncy house and TEN people threw up from the bouncy house!”  She was all smiles as she proceeded to go on and on about the party.  I was enthralled by her story and just can’t get enough of her.  "You love  me, don't you Ms. Smythe?" she always says.  I always agree. 

Then yesterday the Ninja made its move.  About lunchtime my stomach started rumbling.  I excused myself more than once and knew my room was in the capable hands of my student teacher.  Then, at 1:30 a wave washed over me and I saw stars.  I was convinced I was going to toss some cookies in the classroom and panicked for a minute.  The kids were walking out the door for gym, and took a few minutes to lay down on the carpet and compose myself.  (I know, I know, but it was my only option.  And apparently, the germs were already INSIDE my body…)

After about 15 minutes or so I felt a bit better, and sat at the table and waited for gym to be over and for the kids to board their buses.  I was a bit woozy, but managed to clean the room a bit, pack my teacher bag and gently made my way out the door.

I walked out towards the parking lot and felt another wave rush over me.  This time, I could feel the cookies as they made their way to the exit ramp.

I was walking down the pathway- my car in sight – when my little Poppy ran over to me!  She was playing on the playground with her mom and wanted to say goodbye.  I told her I was not feeling well, and she turned and ran back.

I was ALMOST at my car when it happened.  I tossed my cookies like it was an Olympic event.  I tossed them beside my car with Poppy, her mother, other moms and ALL of the children from the after-school program watching from the playground.  When  I composed myself I looked up towards Poppy and saw her mom holding her and shielding her as if she has just witnessed a horrible train wreck and didn’t want her to see the carnage.


And so now when Poppy remembers first grade she probably won’t remember the field trips, the performances, the laughing, the crafts, the dancing, the singing and the learning.

Nope.  She’ll remember the day Mrs. Smythe threw up like a six year-old all over the parking lot one fine spring day.    



Formerly known as Frau said...

Omg....I'm so sorry! Damn kiddos and their germs! Hope you are feeling better!

Yo said...

Okay. Ohmygod. Can I laugh? Or should I feel sorry for Poppy? Omygod. I'm laughing that old man raspy laugh!

I'm ... in AWE of your writing skills.

#1Nana said...

Another great example of the horrible experience being worth it for the story!

I used to get sick at the beginning of the school year...just once. I always thought that in September I hadn't built up immunity to those germ containment devices, ummm, I mean students.

Gigi said...

Yes, without a doubt, THAT is what Poppy is going to remember forever. Unless, of course, you come up with something even MORE memorable for her.

Japolina said...

Well at least the parents knew that a stomach flu was running through the school or they might have thought you were hitting the vodka during show and tell. Hope you feel better soon !

Jenny Hart Boren said...

Good heavens, if there is ANYTHING worse than vomiting in your own nice clean bathroom (and almost nothing is)--it has to be vomiting anywhere in public. Splat. Ugh. Kill me now, right?

kellyg said...

The Sophie's Choice -- inside your car or all over the ground. One is less traumatic for the audience but maybe more so for you depending on your feeling about cleaning up barf.

Personally, I think you made the right "choice".

viridian said...

Oh dear oh dear.
At least it wasn't on your car upholstery?

Scope said...

Sorry to hear that. At least is wasn't Monday morning and people thinking you had the "bottle flu".

Unknown said...

We don't have stomach flu in southern Maryland, maybe it's time for a visit.

G. B. Miller said...

I have to admit, I did that once in public. While bowling. Not on the lane fortunately, but while running to the bathroom it came out all over the rug.

Father Nature's Corner

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