How dare they be sick in term time!

Can I just say, I love my children - of course I do. But after surviving the first five years or so of having them home pretty much all of the time I do love my time alone during school hours. I feel guilty admitting this but I am absolutely sure I am not alone.

So I am filled with a selfish and irrational feeling of annoyance when I realise that one or more of them are going to have to stay home from school due to illness.
 Brandon Wagon turned plague-wagon for school run

Reading that I sound like a monster. But I'm not talking about the times when they have an illness that gives real cause for concern, or when they are so poorly they can do nothing but sleep whilst you anxiously count the hours for the next dose of liquid paracetemol or antibiotics, sit up all night sponging fevered brows and ferry bucket after bucket of vomit loo-wards.

No, I'm talking about those 50/50 days where they claim they feel sick, have tummy ache, headaches etc. Hmm swinging the lead or coming down with something nasty?

It's like a cruel parenting game show: "Do you keep child at home and risk a sudden 9.20am recovery and a day of endless children's TV and demands for drinks and food whilst you crave silence, the best chair in the living room and five minutes interruption-free to work OR do you stick to the self-proclaimed rule of "sick or spots must be visible otherwise you are going to school" and risk a call from the medical room with a frankly disdainful tone of:"I have (insert child's name) here who has just vomited on the Headteacher's shoes. He/she said he told you they felt ill this morning!"

I was shamed the other day after a call from the school secretary at 3pm - 3PM! - asking me to come and get a supposedly unwell child. I explained I had three other children to pick up imminently 3 miles away and requested that she just send him to his usual bus. Ooh you should have heard her tone - dripping with contempt informing me that she didn't think the bus driver would be very pleased if child was sick on his bus.

Cowed by her disdain I quickly begged a friend to pick up my primary aged children and drove to collect child clutching sick bag who wasn't then sick on way home. Still think he could have got on bus (especially since he had a sick bag!). I know, The Unfit Mother of the Year Award goes to.....madmumof7. But when I tell you he ate dinner not half an hour later.......

Today I have three children home - two tummy bugs and a case of suspected hand, foot and mouth. I am relegated to the darkest corner of my own living room as they lounge across the sofas, have already endured two Doctor Who repeats as a background to my typing and face cleaning the bathroom with industrial quantities of bleach-based products as my next thrilling task.

And tomorrow is Saturday at which point I suspect a rapid recovery by all children involved who want to go for a previously promised jaunt in the woods.