Monday 11 April 2016

I is for Illness

Welcome to my posts for the A to Z Challenge 2016.
This year, I am posting 
Special School Stories
 tales from either my time as a teacher or teaching assistant within classrooms in the U.K. or from my own school days growing up around the country
I liked school a lot when I was young and I had some very good and caring teachers but very occasionally I'd pretend to be ill just to have a day at home.  There is one journey to school that sticks in my mind all these years later ...

As I walk to school,
My mum pushing my brother in his push chair,
The golden sun shining on the pavement,
My feet start to drag.

We pass the doctors house
And make to cross the road
My mum’s out stretched hand to take my own
And I place my other arm across my tummy
“I don’t feel well, I feel sick,” I say.
“Are you sure?” she replies
Hand to my forehead checking for heat.
I nod not wanting to repeat the lie.

“Well maybe you’d better not go to school today
Maybe we ought to go home and see how you are there?”
Inside my lie makes my tummy feel slightly queasy
But I nod my head and we turn for home.

Once there I must sit on the sofa quietly,
Little brother told to leave me alone
Drink the water offered and read a book
Whilst Mum rings the school to tell them
I won’t be in today, maybe tomorrow
“We’ll see how it goes.”

It doesn’t happen very often
But sometimes I just want to be home
Instead of school
I want to read books and watch my brother play
I want to hear my mum doing the chores
Busy in the kitchen

And she doesn’t mind once in a while
And she’ll tell me she didn’t like school much
And ask if everything’s alright there and it is
It’s just the sun is shining and I miss my little brother sometimes
So now and again I’m “ill” and she knows the score
Tomorrow I’ll be back to school – no trouble
But today I’ll just read my book and be home
With them


  1. My mom would never have fell for this! And my rule for my kids was they had to have a fever or actively vomiting. I only had to go once to pick up a kid who was "really" too sick for school. And I had one kid who didn't miss a single day in 12 years of school!

  2. my mother was tougher - she'd look into your eyes until you blinked with a "lie". I admit I liked school, but every so often, you just needed a "break". She wasn't having it and that's okay. It's rare now for me to miss work unless truly sick. I understand your post, however.

  3. I liked your poem. It was filled with imagery.
    My mom was lenient about letting me have a day off. Since I had little sisters and brothers, she was actually grateful for the additional help. I'm afraid I was more strict with my own children. Especially since I worked full time and couldn't afford to stay home.

  4. School was alright for me. I was bullied most of my elementary years so I didn't care much to go. I just kind of hoped it would all pass as quick as possible. College was my favorite, that's what I really miss.

    Lovely poem ^^ Have a lovely A to Z.

  5. Lovely memory! And how wonderful that your mom understood.

    Yvonne V

  6. I've missed very few days of work over the years; consequently, I have over 200 sick days accumulated. I rarely missed school as a child either. I think the childhood habit of going to school is mirrored in my work life. Consequently, I'm a bit perplexed by those who are absent frequently, whether students or colleagues, unless the absence is for a school activity.

  7. Nothing wrong with playing hooky once in a while.

  8. Stephen Spielberg, director of many Hollywood blockbusters - his mom used to let him play hooky and would go on nature trips w/ him w/ their videorecorder. So you never know where playing hooky will lead... Maui Jungalow

  9. My son has tried that. I remind him if he stays home he has to stay in bed all day. No video games. No TV.
    Then he usually heads to school.