My kids have been attending school for literally six days. During that time, my 7 year old has tried to get out of going by claiming she was sick exactly four times. These attempts prompted me to declare that no one was going to be allowed to stay home from school without a fever!
Fast forward (with the slowest setting because it hasn’t even been 7 days) to Thursday of their first full week of school and the child least likely to lie is dropping silent tears over an alleged stomach ache. Not wanting to be fooled by mini me, I gave her a Hawaiian sweet roll- we all know these are some cure-all carbs- and ushered her into the car with the rest of the crew to head to school. You can imagine my delight when I used the drop-off line for the first time and she was sobbing in the back of the minivan while her siblings unloaded. I feigned sweetness for the monitor with whom I used to attend church, telling her that “one of my daughters wasn’t feeling well.”
I tried to conceal my disappointment in losing the chance for perfect attendance. I mean, I don’t even know if they’re eligible when I didn’t enroll them until 2 days prior to Thanksgiving Break. Not to mention the fact that there are still two more of my children in the running, so it’s not the end of the world. My overly empathetic daughter was already worried I was angry with her for being sick and missing school, so I needed to reassure her that I wasn’t upset.
So much of parenting involves pretending. They should offer an acting workshop with birth classes.
The other thing about having multiple children is that every move you make with one child, will be scrutinized by the others. Never show weakness! I sent my daughter to her tv-less room and told her that she needed to lay down. When her siblings get home from school, she will let them know that there is no fun to be had from staying home!
I’m not a completely callous mother, so I did go in to check on her. She was asleep, so I surmised she really was sick- poor thing. Either way, today we set the household sick day standard.