I Cannot Go To School Today

January 25, 2011

‘I cannot go to school today, ‘
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
‘I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more-that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke-
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is…Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!

                ~ Shel Silverstein

 

“Sick” by Shel Silverstein is a poem that I memorized when I was in elementary school (Yes, kids … they had poems way back when Mommy was in school) and I still have this poem running through my head whenever I am dealing with one (or four) kids trying to convince me that they absolutely can not go to school today.  This past week we have had REAL sickness running through our house and the battle has been that if one child is staying home the others all want to stay home too.  They try to convince me that it really would be in my best interest if they stayed home with their sibling(s).  Sometimes they have the same sickness as their brother or sometimes they need to stay home and help take care of their sister, or sometimes they have some new sickness that they think would prevent them from getting on the school bus.  They are constantly taking their temperature “hoping” for a fever, pointing out things like the splinter in their finger or making a case for the loose tooth that is just about to fall out.  I hear cries of “My head hurts” …“My tummy hurts” … “I think I might be getting a fever soon” … “What if I need to throw up at school?”   Pretty soon MY head starts to hurt from all the whining and complaining!  I have always tried to instill a good work ethic in my children so that when they go out into the “real world” they will be a valued employee that is dependable and reliable.  I really don’t think a boss will buy “I have a splinter in my finger” as an excuse to not come into work.  So much to their dismay they are prodded out the door and onto the school bus.  As I watch them go off to school with their sad and pitiful faces I know when they come home they will be replaced with smiles, laughter and excitement as they tell me about the wonderful day they had at school.

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2 Responses to “I Cannot Go To School Today”

  1. Mo Says:

    Ha ha! I have to confess I *always* assume my kids are malingering. I heartlessly shove them out the door with all their alleged tummy aches and sore throats and whatnot… and invariably I’m wrong, they really are sick. And then I feel guilty. (But apparently not guilty enough to believe them the next time.)


    • Yeah, I know what you mean. We had the school nurse say to us one time, “Emma said she told her mommy that her stomach hurt and she felt like she was going to throw up but you made her go to school anyway, is that true?” Well, yes it was, but how many other times did she say the same thing and went to school and was fine? I always tell them they at least need to try to go to school 🙂


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