Calls From School

by Marinka on December 9, 2012

Let me just tell you this right now to save you the suspense.

When you get a call from your kid’s school, it’s never good news.

It’s never, “the principal and the director were just talking about how you are the best mom in the whole school and we were wondering if you would mind talking to the other moms so that they could be more like you” or “your child is doing too much homework. The teacher is concerned that he should be in a PdD program.”

It’s always a “she has lice” or “he has a fever” or “she threw up”.

That’s why when I see the school’s number pop up on my cell phone, my stomach sinks like the Titanic, because they are both approximately the same size. But that’s another post.

So a few weeks ago, I get a call from the school and the nurse tells me that Young Ladrinka was hit with a ball in the eye and that he’s in pain.

And I’m thinking: Ball, eye, pain but also, I still have work to do and these bon bons aren’t going to eat themselves. So I ask to talk to him and he says yes, it hurts, and also stings, although the stinging may be the same as the hurting and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to do homework tonight. Except he doesn’t say “ha ha” after he says the look so I can tell that he’s uncomfortable.

So I tell him that I’m busy and that this isn’t a good time for an injury but that I’ll try to reach his sister and she can pick him up in about an hour.

And he says an hour? and I can sort of hear a gasp in the background and I say, yes, an hour, maybe 57 minutes because what am I, a professional time estimator?

Then we hang up and I resume my game of Solitaire. Seriously, why is that stuff so addictive? So stupid and addictive! But how fun is it when you win and those cards bounce around your screen? So rewarding!

Anyway, we hang up and then I think. Huh. Hit in the eye. Eyes are important. What if it’s bad? Bad as in not good? That would be bad. Wait, is this what mothers are supposed to do? Spring into action when their kids are hurt?

So I call back the school and say “I’m on my way” and the woman on the phone says “oh, good, because usually the swelling goes down pretty quickly, but it’s not in this case.” And as soon as she says that, I think two things: 1. Why didn’t she say so when she called? and 2. OMG, MY BABY!

I shoot myself out of a cannon to get to school, and the twenty minutes it takes me to get there is filled with images of Young Ladrinka’s eye hanging on by a thread out of its socket (I’m not an ophthalmologist, so I’m not sure about how eyes work) so I prepare myself for whatever gross shit may be waiting for me.

And then I get to school and I see him sitting there and I look at him and there’s no little jar with his eye in it on his lap, so I am relieved, and then I look at him some more and turn to the woman Minding the Injured and ask “which eye is it?” Because I can’t tell. And she points to the right eye and says “see the swelling?” and I look at it again and maybe, if I squint, and tilt my head to the side, I can see the swelling. But I really can’t.

But I am so relieved and happy that Young Ladrinka is ok and I take him to the doctor just to have it checked out and she does all those doctory things and says that I should keep an eye (and we all chuckle, well, at least I do) on him to make sure he’s not passing out or throwing up or speaking in tongues or joining the GOP and the he should probably not do too much homework tonight and Young Ladrinka sighs as though this is a big disappointment, but if that’s what’s medically necessary, he’s prepared to follow doctor’s orders, for health purposes only.

So all’s well that ends well, of course. And that particular day ended with my feeling very, very relieved and Young Ladrinka feeling very, very not doing his homework. But still, the whole incident just underscores my original point. Whenever the school calls, it’s always not good news. It’s probably best to block the number.

One year ago ...

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

December 9, 2012 at 11:47 am

I bet he would have found it cool to wear a patch for awhile, like a pirate.


Audrey December 9, 2012 at 11:56 am

My favorite is when the school calls and they’re like, “yeah, your kid is coughing.” And I’m all, “no shit. That’s why I sent him to school, where everyone else is coughing. I don’t want those germs in my house!”


jana December 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

You do that too?? We should start a club! 🙂


Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
December 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Solitaire should only be interrupted for eye-in-glass-jar scenario.


deb December 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

i’d comment about how the school always overdramatizes playground “injuries,” but i’m in the middle of a solitaire game…


Cindy Keller December 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I have gotten a call from my son’s teacher only once, last year when he was in 4th grade. His teacher called around 6 p.m. on a Friday, just to tell me how much he enjoyed having my son in his class and what a good student he is. Wow! So sometimes a call from school is good news!


