Barf Duty: Should My Kids Stay Home Today?


Kids can puke and rally. I took my 8 year old to a birthday party last Saturday. It was in one of those indoor jump-house places. At first I thought, this is smart. They’re letting the kids play before they eat pizza and cake. Then, against my better judgement, my daughter wanted to resume jumping after she ate. Predictably, after 10 minutes of jumping, she sprinted for the ladies’ room and reenacted a scene from The Exorcist. She rinsed out her mouth, splashed water on her face, and went right back to jumping as if nothing had happened.

Ashley O'Melia, Author

I think one of the hardest decisions I have to make as a parent of school-age children is whether they are sick enough to stay home from school or not. It doesn’t sound that difficult, I know, but if you’ve been there then you know what I mean.

First of all, I swear at least one of my children has a complaint every single morning. They are either too tired, or they’ve coughed once, or they imagine they have a stomachache because they’re hungry. If I let them stay home every time they said they didn’t feel good, they’d be home all year long.

Now, if I do decide to let them stay home, inevitably they feel absolutely fine just a couple hours later. Fine enough that they are hanging on me, begging for snacks or another round of Go Fish even though I’ve explained that I need to work…

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