Moral of the story

You get one day to stay home from school when you tell me you don’t feel well, even if you don’t necessarily have a fever. I’m willing to suspend disbelief for one day.

When you refuse to go to school on the second day, I will inform you that in the absence of fever or vomiting a second day home must indicate pernicious, invisible illness which needs to be diagnosed RIGHT AWAY, and therefore I will be scheduling a visit to the doctor.

What I may have forgotten to mention until shortly before said appointment is that there are now two options: Either the doctor agrees that you are quite sickly, or the doctor says you look absolutely fine… and then you will be getting your flu shot. I mean, as long as we’re there, and have paid our co-pay, and I’ve lost half my work day. Because I wouldn’t want you to be any SICKER, you know. (INSERT MEANINGFUL EYEBROWS.)

In short, Day 1 is a Mental Health Day, but Day 2 is Mama Don’t Play That Day.

(P.S. I suspect tomorrow will be Miraculous Recovery Day.)


  1. Navhelowife

    *snort*!!! Love it.

  2. Arina

    heee! Love it!

  3. liz

    So many of my friends are strong in the parenting force today.

    I am inspired by your methods.

  4. Celeste

    I have one who would be off AT LEAST one day a week if I let her. It drives me crazy. I’m never sure if it’s real sickness or just general “I would rather not go.”

    The other one will go even if he is deathly ill. If HE says he’s sick, then he’s really sick. (Like Monkey, only taller!)

  5. Beth R

    Love it! And given how many real bugs can make you feel puny for about 24 hours, it seems a safe way to play it.

  6. Jennifer

    “Mama don’t play that day.” I like that and will be adding that to my arsenal.

  7. Karen

    LOL… can I steal it too?…..

  8. Megan

    I instituted a Free Day Off policy – once a semester you could just take a day, without repercussions. The only thing was – no test days, no major-project-due-days. Funny thing is, they often didn’t use the day at all! I think just knowing it was a possibility took some of the stress off sometimes.

    I think, BTW, that the flu shot idea is flippin’ brilliant!

  9. bj

    We have this policy, too, with the addition that like Megan, I don’t require the children to say they’re physically ill. They’re allowed to take a mental health day, once a quarter or so. I do have the rule that there’s no television or video games during that mental health day. And, I do plan on taking them to the doctor if they request 2 days in a row when I cannot detect a clear illness myself.

  10. Wendy C

    I am fortunate – my girl (10) is all about getting perfect attendance. Fortunately she hasn’t gotten sick for real, aside from some minor sniffles, because there’s a good chance I’d have to force her to stay home. I do plan to keep this post in my arsenal in case that should change in the future though!

  11. elz

    Mama is smart.

  12. Tracy B

    Yay for mental health days!!! I like those days myself!

  13. Chuck Mann

    This is for the child who hates needles, isn’t it? Nicely played, Mir!

  14. addy

    Ya you have them call me to say your sick – ok. Home to bed then. No tv, no video games, no outside play, no friends over in the afternoon and let me get the homework picked up so you can have it ready for the next day (you return to school that is) Really doesn’t happen more than once or twice in a lifetime.

  15. RuthWells

    Is Chickie still getting crap from the other kids at school about the stolen phone incident? In elementary school I was the BEST at getting sent home from school (the acting bug bit early) when nothing was wrong with me, primarily because the other kids were mean and I didn’t want to have to deal with them.

    But the flu shot was genius.

  16. Jan

    I’m with addy. Too sick for school? Off to bed with you then.

    This won’t work anymore when they’re teenagers, of course, when a an entire day in bed is like heaven on earth.

  17. Midj

    Glad it wasn’t a real illness. Back to school. I had a child who wanted to stay home every day, seriously, every. single. day. throughout elementary. Middle school changed all that. And now, he’s 4 hours away at college and going through the paperwork to transfer back to the big University here in town.

  18. The Mommy Therapy

    Hilarious. Sounds like an excellent policy. I’m going to have to remember that for the inevitable days when my kids would rather stay home than go to school. I’m assuming it happens some time after play-doh is in integral part of their curriculum?

  19. ellen

    Ok – you know best, so take this in a nice way and just as food for thought. I once was being miserably picked on in school, and after previous times of being picked on were handled by my mom and it was hard – but no fault of my mom, the next time I didn’t want to tell my mom, so I faked being sick to avoid school. I hope this is not your sitch, and hope all is well on all fronts.

  20. Brigitte

    I agree that it could be that she’s still being picked on, but at the same time, she can’t just NOT GO forever (though, at that age, I did wonder why mom wouldn’t just let me test for my GED and get the whole durned thing over with). );-)

  21. dgm

    You are merciful–if I suspect faking it on Day One, my rule is no form of entertainments (not even reading, which they looooove to lie around and do) until such time as school would be out. Since my son’s school is just across town, I’ll go pick up his schoolwork for the day and “let” him start working on it. I ask if they need for me to call the doctor and possibly receive a shot, just to let them know it’s not beyond possibility. If they end up napping, I know there’s something wrong and I’ll let them take a sick day, complete with pampering.

    I love Mama Don’t Play day!

  22. Edd Fear

    Now I want to try this with my boss. “I’m sick today, and tomorrow I’ll be getting my flu shot. Mir said so!”

    Now how can I arrange this so that my kids get THEIR flu shots? Because they’d sooner walk around with a broken arm than go to the doctor for a shot.

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