A Grand Day In

Today I have been housebound with a poorly boy who couldn’t go to school. Well, when I say poorly, I mean there was lots of moping about early this morning, accompanied by much groaning and grizzling which resulted in me deciding that it would be easier to keep Eddy at home, rather than risk a phone call from the school while I was in town later with no access to a car to get me home quickly to pick him up.  I’m no fool though, I know how these sickies from school normally pan out – and today has been no exception:

7.30 – 8.00 am: Your child is actually dying at this point. They may manage a sip of milk and half a Cheerio but they will dramatically flop back into the chair after the amount of effort it has taken and you will stand there, mentally willing them not to be ill whilst looking at the clock every twenty seconds to check how long you’ve got left for them to make a full recovery before they should be leaving for school

8.15 – 8.30 am: By now your child will be pleading with you through red-rimmed eyes, their face is the colour of chalk and occasionally they will listlessly try, unsuccessfully, to move a limb, leaving you with no doubt whatsoever that your child couldn’t possibly survive a day at school.  And as one final test, you remind your child of the ‘no-school’ rules which are, no Xbox, no phone use, no going round to Nana’s after school and definitely no cricket later tonight (even though Dad responds to this rule with, ‘Well, that will leave us a bit short, so see how you feel later son’). Your child will feebly nod their acceptance of the rules

8.30 – 9.00 am: You make the phone call to the school, making a BIG play of how ill your child is because you’re a good parent and take absence VERY seriously.  Your child will make sure they’re not in the same room as you at this point so that you can’t witness the slight hint of a victorious smile that involuntarily starts to creep across their face.  You begin to change the plans you had made for the day and look forward to a rare day at home where you will get lots done because your child is SO poorly they won’t be leaving the sofa any time soon

9.00 – 10.00 am: Your child plays by the rules and lies on the sofa, watching TV and pretending to sleep every so often.  You start to do lots of jobs that you never get a chance to do at any other time

10.00 – 11.00 am: You have lots of fun doing things like cleaning and ironing and loading the washing machine with infinite piles of clothes from a seemingly bottomless laundry basket.   You may even risk an emergency dash to the shops to pick up a clothes order that couldn’t possibly wait until another day.  At this point you will be judged for leaving a child who is at death’s door on his own but you will have given him STRICT instructions not to eat anything while you’re gone for fear of choking in your absence and not to take a shower in case he slips and knocks himself out.  Also, your son is twelve and can be trusted to be left on his own from time to time.  PLUS, he is now starting to make a gradual return from the brink of death; asking you to pick up some donuts while you’re out.  Oh, and some batteries for a remote controlled car that he’s re-discovered at the bottom of the Toy Box of Yesteryear whose lid remains tightly closed until such time that ‘no-school’ rules are imposed and its services are once more required




The Toy Box of Yesteryear….not sure how ‘tightly closed’ that lid actually is

11.00 -12.00 noon: Yay, your child is starting to look and feel a lot better!  He has asked you for some lunch, which you try to make while he steers his newly found remote controlled car around the kitchen so that it keeps bumping into your heels wherever you stand and you have to keep reminding yourself that it’s not good form to lose your shit with your child when they’ve been SO poorly

12.00 – 1.00 pm: You sit down to eat lunch with your child and this reminds you of when you used to pick them up from pre-school and you would sit and eat lunch together while watching CBeebies. After lunch your child would go off and play and you would find yourself mesmerised by the TV, still watching Postman Pat or perving at Paul doing the Tikkabilla Jive long after your child had stopped watching.  You don’t tell your child this bit though.  You just say to them that even though it’s not nice that they’re feeling SO poorly, it’s nice to spend some time with them because they have a better social life than you and they’re always out and about doing something and you don’t get to see them much anymore.  And then you turn away as a warm tear threatens to drop onto your pizza and spoil the moment

1.00 – 3.00 pm:  Your child decides to watch the World Cup game upstairs on their own.  They say that they’re feeling too hot and that it’s cooler upstairs but you know it’s really because they’re sick to their back teeth of you jokingly saying ‘I fancy them to win the cup you know,’ whenever any team that isn’t a favourite scores a goal first.  I have about twenty –five teams to choose from.  It’s going to be a long, lonely World Cup up there, Eddy

3.00 pm onwards:  Yay, school’s out!  Your child will be fully match fit any time now.  If they’re clever they will leave it another hour or so.  You may, however, catch them larking about immediately.  If you do, it’s quite fun to listen to them trying to put on a ‘poorly voice’ when you ask them if they’re feeling better now.  But you will be so pleased that your little angel has survived another potentially life-threatening illness that you won’t really care!  Besides which, you’ve secretly had a lovely day and have probably spoken more with your child in the last few hours than you have in the whole of the past six months.

You are prepared for next time though.  That child is going to school, no matter what……