I have a sense this is going to be a running theme through this blog – taking the time to learn from our children.
I’m pretty sure that one of my six year olds gave herself a mental health day today. It’s just three weeks until summer vacation and my kindergarteners are tired. Tired of waking up early, tired of homework, tired of waiting until the weekend to watch TV. This, however, should be an exciting week at school as it’s Literacy Week and fun activities are planned for each day. In fact, today is arguably the most exciting day of all – Pajama Day. My girls live for Pajama Day. They plan and negotiate for days, even weeks, what PJs they’ll wear on Pajama Day. They put their chosen pajamas on the night before and sleep in them. (OK, my teenager says that the whole point of Pajama Day is to not get dressed in the morning, but the adult in me thinks you wouldn’t want to wear to school what you slept in all night.)
So this morning the children woke up on their own (a treat they usually save for weekends), chattered noisily through breakfast about Pajama Day and their classroom book swap and the other Literacy Week activities, and proudly wore their matching pink polka dot bathrobes to school instead of coats. I left the house at the same time to begin my 30 minute commute to the office.
Five minutes into my first conference call, my cell phone rings and it’s the elementary school. “We have your daughter here in the office. She says she’s not feeling well. She feels like she has to throw up, but she doesn’t have a temperature.” I let the school secretary know I will try to reach my husband, who is much closer to school, and he will call or pick our child up. Not long after this exchange, my husband calls me to let me know that he has the “sick” child at home. The sick child is demanding to watch TV and demanding he make cinnamon toast (because that’s what mommy does when she is sick). The sick child lays on the couch all day, watching TV, and scarfs down her bag lunch plus two peanut butter sandwiches. For dinner she eats three pancakes drenched in syrup. Something tells me the sick child is not sick!
I’m convinced the sick child, my youngest, and sneakiest, daughter, figured out a way to take a mental health day at the end of an arduous kindergarten year. And how clever she is! Don’t feign a tummy ache on a difficult day when you have a spelling test or lots of math work. Choose a day that no one will suspect. Choose your favorite day of the school year – Pajama Day!