Have you Heard of this Childhood Epidemic: IDWS

Please take a moment to read and forward this warning about an epidemic affecting 7-18 year olds across the country. 

They call it IDWS (I Dun Wannagoda Skool).  My son has a chronic case of it and it appears to be going around.  Apparently, it affects the tummy leg and in rare cases, the elbow.

My son hates dislikes elementary school, as did his mother before him and her father before her.  It may be genetic.  Plus, I was the kid who complained of tummy aches on a daily basis and spent more time in the nurse’s office than in reading group, which makes it hard not to overtly empathize with him.  My vain attempts to make the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade, which he’s currently in, sound fun are thin veils over my bitter repressed memories.

Let’s be honest, unless you’re one of those nerdy kids who likes to stay quiet and screams “yippee” when the teacher give extra homework, elementary school does kinda suck.  Preschool was fun; you played and then you played,  and then you ate (while playing with your food) and then you napped, and then you played some more.  Then you went on a play-date, and then you went to sleep and started again on Tuesday.

In elementary school you have to be quiet and sit still.   You must control your shaking leg, your yapping mouth, your tapping finger, your automatic pencil clicking, and your wandering mind.  And that’s all before you’ve done a lick of work.  It’s a tough gig.

Many mornings my boy is overcome with “IDWS.”   His tummy hurts, his head hurts, his heart hurts.  Being a neurotic hypochondriac, I’m usually somewhere between, “give me a break,” and “call 911!”
Well, this morning he had it bad.  I knew last night I was going to give him a break, but to watch him work for it was half the fun.

“Ouch, my tummy!  My leg.  Oww,  cry cry, my leg, oh my leg.” fall to ground grab leg and writhe in pain. “I can’t walk.”

“Sweetie, what’s the matter?”

“My  leg hurts and also my elbow.. oww my elbow.  My elbow.”

Ah, the ever popular elbow pain, always adds a layer of truism.  Who is teaching him this, his father?  Definitely not me, a few lessons from a seasoned pro like myself and he would never pull this elbow pain crap.

“This tummy-leg-elbow thing sounds bad!  What hurts the most?”

“My elbow.  No, now it’s my leg… and tummy.  Oh, they all hurt.”  He whined, as he pulled the thermometer from his mouth for the 10th time.

“Still no temperature?”

“Oh, there’s temperature Mom.  It said 95 that’s high.  That’s like boiling.  Whoa, this time it said 98, Oh G-d, I’m getting worse.  Ow… my elbow.”

“Well, that is a temperature.”

I can’t wait to put in his absence excuse.  Please excuse Jake, he had a 98 degree temperature, which as you know is almost boiling.  Oh, and he had distinct, chronic elbow pain.

“It really hurts, I think need to lie down.” He said with the back of his hand to his forehead in a pretty good Scarlet O’Hara imitation.

“I know it hurts, but it’s probably growing pains. You’re getting taller and apparently you’re going to have one huge monster elbow.”

“That’s not funny, I’m sick.  My heart hurts… and my throat.”

I know, it was probably insensitive of me to joke at a time like that.

Soon, he’ll discover the old thermometer under hot water trick and when the display reads 107, I’ll gush at how high his fever is, like my parents, before me did.  Well, before they inevitably snickered amongst themselves.

Look, in my house you get points for creativity.  Once, I got away with wrapping a strawberry fruit rollup around my finger and chewing it off leaving a yucky red rash looking residue, which either fooled the nurse or I impressed her with my resourcefulness.  I know this because I got picked up that day after  putting an ice pack on it.

Or was it a hot water bottle?  Back then they treated everything with one or the other.  Headache… icepack.   Tummy ache… hot water bottle.  Stubbed toe…  icepack followed by a hot water bottle.  My son rarely sees the hot water bottle, but we do use a lot of icepacks.  Yep, that elbow-itis isn’t going to cure itself.

15 thoughts on “Have you Heard of this Childhood Epidemic: IDWS

  1. cherie

    I remember those days…I go too many calls from the Nurse’s office. Although when I was a lass, I also faked illnesses, I even fainted at school. Boy, my mother cam running.

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  3. Katybeth

    Here is what makes those IDWS really sad for me. I pay a very high tuition for them..when Cole was in elementary school…I would remind him that he could hate the free school three blocks from home just as easily as the wildly expensive, drive 45 minute private Waldorf school….he never got my pain..still doesn’t as a freshman. I hated school…i liked being home with my mom…so I am an easy mark. What really hurts is I am pretty sure he is not going to want to go to the local community college so he can stay close to home. Can’t win. I indulge frequently…because truthfully, I like it when he is at home too….. ) The elbow injury gets high marks for creativity!
    Oh, and it was ice pack, hot water bottle, and did you try going to the bathroom? Did you ever figure out how going to the bathroom helped a headache?

  4. Karen Baitch Rosenberg

    No coincidence that calls from our school nurses came during Gym. Fair warning – the elementary IDWSes often turn into high school IDGASs. (I Don’t Give a Shits). Be well, K.

  5. Tiffa

    Jenny this one had me laughing out loud in my office causing my co-worker to shut my door so as to not disturb everyone else. Brillant!

    When I was a young’in the choices were go to school slightly sick or stay home where my mom took pity on us for an hour then it was time to clean the entire house. So, anyway, I did really well in my classes.

    Good luck!!

    Please excuse Jack, he had a 98 degree temperature, which as you know is almost boiling. Oh, and he had distinct, chronic elbow pain. – love it.

  6. Lori Stefanac

    A couple of years ago my boys were at a school with a REALLY nice nurse. She used to give all of the kids ice on a stick. Don’t ask me why plain ice on a stick was such a hot commodity, but it was. I have to assume they sucked on it? Who knows. Anyway, they LOVED going to her office for little “breaks” in the day, which quickly turned into full-fledged sabbaticals. I started getting calls every day from the nurse’s office, for one of my 3 boys. Finally, I had a talk with them. “Unless you have a bone jutting out from your skin, blood gushing from every orifice, a fever so high that your hair is on fire, or your brain has literally fallen out of your ear and landed on the floor…you may NOT visit the nurse!” It worked.

  7. Petula

    You’re hilarious and so is your son. My oldest daughter liked school. I think she likes college, but is currently rethinking that. LOL… My other three children waiver. Sometimes the middle daughter tries to look sick, cough or hold her stomach, but I just roll my eyes before she can say anything and she’ll do whatever is necessary to get out of the door and away from the mean lady. That would be me!

    I hope he starts liking school soon because he has a long way to go! 😀

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