By K. Hecht, P. Berman & A. Hosack
The bad dream came back. I shouldn’t have drawn the bad daddy.
Davy pulled the covers over his head and ignored his alarm clock. He felt scared. He had the dream again- where his mean daddy was trying to find him in the woods. He would hide all day from the mean daddy. He wouldn’t wake his mother up and then she couldn’t make him go to school. “Davy, sleepy head, turn off that alarm and wake your mommy!” Mrs. Carson said, peeking in his room.
Oh know, Mrs. Carson was up. What …wait, I am sick. I have a stomachache….
Larry got out of bed but kept his eyes on his feet as he slowly trudged towards his mom’s room. He opened the door and sighed deeply. His mom was still in bed, if only Mrs. Carson hadn’t heard his alarm. Now he would have to lie to his mommy. Davy didn’t want to lie but his fear was strong. He sighed again and walked over and pulled the covers off his mommy. He leaned over and kissed her head. (Claire sighs a happy sigh and rolls over and opens her eyes”
“My Davy, I love you so much. Thanks for waking me with a kiss my sweetheart.” His mommy was giving her his big smile. He almost told her the truth, but his fearful thoughts kept his urge strong to not go to school. He had to hide. “Mommy, my tummy hearts. I feel hot,” Davy said, shuffling his feet. Claire was tired but these words woke her out of her sleepy fog. She said up quickly and said, “Davy, please come here so I can feel your forehead?” Davy came over, Claire touched his forehead, it felt pleasantly cool not too hot and not too cold; she was puzzled.
“Davy, I am so glad you told me you aren’t feeling good. You don’t seem to have a fever, but we can check it downstairs with that special new thermometer we got.” (1-minute silence) Davy kept looking down; he showed no sign of excitement. Claire was even more puzzled now, last time she took his temperature, Davy had insisted on taking hers too. He so loved gadgets. He must be sick.
Claire got out of bed and started to dress quickly. “Davy, please go downstairs and tell Mrs. Carson you aren’t feeling good and need a tummy friendly breakfast. If you are still feeling bad after breakfast, I will call the school and tell them you are staying home today.” Davy walked slowly out of her room and began going down the stairs. It was easier to pretend to be sick now because he felt so ashamed after lying to his mommy and now, he would be lying to Mrs. Carson too. But, when Davy thought of saying anything that included the words, “mean daddy,” his resolve to lie deepened.
Mrs. Carson was used to a bouncing Davy rushing quickly into the kitchen and almost causing her to drop something. The quite Davy shuffling his feet worried her. He told her he wasn’t feeling good and she promptly opened the medicine cabinet to get the new thermometer; she laid it carefully away from the heat of the stove.
Claire came in as Mrs. Carson had started making oatmeal for breakfast. It didn’t bring out her smile like pancakes did but she knew oatmeal would be good for a sick Davy; full of nutrition and not hard to digest. Claire was about to take Davy’s temperature when she saw him go sit down and just put his head on the table.
Something is wrong with my Davy. Should I take the day off from work?
Davy had no temperature. But he had no interest in taking anyone’s temperature either. All the adults at the breakfast table kept taking looks at him as he slowly nibbled on his oatmeal. Their bowls had fruit, his was just plain old oatmeal because his tummy was supposed to hurt; the lies were making it hurt.
After ten minutes of not really eating, Davy pushed the bowl away and said, “I’m just not hungry. Can I go back to bed please?” Claire took him upstairs and tucked him in. She kissed his forehead and said, “dream sweetly my Davy.”
I don’t deserve sweet dreams. I am a bad boy today. I am too scared to be good.
Davy had bad thoughts about himself for lying, but then went fast asleep. He was very tired from his troubled night sleep. Claire watched him for a few minutes and then went back downstairs to talk to the Carsons. They weren’t worried like she was. “It’s time for him to get some additional grownup teeth Claire,” Mrs. Carson said. “My children tended to feel feverish and just not themselves before a new tooth would pop out.” Mr. Carson agreed, “don’t worry Claire. Go to work. I can easily stay home today with Davy and play quiet games with him. If he shows any signs of getting worse, I will call you.”
What would I do without the Carsons! How could I handle Davy getting sick if I lived alone?
Not all single parents can get help with childcare costs, especially for a sick child. But if you qualify for help due to low, or very low income, The Child Care and Development Fund grant may be available to help you while you are employed or in school. For more information about the office to contact in your state, visit: https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/615