There already are rumblings in this house about whether it's necessary to go to school both Thursday and Friday when the usual weeklong February vacation is cut short this week. It's assumed that some students at Ridge High School will be gone for ski vacations or other trips preplanned before those two days were put back on the school calendar to make up for time lost to Sandy.
Needless to say, my sympathy runs from zero to almost zero on this subject. I note that it wouldn't kill my student to get a little reinforcement in his classes even if teachers must re-cover some of the same information when the lucky vacationers return next week.
But I'm also listening with a jaundiced ear (if there is such a thing) to a slowly incubating sniffle he began displaying this morning.
Okay, maybe it is a delayed reaction to his one-day ski "vacation" to Hunter Mountain during last Sunday's frigid and brutally windy conditions in the northern Catskills.
But I'm not always convinced that those headaches and stomach-aches that aren't outwardly visible on dreary winter mornings are completely authentic.
Okay, so this doesn't happen very often, and sometimes the "illness" is accompanied by a sniffly nose or scratchy throat.
Worse yet, once or twice I've accused the kid of faking it, and come down with the same symptoms two days later. Has that ever happened to you?
Other times, I've sent him to school with instructions that he should call if he still feels sick later in the morning. Sometimes he gets through the day, but on occasion I get a call that he's in the nurse's office.
But let's be honest, sometimes a bit of fakery or overstatement comes into play.
How do I know? Let's just say, I received an actual confession.
Recently, my older son, now a 24-year-old in a clinical laboratory program at UMDNJ, admitted that some of the "proof" in his cases of stomach viruses was doctored.
With the statute of limitations long expired, he finally gave me his formula for the fake evidence — chewed food, warmed milk and a touch of chocolate milk powder or syrup. (Not too much chocolate, you don't want to have your parents having you checked for internal bleeding on your relaxing day off from school.)
I don't know whether his mentor at Ridge, the late Dr. Dan Friedman, would be proud of his scientific approach, or not.
I do know that it was definitely a gotcha moment. Have your older children ever made such a confession?
And do you always believe your student is sick (or as sick as they say they are) when it's first thing in the morning and they are reluctant to get out of bed?
Somerset Hills students had no days off for Presidents' Day
Since both Bernards schools and the Somerset Hills school district students had days off around Presidents' Day that were put back on the calendar, were kids more reluctant to go to school on days that had previously been "vacation" time?
Were more students absent than normal last Friday and this Monday days (scheduled as days off before Sandy) in Somerset Hills schools? How did those students feel about having no February break at all?
Did the very thought give them a headache? Or were they happy enough to be in school?
And do you think an "rest and relaxation" day once or twice a year won't kill your student?
How do you know when he/she really is sick, or too sick for school? Or is it sometimes a tough call? Has your kid ever obviously faked it?
Let us know in the comments section below, or take our poll!