Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Importance of Playing Hooky

The Girl came to me the other day with a toothache. After telling her that she had a back molar coming in, which was the source of her pain, and her not believing me (seriously, I'm just the mom, not a dentist, so what do I know, right?), I made an appointment with her dentist. Her appointment was first thing in the morning, so as we were getting ready to leave for it, I asked her a question that made her eyes widen:

"Do you want me to take you to school afterwards, or do you just want to play hooky and stay home with me for the rest of the day?"

I think she thought it was a trick question, so she immediately replied, "School, definitely." 

I giggled. The Girl was so much like me, it wasn't funny.
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off"- one of my favs!

"It's not a trick question, sweetheart. You already have a short day because it's an early release day, and there's no telling when we'll get done at the dentist, so if you want to come home and goof off with me for the rest of the day, I'm perfectly okay with that," I told her.

For a second, I thought her brain would explode, she was thinking so hard about my proposal.

"But, I'll miss things at school," she said.

"Yes, that's true. But, you'll make them up," I told her.

"I can really just skip school like that?" she asked.

"You can if your mom is telling you that you can, yes," I replied with a laugh.

She only thought about it for about another 5 seconds. "Sweet, then yes, I will stay home with you. I already have my homework for the week, and it's not due until tomorrow, so I'll just do that today," she said, with a huge smile.

I'm a mom that believes in playing hooky.

I don't think it's appropriate to play hooky on a regular basis, but every once in a while is okay.

Did we not learn anything from Ferris Bueller and his amazing day off?

I believe that random, spontaneous breaks are good for the mind, body and soul. I believe that playing
hooky creates memories that will stay with a kid for a while.

Take me, for instance. On my 7th birthday, my parents let me play hooky, and they took me to see "Three Men and a Baby" in the movie theater. Then, we went to the mall and I got my ears pierced. How, at the age of 32, 25 years later, do I still have such a vivid memory of my 7th birthday?

Because it was cool as hell that my parents let me skip school to go do fun things in celebration of my birthday. I remember waking up that morning and getting ready for school, just like every other weekday morning, and my parents telling me I wasn't going to school. I thought I had hit the jackpot.

And I had, in a memory-making way. I will always remember my 7th birthday. Do I remember what lesson they were teaching at school that day that I had to make up the following day? No idea. But I remember how awesome I thought it was to be sitting in a movie theater, eating popcorn, in the middle of the weekday, when I should have been at school.

My daughter is definitely headed down the academic path I did- she's already getting straight A's, is in the accelerated program at school, and takes her school work, homework, and school time very seriously. When I asked her if she wanted to skip school yesterday, I saw the panic in her face- the panic I once wore when it came to taking a day off of school. I burned myself out in high school, so much to the point that I never finished college. I don't want that to be my daughter in 6 more years- so academically driven that she can't enjoy life. I'm proud of her academic achievements so far, I truly am. But, I also watched her process my proposal, the gears turning in her head, and when she made the decision to have a Mom and Daughter Day, I saw her shoulders relax. Tension that she didn't even know she was carrying just melted away. And she's only 11 years old.

If you are still judging me for allowing my child to skip school after her dentist appointment, rest assured that

  1. This is something that happens once in a blue moon at my house. My kids generally miss 1-3 days of school a year, and those are usually accompanied by high fevers and vomiting.
  2. The dentist ended up cutting out a chunk of overlapping gum that was hindering the molar coming in, causing her so much pain, so even if she would have chosen to go to school after her appointment, the medical procedure she underwent would have forced her to stay at home anyway.
  3. I don't really care if you are judging me. This is how I am choosing to parent my kids. Yeah, that's how that is.
Hubby and I need to plan an epic day like Ferris had!!
Will The Girl always remember the day her mom let her play hooky after her dentist appointment? Probably not, but she'll remember it a heck of a lot more than whatever she found out she missed that day. Plus, it gave us mother/daughter time, picking up some things at Target and relaxing at the house, catching up on our girly TV shows. 

That just means that Hubby and I need to actually plan a day to play hooky, surprise our kids with it, and create memories that will stay with them for 25 years like my 7th birthday has stuck with me. Everyone needs to play hooky every once in a while- kids and parents alike. If you can play hooky together, even better.

I'm a mom who believes in the importance of playing hooky.

Are you?

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  1. That's so awesome that you did that for her! :)

    1. We enjoyed it. Definitely have to do it again sometime, maybe with the boys in tow, lol.

  2. Awesome mom skills and yes, playing hooky is perfectly acceptable and it's good for everybody - Mom approved hooky of course. ;)

    1. Lol, thank you! Good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. ;)

  3. Love it- Love that she was fighting it, then gave in! Good job mom! Sounded like a perfect day to me! Target and girl shows?? All you guys needed was a treat from Starbucks to make it official! ;)

    1. We hit up the Starbucks in Target, lol. Love my Starbucks!! ;)

  4. Nice read! I like the suggestions.