Daisy hasn’t missed school at all this year (other than an early check out for a dentist appointment). In fact, I don’t know that any of my kids have missed a full day this year. I consider this a lucky thing: It means we have had a far more healthy winter season than we typically do. Goldie seems to agree – and shudders at the thought of missing a day. Abe and Daisy, on the other hand, seem to feel their perfect attendance to be a horrible injustice, and are constantly complaining that they ought to be allowed a day off. I don’t mind them having a day off, to be honest, but they are getting old enough that missing a day can easily mean lots of make-up work, or lots of confusion over an unlearned new math-solving method, etc.
So, when Daisy began pleading to stay home the other day – and then throwing out tempting promises such as “I can watch the kids while you run”, and “I will let you take pictures of me with out complaining”, etc. I caved – telling her that if she found a day where she wouldn’t miss too much, and collected her assignments beforehand, she could stay.
I didn’t actually get to take many pictures of her. The typical days demands and goings on – nap times for little ones, visiting teachers visiting during prime sunlight moments, etc. meant that I only got time to snap this one shot after dropping the other kids off at school. Still, she held to her other promises – diligently finishing her make-up work, playing cheerfully with the little ones, letting me sneak off for a run while Anders napped, etc.
Abe and Daisy aren’t yet old enough to be left in charge as full on baby-sitters. I don’t yet feel that they ought to deal with the stresses of caring for a baby or of being in charge for any lengthy amount of time, however, they can, quite confidently, play with Penny and Jesse for up to an hour, and, if I am close enough to home that I could get back quickly (I always have my cell phone on me if I leave them – even if I am out running), I can even leave a sleeping Anders. It is novel enough for them that they actually enjoy it, and, as those of you with very young kids can likely imagine, it makes life much easier for me. Just to be able to run quickly to the grocery store, drop a kid off at music lessons, or make a short visiting teaching appointment with out figuring what is to be done with everyone is such a nice nice thing! And Daisy was a saint babysitter yesterday. Even before I’d headed off on my run she was hiding plastic Easter eggs all over the backyard for Penny and Jesse to find and explaining to them how they would be able to watch one Backyardigans, etc.
I really loved having my oldest girl with me for the day – true there were three other kids in the house, but something about it being just her missing school, made the day feel exciting and adventurous, and she seemed to enjoy so much being with me as my one oldest helper for the day. It’s a lucky thing I have a sense of obligation and responsibility when it comes to my kids and their educations . . . otherwise, I could easily see letting one of them have a special stat-home-with-mom day ever week!