Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Nursing School

My kids only have two more weeks of school left and I am not happy about it. Actually, they only have one more real week of school since the “last day” is the Thursday after the Memorial Day holiday. With no school on Monday, and an all-school field day on Tuesday, Wednesday will be filled with movies and games, and the last day is a half day, so it doesn’t even count.

Although, the one “real week” we have left isn’t really much of a week. The Friday before the Memorial Day weekend is a total write-off, and we have a couple minimum days in there too. Basically we’re in the elementary school equivalent of the last two weeks of your job before your official retirement date. You still show up to the office, but nothing productive is going to happen.

I’m not concerned with the lack of education that will occur in the next two weeks. I’m concerned, as always, about them being home all the time. School is very helpful to me. When they’re in school I can get things done. When they’re home they always want stuff.

“Dad, can we go to the park?”
“Dad, can we go to the pool?”
“Dad, can we play inside since it’s 105 degrees out?”
“Dad, can you feed us food?”
“Dad, can you come out of your office?”
“Dad, where are you?”

That’s going to get even more annoying if they ever find my hiding spot. I wish they would bug their mom for stuff but she’s a high school teacher, so during the summer months she automatically gets the better hiding spot.

Besides being in charge of them for the entire day, the main thing I’m concerned with as the school year draws to a close is the lack of medical notes I’ll get over the summer. Elementary schools are very good at notifying you of the dangers posed to your children by everyday life. I have a stack of “information letters” here on my desk just from the last few weeks.

How am I supposed to know if my children were exposed to hand-foot-and-mouth disease over the summer if I never receive a warning letter? Or conjunctivitis? Or fifth disease, whatever the hell that is.

“Son Number One has a cough.”
“How are we supposed to know what it might be? It’s July! We have no letters!”

And head lice. Don’t even get me started on head lice. Although, we tend to shear our boys like sheep over the summer, so that one shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s the absence of the head injury form that I’m most worried about. Son Number Three’s head comes into contact with hard objects, including other heads, so often that the school nurse has me on speed dial. She called the other day and didn’t even tell me who it was. She just said, “I’ll give you one guess why I’m calling.”

As she was handing him yet another concussion form to take home, he asked her, amazed, “How many of these forms do you have?”

The problem is he’s a little squirrelly when it comes to giving us information. (Possibly because he’s eight years old, possibly because of all the head injuries, probably a little of both.) I’m just not confident that over the summer I’m going to hear about every collision involving his head and a solid object. I can easily see a scenario where he’ll be playing down the street, collide with a parked car or a tree, knock himself completely out, wake up, cry for a while, see a butterfly, forget he’s hurt, chase the butterfly for two minutes, then tell me about it a week later.

I guess I’ll just have to hang on to one of these head injury notification letters for the summer and go through the concussion symptom awareness protocols every night just to be safe.

On the plus side, the short hair helps with more than just head lice. It makes it pretty easy to spot the goose eggs, too.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2016 Marc Schmatjen

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