As I remember it, if you are throwing a sickie back home, you or someone else calls the school for you in the morning and it is done and dusted. Not in Japan, oh no, life could not be so simple!
Each child has a plastic wallet which is used to carry all the random pieces of paper that get shuttled from school to home and back again. When your child is sick, you fill out a form saying why they are sick and how long they are likely to be off, put it in the folder and give it to the hancho-san (head kid in the morning walking group). She/he then takes it to school and hands it to the respective sensei.
So far, so good.
But by 6pm we hadn't had the folder back so I went and asked hancho-san's mom, she explained that one of Ebi-kun's classmates should have bought it back. Hmm, I had no idea who was supposed to bring it back. What happens next couple have been material for a sit-com. I call my husband, he thinks he knows which kid should have bought it back so he calls his mom. In the mean time the hancho-san mama calls the school, she then comes round to our house where I am on the phone to my husband who is reporting back to say that the classmate goes to after school club and the mom was on her way to pick him up. I hand hubby over to hancho-san mama and they have a chat, looks like it is all sorted. Five minutes later sensei calls to say that the classmate forgot the folder and so he will deliver it back himself then the doorbell goes again and it is the classmate and his mom, 100 apologies because he forgot the folder (upside is that I now know who the mystery classmate is). She leaves and then sensei arrives with the folder. He then spends five minutes bowing and I am ready to bang my head against the nearest wall.
And guess what? Yes, we have to do it all again today! Hopefully without all the mix up and the folder gets returned by the classmate.
When we did eventually get the folder there was a note from sensei saying that he hopes Ebi-kun gets better soon and what they did at school today, sounded riveting
1. How to hold a pencil
2. How to walk around the school yard
3. and something else that was so exciting I have forgotten what it was!
Doesn't sound like he missed much.
I'm not sure if this method of calling in sick is the norm around Japan, it seems that our school has a lot more equipment and things to label than others, maybe we just pulled a short straw!
Oh yes, and about the invalid, he is spotty and seems to get itchy as the meds wear off. Last night he had a fever which meant he ended up in bed with me which resulted in me getting no sleep, someone will be taking a nap this afternoon and it might not be the spotty one.