Confession. I’m leading my child astray.

Flea checks out her new pyjamas Last week, Flea was ill.

The school rang and asked me to collect her because she wasn’t her usual cheery self. They were right – she turned into a full-on Linda Blair as soon as we got into the school car park. She came home, collapsed on the sofa, and stayed there all day, sipping water.

The following day, Flea seemed better but she was hot, and tired, so I called the school and kept her home. we spent the morning making a huge stash of meatballs for the freezer, then in the afternoon we read books, drew pictures and Flea played with her Playmobil while I did some work.

The next day, Flea woke up and said to me: “Can I have another day at home, Mummy?

Now, obviously, a responsible parent would have said: “No, darling. You’re all better now so you should go back to school so as not to fall behind in your school work, thereby putting you at risk of long-term educational failure and the school at risk of a poor inspection.”

Sadly, I’m not a responsible parent. I’m me. So I said, “Sure, why not?

We had another lovely day. We went to the bank and the grocery story, then came home and made a casserole for lunch. We composed our own (very bad) song about monkeys with our guitars. We read some stories, we watched a movie, then there was a very long involved game with about a hundred toy cars.

I feel bad. But since Flea’s started school, I really miss days like that. On alternate weekends, Flea is with her Dad, which is great, but that always involves Flea having two big days out. So we only have every other weekend to just spend time together. 

Flea went back to school the next day, and I felt a little pang – like I always do – at feeling I’ve had to hand her over to someone else far, far too soon. And right now, the summer holidays seem very far away. 


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 9th February 2010 / 4:13 pm

    Best days in the world – have just posted something similar although I’ve had to put in some work so have been an entirely lazy hands-off Mum, poor kid.

  2. @mummyince
    9th February 2010 / 4:39 pm

    I think that I firstly, might not send my child to school and secondly, am coming round to play at yours Sally as that sounds like GREAT fun. I also think you’re a fanTAStic mother for letting her have the extra day off, if a little tiny teeny bit naughty!!

  3. The Mad House
    9th February 2010 / 4:43 pm

    I so totally feel the same as you, Maxi turns 5 in march and in many ways he is still a baby. We always have so much fun together. I love days when we all cook, we try and bake at the weekend together. I am dreading September when Mini starts school too. I love the holidays and am counting down to half term!!

  4. 9th February 2010 / 7:16 pm

    I used to do that in nursery school all the time. And now I get tempted…

  5. 9th February 2010 / 8:16 pm

    I had a revelation about this – I can send my nanny home and spend time with my girls if i want and it gives me days to cherish

  6. 9th February 2010 / 8:29 pm

    I’ve just spent the morning with my 9 year old who didn’t go to school because he had a headache. It wasn’t bad, so I thought I should maybe either take him in at lunchtime, or at least do some educational stuff at home. But you know what? We rented a movie, and spent 1 hour 42 mins watching it together. I loved every moment. He told me afterwards that he had seen the movie box at a friend’s house years ago, but hadn’t had the chance to watch it, and has been wanting to every since. The friend’s house was in a place we moved from over 3 years ago.
    I thought it was a good use of a morning. And yes, I miss those days too. The way I see it, they will catch up the school work. But I’ll never get to catch up the Mummy-time with them.

  7. 10th February 2010 / 3:59 am

    Ha! This has made me laugh. Don’t feel bad at all. This week I sent IJ into school at lunchtime on Monday. She said she wasn’t feeling well and I decided at half past seven in the mornig that, actually, I could do with a lie-in myself, so we stayed in bed. There I’ve said it. My child missed a morning of school because I couldn’t be bothered to get up!

  8. Sally
    10th February 2010 / 9:36 am

    @Sparx – you’re right, and they’re really precious days, too.
    @Mummyince – aw, thanks, nothing wrong with a teeny bit of naughtiness now and then, right?
    @MadHouse – yes, we’ve got half-term the week after next, I can’t wait. Flea’s only 4, she seems so tiny to be away from me for so much of the week.
    @Mwa – aha! Glad I’m not the only one…
    @CJ – yes, I’m sure an extra rest day didn’t do her any harm. You’re right though, sometimes I really crave having that time with her.
    @Muddling – top idea!
    @Iota – I love that. I bet your little boy will remember for a long time, too, that you watched it together. How lovely.
    @Rosie – You’re my parenting hero. Officially.

