Making amends

I really hoped to see Spitfire before we left for Thanksgiving break, but this week was minimum days so she didn't stay for lunch at all. I couldn't think of a reason to call her out of class, so instead I dropped this note and a few stickers in her teacher's mailbox yesterday for her, hoping she'd see that even if I'm having a baby, I'm still thinking of her. 

Spitfire came to the office this morning with a 400+ blood sugar, and the health clerk called me to let me know. She told me Spitfire asked her if she had noticed anything different about me lately, and the health clerk and I both jumped to the same conclusion: Let's let her be the one to "tell" the health clerk, who of course has known for months. The health clerk played dumb, asking me if there was anything different about me, and I asked her to put me on the phone with Spitfire. I told Spitfire to go ahead and tell her the news, and I heard her say to the health clerk, "She's having a baby!"

The health clerk did a fantastic job of acting stunned, and told me later that Spitfire was just beaming with the belief that she and I are best friends, and knew the big news before the health clerk did. Spitfire ended up staying for lunch today, I don't think any sort of coincidence that she did so after the note I gave her reached her yesterday, and she giggled to herself while the health clerk interrogated me about the "news" of the baby. It was awesome.

Less awesome was that she continued to ask if I could put the baby up for adoption, and even suggested a foster home if I just wanted to do so temporarily. (I don't even think I knew what fostering was at 5th grade.) <Sigh.>

She left saying, "I still think you should put it up for adoption," but just as soon as she was out the door, she stepped back to say, "Thanks for the note and the stickers, I liked that."

Happy Thanksgiving!


Kids are so cute.

I love it when they think they are my only student that I see. A girl was in my office for the mysterious stomachache, and asked me, "Do you remember when I was in here when I bumped my knee? It had a bruise, but now it's all better."

Of course I didn't remember her, so all I could say was, "I'm glad you're better now," but it's my favorite (or one of my favorites) thing when kids think they are the center of my world.



Lice in the news: Q&A: MORE LENIENT LICE POLICIES BUG SOME PARENTS. Happily, there's been surprisingly little fuss that I've received (from parents, there's been plenty from school staff) about our new policy.

Our computers were down this morning, so I had to pull paper emergency cards to call home for a couple of kids. One didn't feel well, and was speaking to me in horribly structured sentences. His emergency card explained why; under "Language Spoken" someone had written "Einglish." And on another, under "Language Spoken" on the English version, someone had written "Ingles." With auto-correct on smartphones, I fear what will be happening to our written language over the next generation. (Yes, I am aware I sound about 200 years old.)


The cat's out of the bag

The secretaries at Diabetic Land had agreed that Spitfire shouldn't know of my pregnancy until she needed to. She's had a rough home life, plenty of abandonment issues, and none of us wanted her to know I'd be leaving her early this year...or so I'd thought. One secretary just couldn't keep the secret anymore, and told Spitfire today to see if she noticed anything different on me. When she returned after lunch, Spitfire began the interrogation: did you cut your hair? New shoes? New sweater? New nose? Eventually, she said, "You're having a baby."

I responded yes so calmly that she didn't believe me, and continued on with her guessing until I stopped her and told her that I was telling the truth; I'm pregnant. She didn't hide the shock on her face, wouldn't even look me in the eye for some time. I showed her the ultrasound picture and told her that it was mine; she asked if the baby had a daddy. She wanted to see a picture of my husband, and briefly giggled when she saw he has a beard before bringing us back to the subject at hand.

"Who's going to be my nurse? I am so disappointed in you. I can't believe this. I am so disappointed in you. I can't believe this. Can you give birth here in this office? I need a nurse, I can't do this by myself. I'm so disappointed in you."

I tried to reassure her, telling her the baby is still a long ways off, and promised I will be her nurse as long as possible. It did no good. In between her repeated statements of how disappointed in me she is, she asked, "Could you put the baby up for adoption so you could still be my nurse?"

She left looking dejected and continuing to repeat her disappointment in me as she left my office. The timing couldn't have been worse, either: a Friday afternoon when next week are minimum days so I won't see her unless she happens to stay for lunch (which she never does), followed by Thanksgiving break. It'll be 2 1/2 weeks before I see her again.


(I informed the secretary who had spilled the beans that she didn't take it well, and that was precisely the reason I'd been trying to postpone telling her. I can only hope she felt some guilt.)


Just another day...

My morning at the Institution started off helping out a vomiting 7th grader, and, let me tell you, there's nothing quite like being nearly five months pregnant and already nauseous when you need to help a sick little girl. Lovely. In seemingly no time, my diabetic was here for her insulin. Shortly after, I got a call from another nurse. She'd been on standby for jury duty and just received notice that she needed to be in court shortly, so I flew off to go cover her diabetic. While at the foreign middle school taking care of her diabetic, they asked me to do a vision check and call the parent of a student who'd been elbowed in the eye earlier in the day, plus a few small first aid issues. I finally made it to Diabetic Land, where in the few minutes I was there before Spitfire made it to the office, I was told to go get the wheelchair; a student on the playground had twisted his ankle. I took care of him, the student that had vomited on the tetherball, the girl who scraped and skinned her knee, gave out some Ritalin, after Spitfire's blood sugar check and before she returned for her insulin. Finally, two hours after I'd left, I made it back to the Institution where I scarfed down my end-of-the-day lunch while trying to input some last minute IEP information that, not surprisingly, I've been getting behind on. 



Putting things in perspective

I've been slacking big time on this blog this year, and it's not just because we're understaffed, I blame this little thumb-sucking cutie: 

That's my baby!! Being pregnant has been awesome (and not, but hopefully afterward I'll have amnesia about that part of it like every other mother seems to get) and exhausting, and I've been letting other things go in favor of...well, doing absolutely nothing, outside of growing a human being. I'll have to catch this up more when I'm more energized than I am now (hah! Energy is something I left behind about four months ago.), but our district appears to be gearing up to follow suit of surrounding districts and replace us RNs with LVNs. It's a move I can't argue with, it'll allow the district to hire more nurses at a lower cost, and rather than be terrified that I will surely not have this job in two years from now - and a young child - I'm finding myself quite unconcerned with the matter. Nothing like a baby inside of you to put life in perspective. 

I'm due at the end of March, and I sent an email today to my assigned HR person to ask how maternity leave works. In Exhibit A of just how inefficient our school districts are, my HR lady replied back to say that she was forwarding my email to a different HR employee, who then replied back to me to say she was forwarding my email again to a different, and finally correct, HR employee. It appears, albeit with a pay cut, I'll be able to afford to leave from birth through summer. Hallelujah. 


In the hood

Yesterday morning there was a buzzing that went on a little too closely, and a little too long: our school was surrounded by a couple of helicopters. Add that to the non-stop sound of sirens, and we all started looking around at each other. The principal asked the secretary to call the police department to make sure that we didn't need to be on lockdown. The response from the police department: "Sure, students can be outside. They're just photographing a crime scene." Lovely.

Found out later on the news it was (another) shooting. The usual around here.