From Chicken Soup for the Working Mom's Soul

Moms Know Everything

It was a dark and rainy Wednesday when my parents woke me up. I felt as gloomy as the weather—I had a spelling quiz later that day. I was in first grade, and it was to be my first quiz ever. Did I really know all the words? Or was I clueless? I wasn’t planning to find out.

The night before, I schemed what I thought was a perfectly mischievous plan, sure to fool both of my parents. As I sleepily opened my eyes, I let out a horrific groan. “Mommy,” I whined, “my stomach hurts.” I groaned once again to make sure that my mom had believed what I said.

“You have a stomachache?” my mother kindly asked, and I nodded with yet another moan. “Does it hurt anywhere else, honey?” my mother questioned me again, feeling my forehead.

“No, not right now,” I replied.

My mother took my temperature as my father leaned over me with concern in his eyes. I was usually a very healthy child, and up-to-date on all my shots, so my parents pondered what could be wrong. The thermometer beeped, revealing that I did not have a fever. My mom looked from the thermometer to me and back again to the thermometer. I knew something clicked in her head. My mom knew that I had a spelling quiz that day and that I did not complain when I was sick. The thermometer signaled that I was okay, and I looked as healthy as ever.

With a twinkle in her eye, my mom instructed me to lift up my shirt so she could examine my tummy. Just some stomach prodding and I’ll be on my way to skipping school and that dreadful quiz, I thought.

My mother gently poked my stomach and made knowing noises, “Hmm, umm, yes, yes.” I couldn’t take it any longer and let out a yelp of laughter, and was soon rolling around screaming with giggles as my mother proceeded to tickle me.

As I settled down, everyone knew my cover was blown and that I was not sick. I desperately insisted that I was in agony and then, knowing that was useless, started begging to stay home. My parents refused, and slowly I got dressed and ready for school.

Later that day, I found out that spelling quizzes weren’t really monsters out to eat me, but soon-to-be familiar parts of my school days. Since then, I have never faked being sick because I haven’t needed to. I also know that it is nearly impossible to fool my mom, a pediatrician, into believing that I am sick when I’m not. After all, moms know everything.

Emily Rider-Longmaid

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