  9. 10th February 2010 / 9:53 am

    I am definitely taking my parenting tips from this blog and your lovely commenters. I think you did exactly the right thing and I would have done the same thing. Hold out for half-term, not long now.

  10. 10th February 2010 / 10:01 am

    Ach, don’t worry about it. As they get older, it gets harder to have those special days, so you are fully justified in it.
    Besides, if they think it’s a treat for them, when really it’s a treat for you, you can’t go wrong.

  11. angelsandurchinsblog
    10th February 2010 / 10:14 am

    I think children are entitled to the odd duvet day, just as much as we are. While it’s awful when they’re really ill, when they’re a little bit ill it’s lovely to revert to that baby time when they needed endless hugs and kisses. You even got to make meat balls and a casserole – home economics lessons at home. Perfect multi-tasking.

  12. 10th February 2010 / 12:59 pm

    ha – we did the same a few weeks back. We’d both been ill, oldest was having a bad morning so wouldn’t be in school anyway, toddler girl had been unwell in the night… neither of us could face the monotony of the school run TWICE – so we decided at 8 in the morning that today was officially a no-school day in this house, and the middle two got to stay home too.
    We were such popular parents! We all piled on the sofa and watched a film, we actually got some work done during daylight hours without the school runs, and eldest got some school-day company for a change.
    Unfortunately, second son now seems to think school is always optional, and consistently decides that today’s another no-school day. And I suspect third son will gleefully have told his teacher the truth…

  13. 10th February 2010 / 1:04 pm

    That sdecond R as in recuperation is all importnat and at this stage what are they really missing out on? The other day we bunked off to visit The Boy’s new baby cousin. It was brillo adn I loved having both boys all to myself too.

  14. 10th February 2010 / 4:06 pm

    Awwww, I know exactly what you mean and have done the same thing. Although, my middle son has just begin to over-exaggerate any illness or injury so he can score a day off.
    PS Thanks for reminding me to put my meatballs on for tea tonight!! That’s what we’re having!

  15. 10th February 2010 / 4:59 pm

    That sounds perfect, and often it is just the chilled days rather the big performance numbers that are best.

  16. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    10th February 2010 / 5:48 pm

    Oh I know this scenario only too well… and it gets even more tempting as they grow up and you feel like holding onto them just a little bit longer. Not having to speak to a person when you call the school helps *cough*

  17. 10th February 2010 / 9:36 pm

    Enjoy thse days while you can. When they are little it really does not matter if they are out of school for the odd day IMHO. I remember being home and just half ill and having lovely days with my Mum, playing, colouring and eating fishfinger sandwiches for lunch! Mich

  18. 10th February 2010 / 10:33 pm

    Aww 🙁
    This is so lovely, but sad too.
    Makes me excited for the Little dude being old enough to spend fun days of doing stuff though 🙂
    (p.s. i moved my blog again 😛 it’s now here: if you fancy a peek/following, and i’ve added you to my page of blogs i love, hope that’s okay? xx)
    (oh, and i’ll re-resubmit myself to the tots index next month. sorry. i suck.)

  19. BETTYG
    10th February 2010 / 10:56 pm

    Love, love ur blog! And you are an awesome Mum. I totally aspire to be like you! Flea is a lucky little lady!

  20. 11th February 2010 / 11:35 pm

    Oh yes, brings it all flooding back. I worked and fretted and sent them to school ill and had them retured having vomited into someone else’s shoes. But every now and then we stayed home together and it was the best. x

  21. 15th February 2010 / 8:03 pm

    I have 5 kids, ages 3-19. As a child I never remember being able to stay home from school.
    My kids can have on an average about 1 “mental health day” at home even if they are not sick.
    Good for you for letting her stay home! So what if they miss school here and there. I don’t think anyone ever looks back on their lives and says I wish I had gone to school more. 🙂