By Erin Tarr
Mom v. School/Daycare is a series highlighting possible conflicts between parents and their children’s teachers, schools and daycare centers. The points of view are not meant to blanket every parent or every school’s position on said issue – but simply to shed some light on both sides of the topic in order to open up the conversation and allow us all to empathize with one another and the intricacies of each situation.
I am totally “that mom” … I just called the school and told the secretary (who I am also friends with) that I may or may not have sent a sick child to school just now. You see, I am at work. My husband calls from the drop off line at school telling me that my child is complaining of a stomach ache. Which does not surprise me, since her sister had a sick day just two days ago, that probably appeared quite fun to the average on-looker since there was no vomiting involved.
So, he runs through the usual list of questions: Did you poop this morning? Do you feel like you are going to throw up? Are you worried about something?
And the cajoling reminders: Only one more day of school before spring break! You have art today… you love art! Look, there’s Ivy – aren’t you excited to see your friends today?
He tells her to give it the ‘ole college try, and I call the school to warn them.
MOM POSITION: SICK KIDS
We’ve all been there right? I mean I am AT WORK (and contrary to my children’s beliefs DO have things that need to get done)… and there are no certified signs that there is ACTUALLY something wrong with my daughter. Once, when there was something wrong the night before … I kept her home all morning long BUT SHE WAS FINE to the point she was LITERALLY jumping from couch to couch in my living room at which point I told her to put her shoes on a took her to school right at lunch time … I am sure you can guess who got a call 30 minutes later that her daughter had thrown up during library time. #badparentmove
But school, teachers, parents … have some mercy… it is REALLY hard to tell what IF ANYTHING is wrong with them. Is this an emotional response to something, DO THEY just need to poop?, are they jealous of their siblings previous sick day ….etc. etc. etc.
SCHOOL POSITION: SICK KIDS
When you send your child to my classroom sick – they get other children sick (and maybe even me!), and we loose precious instructional time. When you send them to school sick – I then have to discern if they are really sick or not WHILE attempting to plan, teach, correspond and manage my class of over TWENTY kids. And then, there is the complaining and whining, talk about “infectious!” I almost forgot the clean up… whatever orifice your child’s bodily fluids are coming from… in whatever form… please, please, please keep those at home – it’s just gross.
Parents, I BEG YOU … please keep your sick children out of school – for everyone’s sake!
Parents: While it can be tricky to know when to let them stay home and when to make them go – if our children aren’t typically the complaining sort and our work schedules allow it … maybe we should tend to error on the side of caution. And if you make the wrong call – maybe consider sending some extra treats to whomever had the pleasure of taking care of your child in their time of need to let them know you appreciate them!
Schools: Grant us parents a bit of a pass when we make the wrong call once in a while on this one. Trust us, we are beating ourselves up enough as it is, we truly don’t want to get anyone sick or prevent learning from happening for our student or others! Remember when you call to ask us to come pick up, that sometimes dropping everything in that instant isn’t possible (even if we TRULY want it to be) – but we will be there as soon as we can to collect our poor little sick one and any comfort you can provide in that moment for them would be SO GREATLY appreciated.