Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A high note

So. I’m 40. Bloody hell that’s always sounded old.

Still, I guess there are worse things, like 50.

I had a nice day, can’t say ‘great’ as I was at work and seriously stressed for most of it. But the day ended well.

You remember my friend Cass? The one I went to London with at the last minute to see Aerosmith? She spoilt me rotten!

She’d taken this dreadful photo of us that night, huiddled together in the midst of crowd, and so she enlarged my face (way too close!!) and put it on the front of a card, with the words:

What is the definition of a good friend?

Inside was:

Someone who stands outside in the pouring rain for 5 hours to watch a rock band they have never heard of!!

That card is the funniest, nicest, birthday card I have ever received! And I laughed like a drain!!

And she wasn’t finished there; I got a couple of things, but most excitingly a night away with her in January! We’re staying a posh hotel/spa place for a ‘girly’ night – with everything thrown in!

She spoils me, and makes me feel very special. And I’m bloody glad she’s still my best mate after 25 years!

I received other lovely things too, but that was the most personal gift, the one I’ll remember first.

My parents also came back to the UK for my birthday – which I feel downright guilty about. So sweet they did, but I worked all day and only saw them for an hour. They head back to South Africa on Friday, till March, so even an hour was nice.

The final tidbit of my birthday was hearing from the School P wants to go to (& failed the exam for). They weren’t returning my calls, and I hate to be a nuisance to people and call repeatedly, so at the weekend I wrote a letter. I just said P didn’t want to give up, was going to have some extra English lessons, and would dearly like to be considered to be allowed to sit the exam again, if and when a place becomes available.

Obviously there’re no places just now, but the lady in charge of admissions called last night to say that P was on her mind, and that she’s impressed with his attitude, and will keep him in mind as and when the opportunity presents itself.

She’s a lovely lady, and even if nothing happens for a year or two, she made me feel like she really will be in contact as and when she could.

A slither of hope is enough to make me smile. Time will tell of course, but a small hope is more than I had last week!

And the kids are dropping like flies! The two boys were both ill at school yesterday, both told by teachers to come home, both refused giving the reason that they’re having time off shortly, and can’t afford more.

Awwww, my boys! But I did tell them off – pointed out the schools don’t want them when they’re sick!

And speaking of schools, quick update on my big confession….. P’s headmaster called me on Monday morning.

Told me not to be embarrassed about this event, said he knows it happens, and that the only difference is *I* can’t seem to be dishonest. He was very forgiving.

Even said he didn’t want the letter to go on Ps file, and would I write a one line letter asking for time off, so that he could destroy the original letter.

I feel he’s being very kind and generous with me. And I’m grateful more than he’ll ever realise.

The girls headmistress…well, I haven’t heard from her. And after discussing the situation yesterday with another mother who went head to head with this woman – I don’t think I shall.

She cannot make an exception for us. Even with my big confessional.

But then, she hasn’t called or asked to see me, or written a letter…..yet. I’m still biting my nails but figure, that maybe, in her own way, not responding is the most generous thing she can do for me just now.

And I’ve done my bit, confessing all. There’s nothing more I can do.

And now I must bid you all farewell until 2009, as I want to be at work for 7…..must dash!

Have a super Christmas :)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

How do I find myself in situations like this?!

We’re days away from our holiday. Which should be great, and if I wasn’t on a guilt trip, it probably would be!

My guilt stems from a lie I was planning to tell, because I felt I didn’t have a choice…but I’d better start at the beginning or this won’t make any sense.

We began looking at the holiday back in March, and once we had an idea of dates, we contacted our eldest son’s school to request the dates off. The permission was received.

But I didn’t think to contact the primary schools, because….well…what are the kids under 10 going to be learning in the week before Christmas?? I’d planned to mention it to those schools around September time, but I really didn’t think it would matter. Or maybe I just didn’t think….

Anyway we booked the holiday, and grinned about it for a couple of months.

Then I heard some rumours that a mom had been refused permission to take her 5 year old out of school for two days for a family event. The playground was abuzz with the news…but I didn’t really pay any heed, as I took it as gossip and reckoned there must be more to the story.

At the summer half term a letter arrived from the headmistress of my daughters school, sent to all parents, informing us that no child would be given permission for time out of school for such things as family holidays.

I panicked and worried myself sick, until I decided I would have to go in, and front up to what I had done. But then a mom pointed out, the headmistress couldn’t make an exception for us…and would be more likely to make an example!

Phones were red hot as plenty of us worried what we would do – because I wasn’t the only one.

One by one we decided, some sent their lawyer husbands in to front up and argue the case, some simply faced the heads wrath but stuck to their guns (this option worried me, as I didn’t want any future animosity), and others lied and called their children in sick. And as the BH ain’t a lawyer, I opted for the lie…..

But it wasn’t just one school I had to lie to, as the Catholic schools are very close, with the head teachers getting together often. I would have to lie to two schools to pull this off.

The plan was: call the schools from UK airport for the Thursday and Friday (after all, if your child vomits, it’s a minimum of 48 hours off ;)), then call first thing on the Monday, from America, for the remaining few days.

That was my plan. Stupid plan.

What if, when I'm on the phone, there was an announcement when at the airport in the UK? What if I overslept on the Monday because of the time difference? What if the call sounded long-distance? What if the kids blabbed all when they returned? Would I ever sleep for fear we’d be discovered? Even after the fact??

My panic has grown out of all proportion. Oh gawd, I feel so sick.

I tried to get a confession slot appointment with the headmistress on Friday, but she was out of the island, and I’ve only got 3 days – which I’m working, as well as fitting in a school play, and birthday lunch, and we haven’t started packing yet, or wrapped and sent off any presents, or cards.

So I’ve written it all down. An explanation and apology to both headteachers.

Ironically the letter to the 2nd head was harder – as I not had to explain what I had planned to do, but why, and in his case – because he may have mentioned it to the other head.

I’m a pratt. A very embarrassed one.

Obviously I didn’t waffle this badly in the letters to them, but have said I am available to see them, if they wish to have a few choice words with me.

I keep asking people if I can get into ‘real’ trouble for this, and one of my friends called the education departmant and they said we could have up to 10 days a year, at the heads discretion. My friend didn’t ask, and they didn’t say, what will happen if the head refuses permission.

I’m worried sick, and hoping they tell me, or forgive me, before this holiday. I don’t think I’ll be able to relax otherwise.