Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fakin' it

What Now?

We have all done it. My friends did it. My brother and sister did it. My wife did it. Hell, I did it all the time. Every kid that has gone to school has done it at least once in their life. Faking sick to stay home from school. The weather sucks, you have a test you haven't studied for, your friends pissed you off the other day...whatever the reason is you just don't want to go to school and the only way your parents are going to let you skip classes is if you are sick, really sick. When you grow up and become a contributing member of society you still do it, but you call it a mental health day. You make your voice sound raspy and out of breath, call your office and tell them you just don't feel well and think it's best that you stay home. Kids don't get off so easy. Their performance is in front of a live audience. An audience that that discredits their act even before it starts, and looks for any and all flaws that might prove the performer is just "acting" the part.

On Saturday our youngest was complaining of a sore throat, upset stomach and headache and she was burning up, 102 temperature. My wife, ever the illness inspector, took her in to see the doctor right away because, in case you are unaware...there is apparently some pig virus causing a bit of a panic right now. It turned out not to be the pig thing, and instead was just strep throat. We spend the weekend in chill mode and waiting on her hand and foot, because that is what you do with a sick child to keep peace in the house.

It was determined on Sunday evening that our patient would have to miss school on Monday. It only took about 15 minuets after that decision was made for our oldest to sharpen up her thespian skills and put on her show. "Dad, Mom....my stomach hurts." You could almost hear the violins playing in the background. As a veteran of such theatrics I knew what was going on here, but my wife insisted we take her seriously just in case she was indeed "sick".

Our oldest must have gotten such a good night of sleep she forgot act 1 of her show and proceeded to go about her normal morning routine, full of energy and ready for the day. After a little while the light bulb must have gone off. "Mom, Dad....my stomach still hurts and I don't feel well". Really???? I immediately start with 20 questions, trying to break my daughter and make her admit this was a fake out. Again, my wife interceded and checked my daughter out. No temperature. I knew it!! FAKER, FAKER....NOW I HAVE TO TAKE HER..too school. My wife convinced our oldest to go to school but did give her a get out of school card free with promise we would come get her if she started feeling worse.

It was a miserable day. Rain, wind, dark sky. Heck, I wanted to leave my office, go home and crawl into bed. It was about 1pm when I got the call from the school nurse. "Your daughter is here in the office complaining of a stomach ache" (how do kids know to go with the stomach ache....no way to tell if it really hurts or not, brilliant!). Again, no fever but she says she feels bad. She must have looked out the window too. And, it didn't help that one of her good friends from school left with his parents about an hour before because his stomach hurt. What to do, what to do. If I go get her I give her the knowledge that faking a stomach that hurts gets you out of school. If I don't get her I am the Dad that keeps their kid in school with a potential life threatening stomach pain. Hmmmmmmmmm, tough choice.

After I picked her up and got her home she again suffered a quick memory lapse by running upstairs and in a very healthy sounding voice told her sister she got to stay home too. Big faker! You win this round little one, but I am on to you.



  1. You're telling me. My 14yo son can do the same thing. Although he has made it a goal to not miss school, he does not fake the sick to miss school act.

    No, he usually gets a headache when he knows he has stuff to do.

    Wash the dishes. Headache.

    Clean his room. The Stomach Thing.

    Clean the bathroom. He'll sever his leg below his knee.

    I admit that I take these "sicknesses" with a grain of salt most of the time. But it has been established that he does have anexiety.

    Now we just make sure he takes his pill, then he'll have to clean the bathroom with his bloody stump.

  2. It is amazing how siblings need to copy one another. If one of my children stays home sick, the other is guarenteed to be home sick in the next couple of days. I try to limit this by taking away tv, phone, and music privleges on these "sick" days. My kids sit in their room reading books. They only come out for meals and chores.

  3. Of course you knew what was going on! Like you said, we all did it. But, you gave your daughter a pass and probably a great day.
    We share everything in this house, so I know when the kids were/are sick with a virus. The reason I lean on the side of keeping them home is because one time I made the oldest go to school when she said she had a headache, and she had a migraine! Guilty feelings . . . oh boy!

  4. Every once in a while they are allowed to get away with this.