The reason I ask is because my daughter told me writing the truth about why she is late for school is no longer acceptable. Ahah! So lying through your teeth is better. I do like a school who encourages use of your imagination and a little levity as well!
Let me set the scene first.
Since we live out of town the school bus goes by at 8.05 am which is good since it’s due at 8.00 and nobody is ever there by then. In town the kids complain about having to get up at 8.00 am for school.
We also have a very long driveway so there is either a mad dash on foot or in a paddock basher to the front gate as the bus goes along the front fence. See http://countrylife.feral007.com/2011/03/03/to-tree-change-or-not-the-school-bus/ for more on that subject.
So there are days when people are tired (or should I say when mum is more tired than usual and doesn’t manage to get everyone out of bed in time for the bus.)
Then there are the times when the horses won’t come over to the fence quick enough to have their rugs removed in winter.
The alarm doesn’t go off – or not loud enough anyway.
Or we are Just Plain Late!
If I’m going in to work I’m usually running around harrassing everyone – and those that don’t make it to the school bus then make me late for work, since we usually leave around the same time if it’s all going according to plan.
When Mum is NOT going to work, that’s when the 10 Best Reasons for being Late For School would be very handy.
And I could do with a pile of them pre-printed and ready with a ‘Tick a Reason’ and then a spot for the Signature.
When Mum is planning on going into town later she often has things that need to be done before she goes in. And she’s not a person who wants to ‘run into town’ just to drop the kids at school and then come home just to go back in again. So the latest rule is ‘If you miss the bus, then you have to wait until Mum has had her breakfast, shower, done what she needs to do – including walking the dogs if that was on the agenda.’ So you see you are not just ‘a bit late’ you are ‘bluddy late’ by that time.
Mum often refuses to write a note if she was on a time schedule herself and is now late – because writing notes makes her ‘later than late.’
The school does not like children to write their own notes which the mother signs illegibly at the bottom with ‘Mother’ written underneath it.
But you know – you want a note? Just take what you can get and be thankful!
But no, last ‘late child’ who is a teen of course! Said teen was thrown a piece of paper, instructed to find a pen in her bag and write the note on the way into town. ‘Umm, what will I write?’ (teen)
‘The usual – You are late for school because you missed the school bus and had to wait until your mother was ready to drive you into town.’ (Mum)
‘Umm, they said that’s not allowed as a reason’ (teen)
‘WHAT! The truth is not good enough for them? Well, just write You were late for school because the Aliens forgot to pick you up on their way past! Rant, rant, rave, rave.’ (Mum) 10 kilometres down the road.
‘Ummm, will I really write that!’ (teen)
I cannot believe that the truth – unappealing as it often is, is not good enough anymore. But I am a good parent, and I am willing, in fact I’m almost ready to ENJOY it – I’m ready to Make A List.
So here goes:
1. Aliens forgot to pick me up on the way through.
2. I was held hostage by a wombat.
3. The Tiger Snake was in the way.
4. PsychoMummy forgot to wake me up in time (although this is probably almost truthful using the term ‘PsychoMummy’ makes it ok.)
5. The Electric Fence went psycho and I couldn’t get out the gate.
6. The Kelpie turned into Cujo and I couldn’t get away.
7. Nits – to save time Mum only caught the slow ones and will deal with the rest (that are still there) at the end of the day This one requires the child to lean towards the person reading the note whilst the note is being read.
8. One of my Multiple Personalities refused to go to school and it took me sometime to subdue her.
9. We ran out of water and had to wait until mum got the pump going at the river (this is the truth but I’m running out of ideas)
10. Think of one yourself – Mum is too busy to come up with any more atm.
I do need a few more to go on the list. Something to give me a bit of a laugh at least. So please, rack your brains and your sense of humour and give me your best.
I sent the teen off with an unacceptable note (ie the usual missed the bus version) and the instructions: Don’t be cheeky to your teacher.
In fact, it is not a teacher that takes these notes but ‘someone’ in Student Services. Very little service in my mind. Still told teen to tell ‘the person’ if they weren’t happy with the reason then they could call me and discuss it.
I was ready all day, but no contact.
Apparently, when told ‘If you want you can ring mum’ the reply was ‘Huh, I’m not going to ring HER!’ Oh dear, is it too much effort? If a note is required from the mother for lateness, and the contents of the note are unacceptable I think that they should at least contact the writer of the note – not just give the teen a hard time about the reason. If it’s a matter of the teen being late too often and there is a detention in the offing then that is what should be discussed – not that the note is unacceptable.
It irks me how some adults treat children/teens without respect but are loathe to have the same conversation with a grown adult who no longer attends school and therefore has the right of reply.
So: Don’t be cheeky to your teacher…that’s MY Job! And like a good parent, I will always do my best!