Save Glinda! | Teeny Manolo






Save Glinda!

By Glinda

Total Faker!

School started for my son on Sept. 4, and as of today, I think he has spent almost as much time at home as he has in class.  He keeps getting sick, and since he complains that he doesn’t like school, I keep having to play an annoying guessing game as to whether he is truly ill or just feels like playing with his pirate ship for the day instead of participating in circle time.

That has got to be one of the trickier things I’ve yet to stumble across as a parent, trying to figure out if your child is really sick or if they simply don’t feel like going to school.

My mother had a very strict policy about staying home from school. Unless you had a very high fever (over 100) or were actively (emphasis on actively) throwing up, your butt was going to be hauled off to school.  And sometimes even then, your odds were fifty-fifty. I was a student who normally loved school, so you would have thought she could have cut me a little slack when said I wasn’t feeling well. Being a nurse, my mother showed no mercy whatsoever, seeing as how she saw truly sick people every darn day young lady, and a kid with the sniffles didn’t qualify as sick in her book.

I was never sly enough to pull any tricks a la Ferris Bueller, so my attendance record was practically flawless.  But the valuable advice I got from that movie will stay with me forever as a parent. Trust me, I am always going to walk into the room instead of hovering at the doorway.  Mark my words.

As my son is still in pre-K, I tend to be a lot more lenient than my mother ever was.  All right, so he will miss out on some painting and reading and social interaction, but there is no letter grade to earn or points to be missed, so for me it is not a big deal. I figure if he was going to fake being sick, as a five year old, it wouldn’t be comprised of such a detailed plan.  It takes a lot of forethought to wake yourself up in the wee hours of the morning to scream that you need a Kleenex. And a cough drop.  And some water…

I have a sneaking suspicion that he is having a hard time adjusting to the new schedule, but then you walk that fine line where they get sicker if you push them. And really, I’d rather have a few hours to myself than listening to him sing “A Pirate’s Life for Me” one more time. I’m selfish that way, I know.  I did that on Friday, and have since been rewarded for my self-centeredness by having a hacking, snotty child less than ten feet away from me at any given moment.

I am very aware that attendance in school is an important part of success. 

But I still have this feeling that my son is going to stay home a lot more than I ever did.

And maybe, just maybe, there will be a few days when we wake up and I suggest, “Why don’t we go somewhere fun today?”

Does that make me a bad mom? Or just a mom who will never have to worry about her son being chased through backyards by a deranged principal?  See, I’ll be doing him a favor.









10 Responses to “Save Glinda!”




  1. Beenzzz Says:

    No, it doesn’t make you a bad mom at all. Forcing him to go to school when he’s obviously stressed about it, will only make it worse. I HATED school as a child. I would get horrible stomach aches. I remember when we first moved to the U.S., I would throw up almost every day. I think it was because of the huge change in our lives. Please help Mr. P. out so he doesn’t get that bad. I’m not saying keep him home with you every day, but create a nice peaceful environment for him during his ride to school. Maybe his favorite music. Something to calm him down. Also, maybe volunteering in his classroom as well. That will build his confidence and put his mind at ease knowing that you are an active part of his schooling.




  2. JaneC Says:

    You should definitely feel free to take your child for a special day out once in a while, if it suits you and he doesn’t have any important school things to do that day. My parents did this sometimes. Sometimes they kept me home from school field trips that they didn’t think I would enjoy; my 5th grade teacher, for instance, took the class to a baseball game, ostensibly as a math lesson. I loathed sports of all kinds, so Mom and Dad took the day off work and we all went to a museum and had a picnic lunch instead. I still got an A in math class.

    Also, if your child is genuinely ill with something that might be infectious, his teachers would probably rather that he didn’t come to school and infect everyone else. If he’s ill because he’s stressed about school, Beenzzz’s suggestions are good.




  3. ML Says:

    It’s probably a wise thing to take your child out of school occasionally if it’s stressing him out so much that he gets sick. Not worth it to have them get traumatized.




  4. dgm Says:

    If he’s hacking and snotty, he’s probably not faking it. But if there are other times with no apparent symptoms, I’m guessing he doesn’t like school. I’d try to find out why–is it the teacher? A certain kid? It might be something simple like he is uncomfortable being called on or he doesn’t like circle time or he thinks he doesn’t know all his shapes and he’s embarrassed. If you can get him to tell a puppet or stuffed animal, you might be able to extract the relevant information. My son tells Pierre the Pony all kindsa stuff he wouldn’t tell me.




  5. Ana Says:

    I sounds like he’s genuinely sick. This is the flu season and I’m sure there are plenty of snotty nosed kids in his class that keep the vicious cycle going. Go enjoy that day at the park, he needs some fresh air.




  6. raincoaster Says:

    I think Ferris stole that thermometer lightbulb trick from me.




  7. class-factotum Says:

    As long as it’s not legally required yet, why put him in school?




  8. Julia Says:

    My mother always followed the same routine for sick days: if you were sick enough to stay home, you were sick enough to spend the entire day in bed, eating nutritious food and taking long naps. There was no TV, no computer games, and limited reading time. It was *very* effective. If we were actually sick, the quiet day usually made us feel better. If we were faking it, sheer boredom usually had us hightailing it back to school.




  9. Glinda Says:

    Beenzzz- I do try and have him listen to his favorite CD on the way over, but it is only about five minutes away, and he always wants to hear more, so it kind of backfires.

    JaneC- My parents never took me anywhere on a school day, and I always thought I would make an effort to be cooler than they were. 😉

    ML- I never thought this would be a problem.

    dgm- Yes, role-playing reveals all kinds of things, doesn’t it?

    Ana- I could use some fresh air, too.

    Class-Factotum- He is an only child, and I think he really benefits from the social interaction as well as school reinforcing that the is NOT the center of the universe like he thinks he is.

    Julia- Your mother was a brave woman to limit your activities like that.












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