making excuses

For the first time in my life, I am finding myself in the position of needing to write a bona fide excuse note for someone else. Phoebe has had a fever the last couple of days, and we kept her home today.¹ Now that she’s in kindergarten, we have to go along with The System. I must play the role of the Responsible Adult.

Anyhow, I need to write an excuse note. And I have this urge to…make something up.

  • Dear Ms. X,

    Please excuse Phoebe’s absence from school yesterday. She came down with a mild case of leprosy, slight hydrophobia and severe anthracnose. She’s all better now, though.

    Phoebe’s mother

  • Dear Ms. X,

    Please excuse Phoebe’s absence from school yesterday. We had misunderstood the upcoming “Fall back” time change, and set our clocks back 3 months. We thought it was late summer and spent the day at the beach. Please accept this envelope full of sand in lieu of any schoolwork that Phoebe may have missed.

    The woman on the couch

  • Dear Ms. X,

    Please excuse Phoebe’s absence from school yesterday. She was abducted by a roving band of barracuda rabbits, who forced her to peel carrots and sing “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” all day. She was returned safely upon our payment of a ransom of 12 sock monkeys and a bag of potato chips.

    Phoebe’s mother, who is clearly not insane

  • Dear Ms. X,

    Please excuse Phoebe’s absence from school yesterday. She was sick in bed with a hangnail.

    Dispasssionately yours,
    Phoebe’s mother

  • Dear Ms. X,

    Phoebe wasn’t at school. I’m tired of making excuses.


  • As for me, I have my own set of excuses for why I haven’t posted here in over a week. I’ve been busy with, believe it or not, work. My own research, even. Also, I have a hangnail.

    ¹ Well, not actually home for all of the day, but out of school. The school rules ask that you not send your child to school with a fever, but they don’t specify where you should put her. She ended up spending some of the day at John’s office.

    9 thoughts on “making excuses

    1. What flavor of potato chips? I’d like to know, just in case a roving band of barracuda rabbits abducts my children.

      All kidding aside, a hangnail is a very serious condition, not to be taken lightly. I do hope you’re not incapacitated for too long.

    2. You are so funny! I like that this necessity of acting the role of the Responsible Adult has inspired you to do some Silly Writing instead.
      Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an urgent need to get tickets for an accordion brunch.

    3. Love. There are moments when I feel idiotic writing letters to school. When the girl had her tonsils out and ended up missing close to three weeks from school due to complications (including 4 days in the hospital), I finally just called the school and said, look, she’ll be there when she’s there. Feel free to send her homework with her brother, but she’s pretty sick and there’s no sense in my writing letters each day. I appreciated their kindness thereafter :-)

    4. You seriously have to write a note? I mean, I could see if a kid was in middle school, wanting to confirm that a parent knew the child wasn’t in school. But kindergarten? Exactly what kind of trouble do they think Phoebe is going to get up to?

    5. The world needs more excuse notes like these! But I did once have to actually write a note explaining the reason why V-meister was absent for three days in a row was because I got my calenders mixed up and thought it was still Christmas break.

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