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First Day Of Pre-K 4 Was A Bust!

JD had his first day of Pre-K 4 last Wednesday! Although he’s been in school since he was two and attends during the summer, this was still a big deal in our house. I packed his lunch and snacks the night before. We picked out a cool first day outfit: Old Navy jeans, a Lightening McQueen shirt and new Nikes. JD was ready to conquer Pre-K 4! Well…

The day before he had his yearly physical and my kiddo is in tip-top health. Since cold and flu season are upon us, I decided to get the flu shot out of the way. My Ped also recommended doing the Polio vaccine, which is mandatory for kindergarten (next year). I just didn’t count on a reaction, because JD has never reacted to vaccines—no fever, no mushiness, no sleepless nights—nada. I guess I should have knocked on wood! Everything you need to know about vaccines.

JD had a low fever (eh, about 99) on Tuesday evening and was complaining of localized pain in both arms where he got the shots. He ate minimal dinner and whined during bath-time and books. All he wanted was his blanky. I was able to get him to sleep in his bed, but he later joined me in mine with “a broken arm,” as he described the pain and a 103 fever. Then he threw up on me. No further comment on that. Just it was 2 AM. And I remained calm.

Since JD refuses to take medication, I had to sneak it in fruit juice and negotiate swallowing: “In the morning we’ll build a super-big, super cool, Lego tower! Drink up!” He drank the full cup over a twenty-minute period and fell asleep next to me. I however agonized about calling out of work, because JD was obviously sick. I tossed and turned and didn’t sleep much.

In the morning JD woke up and promptly asked for a banana (good sign!). He had no fever (phew!), but his arm was still “broken.” We got ready for school and work. It was raining and still flooded in the surrounding areas. The traffic was insane. I rushed him into school and didn’t even snap a first day of Pre-K 4 pic. I realized this while sitting in traffic on my way to a freelance magazine gig.

The morning pressed on and I spent most of it in the closet organizing and returning clothes from a recent photo shoot. And then my cell rang, flashing JD’s school. They only call when something is wrong. Something was wrong. JD refused to eat lunch and had a 101.6 fever. The school requires dismissal at 101.8. My son was sick and I was at work, nowhere near his school. I called my dad, who was busy but agreed to get JD and stay with him until I got home from work. As a freelancer, I’m only contracted to jobs on-site every so often and it’s important I show up—or I don’t get paid.

When I got home, I found JD in his pajamas eating plain pasta with my Dad. His fever was now 100. My Dad left and we finger-painted until bedtime. JD was fine by the following morning. He’s back at school and loving his new classroom, teachers and friends. I still haven’t taken that first day of Pre-K 4 pic.

Do your kids react to vaccines? Are you against vaccines? As a single parent, who do you call for help?

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