Sunday, February 9, 2014

Can I Stay Home From School?

I don't know if I've posted this before, but this has been posted on our pantry door for several years now, and it's been falling off recently so tonight I took it down and decided it needed to be posted in the blog for memories.

Can I Stay Home From School? 
- Do you have a fever? Yes = stay home. No = go to school!
- Are you vomiting? Yes - stay home. No = go to school!
- Have you recently broken a bone? Yes = stay home if the doctor says so. No = go to school!
- Are you bleeding profusely from more than one orifice? Yes = get a band aid then go to school! No = go to school!
- Do you have a headache? Yes = take some Tylenol, then go to school. No = go to school!
- Are you dizzy, tired, achy, semi-conscious? Yes = eat some breakfast, then go to school. No = go to school!
- Does your tummy hurt? Yes = eat something or take a Tums, then go to school. No = go to school!

Bottom line - it's your job to go to school every day, except in extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances are determined by the parents. If you do stay home, it means you are SICK and therefore will spend the day in bed, not watching TV, playing on the computer, or otherwise engaged in "screen time." 

But I feel sick all the time? How can I feel better? Eat healthy food, exercise every day and be involved in fun activities. Manage your time wisely; do your homework and chores and relax afterward. If you are not doing these things, you are not doing yourself any favors and you will not feel great every day! Don't you want to feel great every day? 

Over the years, this list has elicited many a laugh from people reading it while standing in our kitchen. Now that I look back at it, it is a grim reminder of the many days I spent wheeling and dealing with one kid or another over whether they were sick enough to stay home (they almost never were). The times they were truly sick it was obvious and apparent. But, oh, the dreaded mornings of waking to a kid standing silently by my bed, willing me to wake up with their mind. When I cracked open an eyelid, I'd be greeted with "I don't feel good" followed by a litany of symptoms. Thus, the list, borne out of my frustration over debating whether or not they "had" to go to school (answer: yes!). Luckily, once I got the first two graduated, the youngest two have either learned from their siblings' mistakes, or they like school more, or they are just smart enough not to piss me off in the morning, because I no longer have to keep this sign posted. My sophomore is in an independent study program so already gets to stay home most days, and my freshman is totally invested in school, even though he complains bitterly about anything and everything school-related. He still gets straight A's and is involved in many extracurricular activities. Most importantly, they're old enough to stay home alone when they're truly sick, and I almost never wake up to a disheveled child standing next to my bed, preparing their speech that will secure their freedom from school one more day. Plus, the older ones have had a taste of the real world and they now know (I hope) what a piece of cake going to school really was.

Can I stay home from school? NO!

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