Sick days

I’ve moaned about the kids’ school sickness policy on this blog before and how parents – and governors – often ignore it. Sometimes when you’ve got a lot to do, it is tempting to do the same.

Yesterday, for instance, I had to sort the car which had just failed its MOT on something it wouldn’t have failed on if I’d have had it tested in January. Then my wife needed some films processing urgently for her photography course. This on top of actual paid work that I had to do.

But alas my son had come down with a bit of a tummy upset and school rules dictate that he has to stay home for 24 hours. Yes, I could have ignored this and sent him in anyway, but I didn’t want to risk it. And the staff were grateful for my honesty despite the fact the boy didn’t look ill at all zooming around the playground with his coat like an aeroplane. Advice to anyone ever confronted by a truant officer: Just say you’re off with a tummy upset and they should leave you alone. All these parents taken to court because their kids have been skipping school should use it as a defence. Belly ache is taken seriously by most teachers these days.

So the boy came with me to the photography shop where they said it’d take a week to get the films processed. I bought him a milkshake and a sausage roll which he ate in the car while I emailed the wife about this. As we waited for her to reply, the boy chatted away and he even let me share the milkshake.

Next we went to sort the car and he enjoyed having a peek under the bonnet and I guess being with his daddy while his daddy sorted manly things like the car. He doesn’t have to know that his daddy knows flop all about the workings of the engine, but I did a good job, in his eyes at least, of pretending that I did.

Onwards and upwards and we found somewhere to develop the films in an hour in the next town. While we waited, we shunned the supermarket and went shopping in the greengrocer where my son picked out some fruit and veg to try and then over to the butchers for mince. I recommend anyone to try these places because you just get what you want and nothing else. That point was proven moments later when we popped into Tesco for some value kidney beans and came out with two extra things that the boy had set his eyes on: a hideously overpriced multi-grain cereal and a bag of custard doughnuts that he didn’t even eat. Paying a quid for some kidney beans in the local shop would have been cheaper.

Still we had a nice time in a charity shop where I bought him a toy dog for two pounds, then we went to pick up the photos before going home for a quick lunch and then to get his sister from school.

In the playground yet another parent asked if he was poorly and I explained he’d had a tummy upset. As he did his aeroplane routine again, the parent looked slightly exasperated as though I’d been daft to abide so closely by the school rules and waste my day by having a child around unnecessarily.

On the contrary, I’d had a very nice time. Here’s to the school rules, I say.

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