Monday, November 26, 2012

Everyone needs a rostered day off - or not

My boys have hit the wall. With four weeks to go until the end of the school term, and a million tests, concerts, grading days, swimming lessons, parties, activities and other essentials to get through, they're both so tired they can't cope. They can fight though. Oh yes, always enough energy for that.

In an effort to make the mornings more pleasant for all of us, I have decided to give them both a rostered day off. An old-fashioned mental health day. A day at home to hang out with me, loll about on the sofa unmolested by their brother (yes, separate days or we'd all go mad), watch a dvd, read a book, get horribly bored and, hopefully, feel all refreshed for school the next day.

I will work around them. It will be just like the not-so-good old days.

This is the plan, anyway.

I tried to give Mr5 an RDO last week, when I was having to wake him at 7.45am for school, and he was particularly ornery about the house. He thought it was a good idea, until he remembered that he was on compost duty that day.

"I have to go," he said, leaping out of bed. "I've got a job today."

"Er, okay," I said, thinking 'are you nuts?'. "But are you sure?"

"Oh yes," he said. "I'll get a sticker and that will be one more for my chart and then I'll only have eight more to go to finish the plane. Time's running out, Mum!"

I tried to remember a time in my life when the notion of getting a sticker would win out over a day at home in my pyjamas. Couldn't.

I tried not to feel a little put out that he would choose compost over hanging out with me. Couldn't.

So we'll try again tomorrow.

If the compost wins again, all bets are off.

Do you ever give your kids a day off school just because?


  1. LOL i loved school when I was a kid (even when I had no friends at school) so nothing would have ever enticed me to stay at home if the other option was 'go to school'. And if there was a sticker on offer to sate my over competitive urges? Definitely no chance mum!

  2. Oh, I have just realised how sad my poor mum probably was when I refused to stay home from school in case I missed something fun. I adored school! Hope you manage to get your boys to take their RDOs.

    Especially hope that the compost doesn't beat you again. However, when I ask Mr2 to tell me his favourite things, the rubbish truck and rubbish bins always feature ahead of Mama. So I can relate.

  3. That's a brilliant idea! Oh, and I would have stayed home for sure...

  4. Lexie is having an RDO today too! We have had a weekend full of melt-overs and tanties and lost specs and crankiness - all due to the same reasons your boys are knackered.

    Compost duties. Adorable.You know where he gets that from, gardener Al?!

  5. Gosh, you did a reverse psychology thing on him and didn't know it! love it. My boys are not school goers yet, but I am filing this one away for when they are. Right now, I send the 4 yo to daycare on his own so that the 3 yo and I can chill. Then they both go the next day so that I can actually chill. xxxx

  6. Haha, it would be hard to find the silver (compost) lining in that scenario! But I would have been the same, I fear, I loved school. Instead of pretending to be sick to stay at home like my brother, I'd pretend to be well so mum wouldn't keep me home!

  7. Well, you know about Louis declining our invitation to the Melbourne Zoo because 'Fridays are his favourite day at school'. He explained, by way of consolation, that he likes school more than being at home because school has specialty subjects like PE, music and art. It stung. Apparently I need to lift my game.
    Really, I think he just felt bad that I hadn't told his teacher first. I tried to reassure him that I'm still the boss (as his mum), but it didn't fly.

  8. I was miserable at school until the last two years and had heaps of RDOs. I'd discuss it with my parents (both teachers!) 'you know, it's double maths and then double PE today, you know I'd be much better off at home writing.' And generally they'd agree. My kids are still little, but when they start school I'll definitely be open to the possibilities of RDOs.
    I love that your boy went to school for compost duties!

  9. I would have happily had an RDO from school! Any time, any day!

  10. A day at school with added purpose..a great idea! There should be more 'compost days' for highschoolers then they wouldn't feel like truanting so often.

  11. Bell fights to go to school!
    I just can't send her if she's a bit germy though, I figure the teacher has enough to deal with, without being exposed to whatever's doing the rounds. But absolutely, sometimes they just need an RDO.
    I really do love that she loves school so much. Having said that, I'm counting the sleeps until next Wednesday when our holidays making lunches or ironing uniforms YAY!

  12. Yes. And I occasionally give myself one too. The kiddies are completely knackered at this time if year. Sometimes everyone needs a little break.

  13. I think there is far too much crammed into the last few weeks of school, I'm sure they could spread it out a bit more or drop a few things altogether.
    I don't recall giving my kids RDOs, but I did keep them home an extra day or two if they'd been ill. For instance when they'd had chicken pox and mumps, if they were well enough to go to school on a Wednesday, I'd say, Oh what the heck, wait till Monday. I'd call the school or one of the kids friends and have homework dropped off if there was anything crucial, there rarely was.

  14. My wee twins are totally feral and are taking it day on/day off with the tantrums. My wee lad DOES NOT help himself or me by waking up at 5.30am, it's harsh for all. Anyway, I do do RDO's as required and two of my four need them more than the other two. I need one myself just now!!

    The changes in routine really knock them about. Mine finish Dec 4th... mixed blessings...

  15. It's the end of the year rush that's leaving us all floundering in its wake! We're all looking forward to Christmas after a punishingly (!) busy year with lots of changes. Within a few weeks we will have moved twice, had a major job change and built a house... and we've been doing a small renovation in another!

    Looking back 12 months ago, though, I am delighted with where we are today and can't wait for 2013! We've had to give the kids a couple of RDOs lately - they haven't been feeling 100%, but it was that extreme exhaustion that was pushing them over the edge. My mum used to do the same for us, thank goodness - and I know the odd day won't hurt them. Instead, it boosts them up to get through the other days...

  16. Yep - gave them all an RDO yesterday after 12 hours of dance the day before.

    Should have separated the days really, so we could have one on one but it was sooo nice not to do lunches before 9am. We hit the shops and the beach, played stuck in the mud...... just what we needed. I could do with another one muself but back to work today :-(

  17. Why oh Why were you not my mum?? Actually I do have one that even wants to go to school when he is sick, the other 2? They would gladly accept a day off. If my employer offered me a day off, there would be dust in my wake! x

  18. Oh to be that boy. To be up and at 'em at the thought of a sticker. x

  19. When we were kids and pretty unhappy at our school, my mum went through a large chunk of one year giving my bro and I RDO. He got Mondays, I got Fridays.

  20. I totally endorse this policy! We have been implementing mental health days since they all started school - great way to get a rest, some 1-1 time and just hang out, talk and keep connected as mother and child, not just one of the three. I love it, they love it and it pays huge dividends in creating memories and finding out about "things going on" that I might not otherwise has known about....stick with this program it WORKS!!

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