Sick Days

Today my oldest is taking her first sick day of first grade. Yes, first grade has been in session less than a month, but still. I woke her up in plenty of time to get dressed, eat breakfast, collect her homework, etc. etc., and she immediately started crying. This is rare for her, she usually just yawns, says she's really tired, and then wonders if she can wear her yellow butterfly shirt again, even though she's worn it twice in the last week. Well, today, her back hurts. She's having difficulty stretching it out, and the thought of getting dressed was just too much for her to handle. This is a new one for me. When I was sick, deliberately or otherwise, I had a headache, my throat hurt, or my personal favorite "tummyache". When I got older, the tummyache excuse turned to cramps - after all, what kind of mother would make her daughter go to school when clearly she should be wrapped around a hot water bottle for the day? (apparently my kind of mother, the excuse worked once, then she started sending me to school with Advil) Then I learned how to make myself throw up, a nasty experience, but 10 minutes of grossness translated into going back to sleep and avoiding tests. But a sore back? I never had that. I do remember once having a really sore neck, which developed into a fever that sent me to bed for three days. So I am letting her rest, then I will put her in the shower for a while, maybe give her a little Children's Motrin, and see if she's feeling well enough to go in the afternoon. But I can't help but wonder if the sore back is going to show up more often now that she knows it means climbing in Mommy's bed and watching PBS in the morning instead of going to school. She missed one day of kindergarten last year because she was sick, and she was really mad that I didn't let her go that day. So I am letting the sore back thing fly today, because it's not a pattern, at least not yet. Plus, I really think her back hurts. She's not making it up......today. So what have your kids come up with to avoid school? And what did you do about it? What did you as a child that worked or didn't work? I had the throw up thing, but that was so nasty I only used it in extreme situations, and would often spend the "sick day" doing the overdue homework that necessitated staying home. My husband would just occasionally tell his mother he was taking a "mental health day" and she would let him, since he didn't do it a lot, and let's face it, everybody needs a mental health day now and again. I just didn't know first graders needed them.


Anonymous The Wiz's sister said...

I never faked it, at least not with the precision you seemed to have mastered! I would just tell mom that I didn't feel good, (which was usually TRUE!), and would sleep until I felt better, then get up and go to school. Wow, never even THOUGHT about telling her I had cramps! And all this time, I thought I was the bad teenager because I snuck out at night after my curfew. Wait 'til mom finds out your LIED to her about being sick. Sheesh!

9/13/2005 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz's sister said...

And you guys should stop posting about dogs. Nobody likes reading about your stupid pets!

9/13/2005 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Heather O said...

Hey, I like writing and reading about dogs. And really, Maggie is just about the cutest dog ever!

Sorry about the threadjack, Wiz.

9/13/2005 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Your story reminded me of a segment on the news last night about children having all sorts of problems from ill fitting or too heavy back packs. Maybe she's just adjusting to that? I had some serious problems with soreness at College as a design student! I can only imagine what it would be like for a little first graders slight frame.

Also, I enjoy the dog post too - My hubby and I were fighting until recently whether to have a baby or dog first. He won.

9/13/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

emily -

Well, she only carries a folder with some papers in it, no books to school yet. But maybe I should look into how her backpack's fitting - never thought of that.

Also, my friends debated whether or not to get a dog, a bird, or have a baby. They decided to get a baby bird dog. But then they got pregnant...

When you say "he won" that means you're getting a dog or having a baby?

9/13/2005 06:43:00 PM  
Anonymous JKS said...

My only child sick day experience was having to collect her at school with a stomachache.
I've heard a good policy is no TV, just resting if they are sick.
Its one thing when they are babies......you need the TV then. The only way to get through the night with an earache 2 year old. When they are old enough to have "slight" illnesses and have to miss school, they don't need to be watching TV....that would encourage it.
Of course, if my child was recovering from surgery or something, TV would be ok. But for a mysterious "stomachache" or "backache" I'd go with the no TV, just rest policy, if possible.

9/14/2005 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

Make sure her neck's not stiff, as well. And see if her back pain is on one or the other side. She could have a bladder or kidney infection. They hurt in your back.

My dogs are SO not stupid. They are very cute and smart.

9/14/2005 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Tandy said...

My dad was much more tolerant of me taking days off of school than my mom was. All I had to do was start crying when he knocked on the door to make sure I was up and he'd say "don't worry about it today." I didn't do that very often, but I was a good student and I think that my parents trusted me enough to let me decide when I was sick enough to stay home.

Then there was the day our dog, Gyro, followed me to school. I tried to catch him to take him home and ended up running almost 2 miles until I did catch him. Luckily my Esprit bag had a clip on it that I could attach to his collar. I got home an hour after school started and begged to spend the day at home. My dad didn't want to encourage sluffing. I offered to clean the house, including scrubbing the kitchen tile floor, and he relented. Imagine that, a 13 year-old that preferred to act like Cinderella (before the fairy godmother) than to spend a day among her fellow 8th graders.

9/18/2005 11:28:00 PM  
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