From Rules I Never Thought I’d Need: Do not cut the screen out of its frame in the window.
When Kayla was in 1st grade, she had walking pneumonia. Nothing serious, but it was very odd – she never coughed, she never complained of any breathing trouble, she just suddenly spiked a high temperature. When she had a fever, she felt miserable, but once the Tylenol kicked in, she was fine. In fact, she was the happiest, healthiest looking sick child I have ever seen. It was embarrassing sitting in the doctor’s office trying to explain that she was sick when she was so bouncy and happy and looking into everything!
The only way that the doctors found the pneumonia was through a lung x-ray, and that didn’t happen until the second visit. The first time I took her, they tested her for flu and strep (both tests came back negative), so they decided Kayla had a virus. When she wasn’t any better after about two days, I took her back to the doctor, and simply because there was nothing else left to look at, they took x-rays of her lungs. It isn’t often you hear a doctor’s voice float down the hall with a loud “Ah-Hah!”
All of which is a long way of explaining that she had missed 9 days of school for the year already when one Sunday afternoon, with Mark taking a nap and me working in the kitchen, she came out of her bedroom whispering and gesturing for me to come in there. When I went, she showed me her arm, where there was a particularly wicked looking scratch – not deep, but jagged and red around the edges. Because she absolutely could not miss any more school, I needed to know what caused the scratch so I could keep it from getting infected. I noticed a rose sitting on her bedside table, but I didn’t think much of it – Kayla liked to pick the roses in the front back then and bring one or two in from time to time.
After some minutes of whispered questioning so we wouldn’t wake Mark up, she finally mutely pointed to her bedroom window to show where she got the scratch. When I walked over to it, at first I didn’t notice anything, but then I realized that there was no screen in her window, which explained where both the rose and the scratch came from – our roses are beautiful, but very thorny. I then thought how smart it was of her to figure out how to open the scree…. At which point I realized the screen was not opened but gone. Kayla had very neatly cut out the screen from its frame so that she could simply open the window and pick roses without having to travel outside.
I think it had been out for at least a week, because the week before I had come across some screen mesh in my craft closet, and tried to figure out what on earth I would have needed that for. If it hadn’t been for the scratch, I probably wouldn’t have noticed the missing screen for months.
Have a great day!