December 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I got one of those calls this week. “Mrs T, this is the school calling, and I have Suzy here in the office, and she has broken her…”

…and before she can even finish her sentence, my stomach has reached my feet, and I am nearly hyperventilating, because after one major hospital incident involving much breakage and panic, and a second hospital visit involving no huge breakage but still a concussion, I am girding my loins for the worst and also terrified…


And I can’t even register the sentence. There are no broken body parts. It’s like a good-news phone call from the school, even though I have to dash out away from my fresh hot lunch to bring her new shoes because she can’t apparently be allowed on the muddy playground at recess with only one shoe. But still! No broken limbs! Success!!


Mama D December 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Phone calls from school are never good, agreed. Usually somebody got sick or hurt (on one memorable occasion, one of my kids tossed his cookies all over the gym–and his kindergarten teacher–during rehearsals for the holiday show!)


Stacey December 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm

When I was a kid I got hit in the eye with a ball, but I had the good sense to present my parents with an impressive shiner.

Also thanks for reminding me what I have to look forward to.


Mom of A and a December 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Its amazing that they didn’t ask for an MRI report as part of the homework!


the mama bird diaries
December 9, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Glad he is okay and excelling at not doing his homework.


December 10, 2012 at 12:01 am

Wait. His sister can pick him up? Isn’t she only a freshman? Why am I doing everything then?

Also, the best phone call I ever got from school was the principal calling to tell me my kid got caught smoking weed in the locker room. And when I say best, I mean worst.

NEVER good news.


tracy@sellabitmum December 10, 2012 at 12:37 am

Seriously, school called me FIVE TIMES last week. I totally blocked them now.


Alexandra December 10, 2012 at 12:39 am

More reasons to love you.

Secretly, –well I guess not anymore since I’m outing myself on your blog–but my MO is also “Is this what mothers are supposed to do?”

I never know. I always get it wrong.

I have no idea.

I’ve been judged at school and parks and playgrounds and I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime soon.

Judgmental school people.

GLAD his eyeball isn’t hanging out by a thread. And I do know–that’s how it stays in there.



Julie Marsh December 10, 2012 at 10:10 am

Huh. We had a similar run-in with monkey bars and a nose recently. Glad there was no visible damage – always a plus when avoiding judgment.

Usually the phone calls I get from the school are from my children themselves. Often they are tattling on each other. Last week I received a call because my oldest forgot her shoes. The judgment, it raineth down.


December 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm

The fact that he would normally have said “ha ha” after “look” endears him to me greatly. You are obviously doing an excellent job as a mother.


anymommy December 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

“because what am I, a professional time estimator?” oh god, that was a good sidebar. love you!


Courtenay December 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm

So happy I found your blog…love this post!!! (hope he’s ok) We live in nyc and my mom is in az so when she calls during my sons pre-k hours and I hear my cell ring my heart drops. she can only call after his school 🙂


joeinvegas December 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Why couldn’t he do his homework?


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes December 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Poor Ladrinka. Better cheer him up by telling that his homework won’t be going away anytime soon and that he will be able to catch up when the swelling is gone.


Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac
December 12, 2012 at 12:09 am

I’m thinking you are on to something with the “professional time estimator.” I thing there’s a real need!!


December 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

You had me at “it’s never good news”.


Lady Jennie December 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

When my daughter’s teacher called, the first thing she said was “Everything is okay.” It turns out she wanted to keep my daughter for a second year as the older class of her split level class. I found out later it was because she liked the cupcakes I made for her birthday. Once she “graduated” my daughter, she got my son, whom I suppose will also stay with her for 2 years. And once he leaves, my youngest will be snatched up. She has 6 good years of cupcake eating.


Lady Jennie December 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Oh yes, and the one time I picked up my youngest at age 3 and had to ask his teacher in shocked accents, “What happened to his eye? And why didn’t you call?” Well I didn’t really ask why they didn’t call, but I was surprised they didn’t even mention the huge black eye, even when I was standing in front of them, they responded, “Well, he ran into a door. And then he just kept running so we didn’t think it was that bad.”

We clearly have the opposite problem.


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