Thursday, February 25, 2010


I discovered four calls and two messages from Daisy’s school today after leaving my phone in the car. I breathlessly checked voicemail. The message from the school secretary who doubles as the nurse was, “I just wanted to let you know that your daughter came to the office because she thought she was having a heart attack . . .” A torturously long message ensued . . . minutes went by as the lady detailed every conversation she had with my daughter as well as a play-by-play of what happened at school. Come on, come on . . . is she OK now? What would make a six-year-old think heart attack? I hung up before the first message was over and called the school.

Apparently, Daisy was worried that her heart was beating fast and she was sure it was a heart attack. The secretary asked if she had been running. The answer was yes. Daisy was acting like something was really wrong, so they had her rest on a cot. Then, they sent her back to class where she went back and forth between acting normal and very distressed. I decided not to pick her up. Last year, she had stress-induced stomachaches at school and went to the office daily to ask to go home. The habit was solidified after that one day I picked her up.

I shared our heart attack scare with Daisy’s best friend’s mom at pick-up. Daisy has been devoted to her best friend since preschool, even when so-called BF would say mean things to her and run away. Daisy lives for BF. So, Daisy and I have many conversations around: it’s OK to have more than one best friend, friends don’t always agree (a big issue of contention is that BF hates pink while Daisy loves it but pretends to hate it), everyone needs space, and sometimes you need to stick up for yourself.

A conflict recently arose at lunch. I have finally found something Daisy will eat almost every day for school lunch after wasting many, many sandwiches. Who knew she would be satisfied with refried beans, salsa and grated cheese, kept warm in a Hello Kitty thermos? The problem is BF thinks it’s gross, so Daisy sometimes doesn’t eat her main course. I had the “friends don’t always agree” talk and explained that not only is taste in food subjective, BF happens to be an extraordinarily picky eater. I personally wouldn’t eat the food BF eats, but I ain’t mad at her. I advised Daisy to tell BF that she likes her lunch and isn't interested in anyone else's opinion about it. Daisy marched up to BF the next day and blurted out, “My mom thinks your food is gross.”

BF’s mom laughed when I told her about Daisy’s heart attack. There had been some excitement at their house the night before. A fire truck and ambulance had arrived next door, and she had explained to BF that the neighbor might have had a heart attack. BF was enthralled with the idea of dying from a heart attack, so she must have come to school all fired up. I can totally see what happened . . . Daisy noticed her heart beating at recess and panicked, “Heart attack!”

BF’s mom made an interesting comment. She said BF tends to be lacking in empathy while Daisy feels everything. I had never thought about it in those terms. She might be right. The girls are now very devoted to each other, but there is no shortage of drama. I shudder to think of adolescence.


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