It has been a rough week for me, as a mom. I think the most major ‘bump’ in my week involved my 6-year old, *E*. He told me he didn’t want to go to school, that he wasn’t feeling good. I honestly wasn’t sure if it was a bug or just the Monday morning blahs. He was slightly warm, with a temp around 99. Usually that kind of temp is enough to leave you just feeling… blah. So I sent him to school, with his protest and a note in his folder. “Dear Teacher, If *E* is still not feeling well during the day please call me.” The note appeased *E*. He knew if he continued to not feel well he could come home; but I hoped he would get to school and forget his troubles. (It has happened before.)
Another reason I sent him? About six-weeks ago I got a letter from the school-board. “Dear Parent, Your child has missed too much school. He has missed 6 1/2 days so far when the average students misses two the whole school year. If your child continues to miss school (10 days in total) we will require a doctors note for each missed day & be required to call the truancy office.” (Ok maybe that isn’t word for word the letter, but that is the gist.)
So here I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I had been keeping home with major coughs, slight fevers, etc etc because, honestly, I didn’t want him getting other kids in the class sick. I was a little upset that he was catching all these ‘bugs’, assumedly in the class room. By keeping him home I also hoped to speed up his recovery by ‘forcing’ him to drink water & relax. It is kindergarten, not Harvard. I felt like this letter was a huge slap in the face.
So back to Monday. At about 10:30am the school office called to say he wasn’t feeling well. So I quickly picked him up and brought him home, no grudges held Sure enough he was running a fever of about 100 and just very pale. I doctored him, made him rest, made him drink. He was still warm that evening when it was time to take more Tylenol.
Tuesday morning came and he is acting pretty good! He wasn’t warm. He wasn’t complaining about going to school. So on the bus he goes at 8:15am. I got my youngest ready to go to the ‘sitter so that I could go to a dentist appt & then head back for work.
9:15am, I am about 20 minutes from my house and the cell phone rings. “Mrs Kocsis this is the school. *E* was running a fever yesterday. He cannot be in school today. The school handbook explains a child must be fever-free (without medication) for 24 hours before you send them back to school.” I took the time to explain my frustration. This will mean he has missed 8 1/2 days of school this year, and its January. I was so good about keeping him home the rest of the year so that he wouldn’t get others sick. The thanks I got was a letter saying he has missed too much school. What was a mom to do?! She explained they aren’t going to call the truancy office on us. They have to send the letter out by county policy. There has to be a better way though, I can’t help but thinking. I felt like I had been strong-armed only to be told, ha ha we were just kidding.
Decisions, I had to make one Tuesday morning and I made the wrong one, it happens. We all have to make decisions every day. Some are minor, some major and then others in between. This *felt* major to me at the time, but looking back it was probably somewhere closer to minor. I just have to remind myself that I can’t always second-guess what I have done. I learned something that Tuesday. A lot of times decisions are just that, an opportunity to learn what is best for you and your family and possibly how to handle a decision in the future.