I used to be a reporter. I was a man who was paid to be confronted by an issue, to wade through the deceptions and discover the truth and then promulgate the truth to the people. Yeah, I know.

I must have gotten a little rusty as my five year old came down the stairs this morning claiming to be sick. Now, mind you I’ve got four other kids. I’m no slouch at telling if kids are faking. If any kids are reading this, the dead giveaway is the overacting.

My now nine year old daughter used to come down the stairs each morning like a multiple stabbing victim. It was so common that the other kids would grade her performance many mornings. Each morning she felt she had to come up with a new symptom. These new symptoms didn’t replace the old symptoms, they were simply added to as if she was the victim of some calamitous disease. One morning, the poor girl was running out of distressed body parts, so she was forced to complain that her hair hurt.

That symptom has become a family joke in the house, and code for faking sick. If anyone comes down saying they don’t feel well the others will ask them if their hair hurts.

But anyway, the five year old didn’t come down the stairs overacting. She simply walked right up to me and said her stomach wasn’t feeling well. This was strange. I’m used to wincing, groaning, and acting as if they’re attempting to hold their spleen in their body by pressing on some vague part of their stomach. I asked if she wanted to try eating and she said no. I told her that she could have a cupcake for breakfast if she agreed to eat. She didn’t even blink. She said no thank you.

I’ll admit it, it was the thank you part that sealed it.

So I let her stay home. On our way home after dropping the others off at school, she asked to go to McDonalds for breakfast. I reminded her she was sick and she actually said, “Oh yeah.”

She’s now playing Wii with a Batman cape on.

I’ve been duped. But she’s not getting that cupcake.

*subhead*Sick kid?*subhead*