Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bread Bowls and Truancy

I have been looking for an excuse to keep Pete out of school on a day when Lulu has school so Pete and I could spend some time, just us. I didn't want to just give her a day off because that would send the wrong message. Plus she's been having some trouble focusing at school and didn't really deserve a day off. But an opportunity presented itself the other day when I was picking her up for her piano lesson and one of her teachers mentioned that she had been complaining that her ears seemed clogged ("It sounds like I'm talking out of a speaker," Pete said). Ah-ha! This cold that's been hanging on to her for the last 2 or 3 weeks has finally done some real damage. Ear infection! Woo-hoo!! Oh wait... That's not actually a good thing. Is it?

So since she's not sick-ish except for the speaker thing and a cough and runny nose, I thought about sending her to school and just picking her up early for her doctor appointment. I considered it for just a moment because that's what a responsible mom would do. And sometimes I'm a responsible mom. But here's the thing. Ever since Pete turned 3 and started going to Montessori schools (school-for-real, in other words), I feel like I've been missing out on those days when we would just hang out together and read or paint or go shopping or whatever. We still do that stuff, but now Lulu is with us all the time when Pete's not in school, and you're really not supposed to just take your kid out of school to hang out with you because you miss them. But if she's sick or has a doctor appointment or something? Then it's okay, right? So, again, yay for ear infections... but only minor ones that don't hurt and stuff. I get to spend the day with just Pete and no one else. The morning, anyway.

We shuffled Lulu off to school first, and then we spent the morning visiting the doctor and doing some shopping, then went out for lunch. The lunch thing was very important, to me at least, because Lulu and I have lunch out every other week or so, and Pete always looks disappointed that she missed it and that makes me sad and so this time she didn't miss it and that was fantastic. Plus, she got to pick the place (she wanted broccoli soup in a bread bowl from Panera). Then we picked up Lulu together.

It wasn't an extra special Pete-Day-of-Play or anything. In fact, aside from the visit to the doctor, it was pretty much just a normal Mom-Day (plus lunch out), but she seemed content to be tagging along and we had a very sweet time. It was better than when she was little and I would blow off work to keep her home from daycare just to be together because she's that much bigger now.

The next day, she didn't hesitate at all to go back to school. In fact she seemed kind of refreshed. I think she needed the day off as much as I needed her to have it. Apparently 7 year-olds need Mental Health Days as much as grown-ups do.

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