I think I am pretty alert to my kids and how they are feeling.  Some would disagree but I can usually tell if one of them is being overly dramatic or is truly not feeling well.  I think most moms have this skill… I am not special.

So when my daughter Katie, who LOVES school, woke up Monday morning and told me that she was not feeling well and she wanted to stay home and help me clean, I know something had to be terribly wrong!

She would never offer to help me clean.

I called her pediatrician and they said they were booked solid but would call with an opening.  After all, she had no symptoms.  No fever, no runny nose, no rash.  Just her word that I was taking her on.

I also thought, though, that I would go ahead and take my 4 year old Sarah in as well if they had an opening.  She had complained of headaches the day before which was very unusual for her.  But then, she has been struggling with a little girls illness at her preschool so I kind of thought that she was reacting to that.

The pediatrician never called and by mid day, all three girls seemed to recover from headaches and cleaning fever.  So I chalked it up to a day of hookie, reminded myself that Katie is getting old enough to “play” me and took them to get their hair cuts and then out to lunch.

They got up Tuesday and Katie tried to pull the same thing.  Scolding myself for caving the day before, I climbed over the mess in my living room that little miss, I want to stay home and clean never did pick up and reminded her that school is not optional.  Unless she is burning up with fever.  Or bleeding.  Or it is a holiday.

She went to school and seemed to have a great day.  Wednesday, Sarah went to preschool and Katie went to Kindergarten.  All seemed fine.

Until the both came home and passed out in my bed before 5 o’clock at night.

Not the norm by any means!

So this morning, I called the doctor and told them that Sarah was complaining of headaches again and seemed lethargic.  Katie actually seemed fine this morning but I took her as a tag along just in case the doctor wanted to see her.  I was planning to drop her back at school after the doctor told me she was fine.

We get to the pediatrician, all three girls singing and dancing all the way, excited to waste mommy’s money on another one of those appointments we like to call HA! Gotcha! I’m not sick!, and were called in.  I explained Sarah’s symptoms to the Nurse, told her that maybe Katie needed a talking to from the doctor about the importance of school and told the girls we would be out of there in no time.

The doctor did seem perplexed by my daughter’s symptoms, even scratched his head a little and wondered what tests to take, and finally settled on a strep test – because it is going around – and a blood test for anemia {we have had that issue before}.

Lo and behold, her Strep test came back positive.

And the doctor says, “You other two need to be tested.  But I am booked for appointments today so I need to send you to another doctor.”


We were rushed over to another doctor in the same practice and waited for them to come in, take vitals and start the whole process over again on Katie.  They had decided to waive testing Megan since she had no symptoms.


Sure enough, after I’d already predicted it when the yellow gunk swab came out of my five year old’s screaming throat, Katie had Strep. And they decide to test Megan.

Really now.

So, more scurrying around as they pull her chart, get her vitals, stick the swabs down her throat, try to scream over her crying that they will try to rush the results, and leave me, once again, with three little girls who are all done being nice at the doctor’s office.

When one of the nurses comes in to check one more thing for Megan, I say, “Wouldn’t it have been nice if I had booked them all at once?” and chuckle.

Straight faced, I get, “That would have been very helpful.”


So almost 2 and a half hours later, one child screaming because she got a shot in her leg, another screaming that her finger prick hurts and a third screaming because she refuses to be left out, I left the doctor’s office feeling like the worst parent ever.  All three of my kids were sick and I brushed it off.  My mommy-dar failed.  It left me flat on face, in gravel, for all to see.

Today, Strep Throat made me feel like a bad parent.

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