Thursday, 29 March 2012

So far beyond furious...

... I can hardly see straight.

My boy played took part in a school football tournament yesterday. In fact he captained the team (again - I take my name drops where I can ;-). This is not my 'cross'.

It is unseasonably warm here in the UK and has been for a week or so, accordingly I ensured my boy had lots of fluid, a hat and sunscreen in his bag. Unusually I wasn't going to watch as my girl was off school with her second migraine in a week. I went into school and asked the headteacher to make sure destructoBoy applied the sunscreen at various points throughout the day.

 Come the end of the school day I went to collect the conquering hero to be told they had made it through to the quarter finals and wouldn't be back for an hour. We mothers waited by the school gate in the sun, cajoling the hot tired siblings through that end of the day weariness. Finally the bus turned up and out poured 15 weary but ecstatic sports players and left sitting on the bus was a very pale looking, exhausted destructoBoy. He stumbled out and in socked feet walked up the road to the car.

Once home I wiped his face, neck and arms with cold water and sent him to sit outside in the cool to eat his icecream. He perked up a bit and started telling me about the day, who had the best saves and which team deserved to go through. I sent him for a shower and then he sat watching telly with the curtains drawn.

Several hours later come bedtime he was in pain, the backs of his legs were burnt red. As I applied the salve he cried out with pain. He was reluctant to get into bed knowing whichever way he lay it would hurt. Once in sleep had him within minutes.

This morning he slept an hour and a half longer than usual. It took three attempts to wake him and get him out of bed. He was still pale and the burn on his legs incredibly painful and tender. Experience has shown mornings are not his best time and so I cajoled him through the usual routines and helped put his shoes on to alleviate the need for bending. By the time we were ready to go out the door the tears were trickling out, he just did not want to go. I shouldn't have made him but part of me knows that he will respond well to being there and another part wants them to see what they have done to him. I am a bad person.

Walking in, the first person I saw was Mr. Headteacher; he who was in overall charge yesterday, he w whom I had conversed about the need for sunscreen applications, he who was about to be served his own head on toast. I said how incredibly cross I was about the state of my son and, given our conversation the previous morning, how had he let it happen? They are 10 yo boys I reminded him. As oleaginously as always he tilted his head to one side and said
 'They are 10 years old and I reminded them to apply sunscreen' followed by 'I don't know what you want me to do.'
 'Well saying sorry would be a good start and yes, they are 10 yr old boys and as such should take some responsibility for themselves but as the adults in charge it was up to you and the other members of staff to act in loco parentis and ensure they were applying it properly.'
'Obviously I am sorry but we did try and make sure they were in the shade when not playing and I did remind them...'
'I know you reminded them, my son told me, but if I had been there it would have been my fault my son ended up in this state but since I wasn't I believe it was yours. What if it had been your sons when they were primary schoolers Mr. Headteacher? Would you have just said - put on some sunscreen? Or would you have said - make you sure you put it on the backs of your legs, your neck, behind your ears?'
A deep breath followed by a quieter 'Yes'.
I pressed on saying how I thought it was a negligent action on the school's part, that my son was not to be made to struggle up and down the 30 something steps to get him to the playground today and that I would be expecting a call this morning if my son so much as even looked like the ibuprofen might be wearing off. I reiterated (for about the fourth time) how furious I was and then I took destructoBoy up the 12 stairs to his classrom.

I explained the situation to his teacher, who sympathised, and then I promptly welled up and had a few tears and everything. She agreed to keep him in at playtime and would be sure to call me if he looked like he was struggling.

I am going down at lunchtime to check on him face to face.

EDIT** I went down at lunchtime and he was still pale and pathetic so I brought him home. He was full of the kind of soppy little kid hugs that only happen when he is really not well. He has only started to look and behave normally in the last 30 minutes (16:22)


  1. Awww, I'm welling here for both of you. Glad you gave them you 'thoughts'. Sunburn/stroke is not nice and should have been avoidable. You are in no way a bad Mum, he will be fine at school I'm sure and then you can have him back under your care. Gentle hugs. x

  2. Aw poor kid. I never had the sunburn issue at school as I'm dark, but my husband is a ginger and he doesn't leave the house without sunscreen.

    If anything, a bad case of sunburn and sunstroke does make you learn about the importance of applying sunscreen - hopefully a lesson Destructoboy won't forget.

    Hope he's OK.

  3. Problem was Michelle he had applied it, just not to the back of his legs, hence he can't walk up and down stairs very easily right now.

  4. Oh, poor lad - hope he was alright at lunchtime. I have to say, this is one of my huge bugbears. My girls are so fair they look like ghosts, so we slap on the Boots Once stuff that's meant to sat all day, but i'm not always convinced it's enough- particularly on days when they swim in the morning so any sunscreen they did have on has gone by 10am. Not to mention it is like applying clay, is full of heaven knows what and stains clothes and carpet. Grrrr. In loco parentis my eye.

  5. Good for you. I would have been cross too. It's all very well for the teachers to duck and weave on this subject but as you said they were loco parentis. Jumping up and down and cheering for you. Hope the boy is feeling much better. Sending him very gentle cyber hugs - the kind that won't hurt sunburn.

  6. Argh, the poor lamb! I plaster my boys with sunblock, even though they don't burn easily... and I have been known to snatch random kids and paste them, too, if I can see their grownup-in-charge is not with the program. I am terrible!

  7. This used to happen to me and my poor fair skin All The Time. The good news is that under the Australian Hole in the Ozone, are schools are fantastically vigilant about sun protection.