Now, I know my kids aren’t perfect, but they are generally good kids. On my best days as a mother, I feel proud to have raised courteous children who often receive compliments for their behavior in public. On my really good parenting days, I can’t even find fault with their behavior in private, and I relish in their antics at home. There is one thing about my kids, however, that drives me crazy: They are afebrile.
That is not to say that they never run a fever when sick, but they hardly ever do.
The rules of mothering dictate that she must nurse her children to health, spoiling them with cold compresses and popsicles when they have fever. I am unable to fulfill such simple duties because my kids’ bodies lack the common courtesy to inform me of their illnesses.
As a result of his afebrile tendencies, my son’s eardrum has burst on multiple occasions, with that being the only indication that he’d contracted an ear infection. My daughter, who tends toward stomach bugs, has thrown up in school many times, and once had strep throat for more than a week before being diagnosed. These were not proud parenting moments for me.
Fever is the body’s alert mechanism for mothers; often the first and best indication that her child is sick. Of course, I’m speaking of average children, who care enough about their mothers to keep them in the loop. My kids, instead, prefer to keep me guessing. By eschewing fever, they challenge me to be a better mom; one who has to raise her children to be tuned in to their own bodies and health — seeing as how their external monitors are a tad unreliable.