The Three Week Incubation

We’re into the third week of school and naturally that means I have a sick kid. Sir Monkeypants said yesterday morning, as I was calling the school to report an absence, that in the future I should just book off the third and maybe forth weeks of September to do no work at all, because there will obviously be sick kids parading through in a revolving door of sneezing, hacking, and lying around feverish on the couch in front of Indiana Jones/iCarly/The Little Mermaid (as applicable). Grrrr.

At the moment it’s Little Miss Sunshine on the couch, into her second day of illness. It’s just a cold, but a rotten one, and no one else wants my kid coughing all over their kid at school. But despite the fact that it was an easy call today, I’m still super pouty about it. Kids who stay home sick get a stern lecture about how this is Mommy’s Work Time and they are to Remain Quiet and Rest and that Mommy Is Not Available For Play. That does not stop them, though, from needing to eat, and needing to be comforted with a hot water bottle, and needing to ask for help with the DVD player, and needing to be SUPER BORED and annoy the pants out of me as they beg me to PLAY WITH THEM, just for a little while, please.

So it always ends up that I do no work, and fret about it all day long, and then get cranky, and then no one is happy. Why can’t my kids just live in a bubble and never get sick? Is that too much to ask? I THINK NOT.

While the Little Miss is at home we fortunately (well, not for her, but for me) have her homework book here to work away on, and she has an assignment this week to build a family tree, so we have been looking into that a bit. She has to write down the names of her parents and grandparents and siblings, and talk about her heritage, and then list a few key events from her life. This has led to an interesting point of discussion (at least for me) about how long a family history has to go back in a country to be considered “from” that country.

For example, filling out Sir Monkeypants’ side of things was pretty easy – where it said “my father’s relatives come from …” we wrote “India”, because he is of Indian heritage but also, his parents were actually born in India (although raised in Africa, but that’s another story). So you could clearly point to a family link to India and familiarity with Indian languages and customs and food.

But for me, answering this question was a lot harder. I’m a mongrel mix of various European cultures, mostly English and Scottish, but my family has been in Canada for like, five generations now, and I certainly no longer have any relatives that live overseas. But I think the idea of the project is to get an idea of how other cultures influence your history, so in the end I told her to write “my mother’s relatives come from England” even though my full knowledge of English culture comes from James Bond movies and articles in People magazine about Prince George and his future sibling (Royal Baby Watch, SQUEE).

So what do you think – how long before I can just say, “my mother’s relatives come from Canada”? Are North Americans ever “from” here? Or are we all, in perpetuity, “from” somewhere else?

Guess taking care of a sick kid puts me in a philosophical frame of mind.

7 thoughts on “The Three Week Incubation

  1. I had a kid home on Fri but that was not because he was so sick he couldn’t get out of bed, it was more a ‘coughing a little bit and exhausted from the tourney’ so I figured, if he doesn’t get rid of whatever is incubating in him NOW he’ll be sick LATER and I don’t want ANYONE home other then me. So I get it. Poor you.

    My kids consider themselves part Swiss because I am, even though they’ve never been to Switzerland. My mom and I still speak to each other in Swiss German so they think that’s cool, but they don’t know the language (except for a few words). Still, it’s cute how they identify themselves with my culture. Same with Italy – my dad is Italian and he and my mom speak Italian with each other, so they consider that part of their culture too. Being Canadian is so….interesting, isn’t it.


  2. Hmmm. Mr’s grandpa came over from Slovakia at age 15 via steamer ship, which I find to be an interesting discussion point. And my great-grandpa came from Norway at a similarly young age. I now realize this has nothing to do with your question, but it’s an interesting discussion we have at our house, how young kids were working kids. My grandpa’s mother died when he was 8 and he never went back to school; he was needed on the farm. That wasn’t *that* long ago, so I think that’s kind of incredible. Anyway…where was I going with this…

    Sorry your kids are sick. Jake got a cold (minor sniffles) on the second DAY of school, and Mark got it as well and is fine but still coughing and where the hell are our bubbles?

  3. My kids bring stuff home, and then SHARE IT.
    I firmly believe that the person who invents the kid equivalent of sheep dip – some kind of disinfectant shower the kids use before entering the house – will be revered and wealthy beyond belief.

    Until then, where is my bubble?

  4. Suzanne

    my and my husband’s great grandparents were all born in Canada. We had that project last year… so we had a discussion about how our families are just, Canadian. Because beyond that is anyone’s guess… 16 great great grandparent from probably 5 or 6 different European countries, a couple of whom probably changed the spelling of their names when they came here…

  5. Sorry, it’s taken me forever to leave this comment. Re: the royal baby watch thing – do you follow I’m ADDICTED. To the point that it’s one of the few sites I check when I get my ten minutes a day of connectivity at the cottage and everyone was in the pool, swimming when I yelled out “Kate had her baby!” George was born on my husband’s birthday, so we even had cake … for my husband, of course …

  6. My dad is Italian so I say I’m half, the kids are a quarter (they say)(let’s learn fractions!) and my other half is Canadian via Scotland but if MY grandparent was born in Canada then I say Canadian. I believe my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland but grandfather was Canadian. Would love to do a full family tree sometime, but I am also afraid I will go down rabbit hole of ancestry and not return for years.

    Oh I hate kid sickness hate hate hate. It’s one of my worst qualities as a parent, how wound up I get about kids being sick. It doesn’t scare me or anything, it just irritates me. And then I feel guilty because of all the people whose kids are really sick. But it never fails, whenever i make a plan of any kind more than two weeks in advance I end up having to cancel it at last minute because of sickness. ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, it is getting better as they get older, and ALSO, last year both my kids had hand foot & mouth the first two weeks of school (caught at a late august birthday party) and I’m just so grateful that isn’t happening again right now. I’m curious to see if our delayed start to the school year maybe eliminates some of the september sicknesses. (or just turns them into October sicknesses..says pessimist brain)

  7. What a fantastic question, Lynn! One I am going to have to ponder and blog about. I mean the genealogical one, not the how is it that my kids pick up every random germ at week three of the new school year one. (You’ll have to teach me how to do a… ‘trackback’ – do I have that right? – so I can reference where this GREAT QUESTION came from! 🙂

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