Monday, September 7, 2009

Calling My Bluff

This wasn't the first time I used the line to usher my children off to school. However, it was the first time one of them took me up on what I said. Looks like I need a new "trick" for school mornings.

It happens to every mom of school-age children, and yes, even the homeschooling moms. Your precious little one comes down and says "Mommy, I don't feel well." No fever, perfect appetite and plenty of energy. "But, Mommy, my tummy feels sick."

My "trick"? "If you still feel sick at lunchtime you may go see the nurse." And, until today, it worked. They head off to school thinking they have an out. I'm content because they are at school. Once school begins they will forget about feeling ill. By lunch time they will have forgotten about the nurse. And by the time they get off the bus in the afternoon they say "I'm fine" in a voice that suggests they never felt anything else all day.

Today, ED called my bluff. In his defense he does have allergies, therefore a runny nose, and being only the second week of school I imagine a little tired. Considering those two combined factors, I can understand why his stomach may feel upset. But still, I expected him to forget all about the nurse.

Then, at lunch time, the phone rang. "ED's Mom. This is the nurse over at the elementary school. ED is here, he told his teacher he could come see me if he is feeling sick.""Does he have a fever?" I ask. "Are there any other symptoms?" All the time thinking to myself, "so why are you calling me?"

OK, first, when I say "trick" I don't mean I'm tricking my child into going to school, but using this as a tool to get them to school. As in "pulling something out of my bag of tricks."

Second, since when did the school nurse become such a softy? I remember my school days. You wanted to go home you better have a fever, have thrown up, and showing signs of the bubonic plague. No get out of school free cards during my day.

I know I'm not the only parent who has given their kid a "see the nurse" pass to get them out the door. Am I? And in all honesty, I figured the nurse would check out the boy, see nothing was wrong with him, pat him on the head, and send him back to class.

But I was wrong.

So now I need a new "trick", or tool, to get my hypochondriac kids off to school in the morning. They now know Mom will not pick them up at school just because they went to the nurse. And, the nurse now knows I use her as my fall guy to get them out of the house in the morning.


Corinne said...

Unfortunately, I don't have a trick for you, but I think yours is AWESOME. I'm storing up my own bag of tricks for when I someday have children of my own. I'll be "borrowing" this one to add to my bag.

Good luck!

Kendra aka The Meanest Momma said...

I haven't dealt with this from a school angle (yet - we've only just begun)... but at home, I frequently hear that someone is too sick to finish their meal, or their tummy hurts. My reply is that anyone sick needs to put away their plate, skip dessert and go straight to bed - this usually reveals the seriousness of the ailment right quick.