I know, I know, a hideously long time since my last update but it was not intentional; more a tree falling in the forest moment (or moments) coupled with playing with my meds. I keep hoping I can reduce doses and my body keeps telling me where the door is! That, coupled with a torn muscle in my calf - frighteningly easy to do if one has Sarcoidosis - and a cold plus Flavia's GCSE mocks and I gave in. Or gave up. Depends upon one's point of view. However, muscles, aches, pains and meds notwithstanding I am again...well, I was going to say thrusting myself into the fray but I think cautious toe-dipping is closer to the truth and, if I'm honest (and I do try to be - I'm a lousy liar) more in character. I'd love to be the sort who strikes out boldly and takes risks and I'm always mentally cat-calling at those in films who just stand there waiting for the tidal wave/alien invasion/bomb blast/lava to overwhelm them but I'm also reasonably sure I would do just that. I would like to imagine I'm the sort who would be cool, calm and heroic in a crisis but I know it just isn't the case. Cowering in the corner is far more my style unfortunately.
As I say, Flo has had her mocks - sort of. She managed just over a day but then fell (figuratively if not literally). The dreaded migraine came visiting. She did go in for the second day but the school 'phoned around 10.30 to say she had to go home. Or come home. Whichever it is (my spelling and grammar used to be reasonable but the Sarc has put paid to that. Or at least, that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!!) I felt a little annoyed, actually (rephrase that - considerably annoyed). Because of the Sarc and FMS (etc) I am unable to work any more. Three darling, sweet doctors have told me that and, although being categorised as 'retired due to ill health' is lowering - especially when one is still (just) in one's forties - I can't argue with them. Or I suppose I could but it is too much effort and thus too much energy. Thus we are poor. Beyond church-mice poor. Poor old Flo tried to tell the school she was willing - I can't say happy...how many of us would be happy having to stay in our place of employment when feeling lousy? - to stay in school until she could catch the school bus home but they were having none of it. She 'had' to come home. Which is all well and good but they wanted me to collect her.
This is part of what annoyed me. Being formerly in the trade I understand that they are in loco parentis but they were rather assuming that 1. I was not in work and 2. I was mobile. There are days when I'm not although pumping myself full of painkillers does help in that regard. If I couldn't collect her they would put her in a taxi and I'd have to pay for it on her arrival. This is where I boggled (I can be good at boggling. I've practiced it for years). Excuse me? How many people in today's economy have £20.00 lying around let alone those whos children are eligible for free school meals and for whom I have to ask assistance for any trips? The arrogance was breath-taking. Whilst I know we are at the reasonably extreme end of the excess funds spectrum I know we are not alone - £20.00 is a lot of money - hell, it is the cost of their (extremely overpriced) sport sweatshirt.
However, I did what any mother would do and girded my loins to head north, taking money out of the rent to do so and giving thanks that at least it wasn't raining - in itself something of a novelty. I kept Flavia abreast of my progress via text (about the only function on a mobile 'phone I can cope with) and, sure enough, as I approached the school she appeared. Which rather begs the question of why did I have to collect her? Okay, she didn't have the money for the train journey home but apart from that niggling little issue my question remains. I didn't have to sign her out. I didn't have to announce my presence in sonorous tones. I didn't even get as far as the school door. So why was it imperative that I spend over £5.00 we didn't have to make the hour's round trip?
I have the utmost respect for admin staff in schools but I can't help wondering if this was some sort of power-trip. From now on, Flo takes £2.00 to school with her and if she gets ill again I shall tell her to lie and say I'm at the school gate. I dislike lying and have always tried to teach her that the truth is best but in this instance I shall bow my head to necessity and accept that to survive in the world it is a requisite and often admired skill. Unfortunately.