Mom Confession: I Make My Daughter 'Prove' She's Sick if She's Going to Miss School

little girl with a coldI’m not exactly a mom that could be accused of Munchausen syndrome, the mental disorder that causes someone to make another person ill in order to seek medical treatment for attention. Nope, I’m more from the no fever, no blood, no problem school of parenting.



So when my kids get the sniffles, I tend to do just about anything to make sure they’re actually sick enough to stay home from school before I let them. Since I currently have one fifth-grader upstairs and in bed at this very moment, I’m wondering how many other moms try their darnedest to make sure their kids get out the door in the morning.

It usually starts the night before, when I notice a bit of extra tiredness or a certain listlessness. Sometimes there’s a slightly stuffy nose. This is when the allergy medication comes out, along with extra juice and an early bedtime. Last night that didn’t work so well for me, with my little sicky up way past 11 complaining of a scratchy throat. Crap.

This morning I was still hopeful, as I pulled her out of bed, stuck her in her uniform, and sat her down for breakfast. “I’m not hungry,” she claimed, and being a child, and me being the provider of the food, she’s usually in a constant state of near-starvation. Double crap.

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She didn’t have a fever, and she wasn’t throwing up, so I loaded her up on more allergy meds, and told her she would feel better by the time we got to school. Of course by this time, little sister was busy telling me that she didn’t want to go to school if the big one didn’t. Crap, crap, crap!

With a carful of sniffles and whines, we set out to school, me with every intention of saying goodbye to both my daughters for the next seven hours. Poor sick girl complained about her scratchy throat and sipped ice water the whole way.

I told her things like, “If you’re too sick for school, then you’re too sick for TV,” and “Mommy has to work, I can’t entertain you,” and even, “You’re really sick enough to stay in bed all day rather than learn fun new things and see your friends?” I concluded my questioning begging by suggesting that she just try to go for a little bit, and I’d pick her up if she couldn’t make it.

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“Mommy, I don’t think I can make it,” my sad sniffly and snuffly daughter said to me.

So here we are, with her resting, and me loading her up with Gatorade and cough drops. Because gosh darn it, I’m going to get that child well enough for school tomorrow by the sheer power of my will! Or something.

How sick do your kids have to be before you’ll keep them home from school?

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