Sick kids are shape shifters. At any given time you are left guessing how sick they really are, because they will go from appearing to be on death's door to running around and singing, all within the span of an hour. Lethargic to laughing, and back.
As a parent, the question we have to answer on a regular basis is whether or not a child is okay for day care. The problem is that "okay" can take different forms depending on the demands of our lives. It sucks, but the reality is that there are some days where we are willing to push the envelope because our schedules are jammed up and the consequences of one of us staying home is a missed deadline, canceled class or some other undesirable result.
I know that in the grand scheme of things, making sure the Wee One stays healthy is more important than any of these things, but this is where the shape shifting comes in. Sometimes it is virtually impossible to determine how sick a child is. No fever but a cough? How bad is it? Sometimes she's better by the afternoon, sometimes not, but predicting the end result is harder than filling out a winning March Madness bracket.
Day cares are half full of sick kids all the time because all parents are weighing these decisions almost year-round. If we took a day every time the Wee One looked like she was a little sick we would both burn through our sick and vacation time by April every year. So, we play the game and hope not to lose too badly.
Yesterday we lost, but today I get to snuggle with a cuddly kid who is in pretty good spirits for someone as sick as she is.