Mummy, I Don't Feel Very Well

I'm not one for giving my kids an easy day off from school. But, it has made me think if we're overindulging our children too often



A miraculous illness

After a fun-packed, chocolate filled Easter break, it's no surprise that parents around the country will be hearing groans of stomach aches and whimpers of sore throats.

There was certainly no exception in our house this week!

After announcing the night before that I had a sore throat myself, right on cue, my daughter developed a mystery ailment when I called her to get up for school the next morning at 7.30am.

Nestling under her pink duvet like a giant, hibernating dormouse, she looked blearily up at me with eyes that resembled mine after a good night out. This was followed by a faux cough - more of a splutter really - and an announcement that she had "a sore throat and a tummy ache." Crikey, she doesn't do thing by halves!

Works every time...

What to do? Of course, my standard issue 'no-nonsense' retort came straight into play.

It's pretty much the same one my mum used to use on me when I tried the same, and oldest, trick in the book.

I put my hand on her forehead and watched her little face look up in mock concern.

"Are you able to eat some of that new cereal I bought?" I asked. Pause.

"I think so" came her croaky 'ill voice'.

"Great, then you're well enough for school."

Harsh? I think not. It always does the trick.

It must be inherited

As my mum used to say to me, "don't kid a kidder." So true, although I didn't appreciate it back then.

With the exception of the time I complained of ear-ache and she frog-marched me to the doctor's only to be told I had an ear infection, she always knew when I was playing a fast one, and now I do too with my kids. What parent doesn't?

Like Christmas in Spring

But what can you expect after our kids have spent the best part of two weeks munching on chocolate? Maybe we shouldn't make school holidays as much fun, then, surely, they would be chomping at the bit to get back in the classroom!

In fact, Easter seems to be slowly morphing into Christmas.

Where before, you just got a few Easter eggs from well-meaning relatives, now, the shops are crammed full of Easter paraphernalia. You're encouraged to buy Easter gifts, do Easter craft, visit relatives, even cook a turkey...

The supermarket aisles were rammed with Maundy Thursday shoppers, all panic buying for the Easter weekend. Their trolleys groaning under the weight of all the extra food they felt compelled to buy because the shops would be closed for one day on Easter Sunday. Excited kids ran riot, crazed by the sight of all the chocolate around them, even before they ate any!

Maybe it is our fault

So yes, until we stop all the fun, we only have ourselves to blame.

Maybe next time my daughter tries to pull the wool over my eyes, I should show a little more sympathy. It can't be easy going cold turkey after all that chocolate!

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

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