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The secret diary of a single parent bloke


Writen: Wednesday, May 11th, 2011, uploaded: Wednesday, May 11th, 2011


This is another of my very infrequent posts that don’t form part of my usual diary entries. I usually write them when something’s pissed me off, and tonight is no exception.

Over dinner, we were bombarded with phone calls from the same number (we have caller ID), which I chose not to answer, because we were eating. I didn’t recognise the number, but took an educated guess that it was Katrina’s work number: she’s recently changed jobs and I don’t know her new number or, as I work from home, it could have been a customer, and I have a “no TV, reading, or telephone conversations at the dinner table”. Each time, the phone rang no more than four times before going dead, and then restarted after about 30 seconds. I didn’t let on that I suspected that it was Katrina, but based on the odd calling frequency, Natalia said “it’s probably mom”. She then said, “she probably wants to know if I’ve picked up the holiday forms yet.” To which I replied, “What holiday forms?”

Well, it turns out that Katrina has decided that she’s taking the kids out of school next month for a week’s holiday in Devon. Natalia did mention that Kat had booked a holiday, but there was no request made to me about having the kids for a week, or taking them out of school.

To say that I’m annoyed would be an understatement!

I told the kids that their mother should have spoken to me about it first, it wasn’t her decision to make, and she certainly shouldn’t have gone behind my back. Also, Natalia has just started secondary school, and I’m very keen that she doesn’t miss time- I’ve paid a small fortune for a week in Torquay for the three of us during Whitsun half-term so that no school is missed. I was very calm, but annoyed when I said all of this to Natalia and Jack, but I could already see her lower lip quivering and her face becoming flushed. Jack asked whether it was all his fault, and of course I reassured him that it wasn’t.

So, what to do?

I guess that I have little choice than to let them go. As much as I’m furious with Katrina for her continued deviousness and lack of thought, causing a huge row and denying the children a holiday would probably be counter productive.

I need to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, so Katrina will be told in no uncertain terms that I am to be asked about any extra time that she decides she wants the children, and that they’re not to be taken out of school again. I may even get a solicitor to send the letter- something I’ve never resorted to before. The schools haven’t issued the holiday forms yet, but if they do, then they will have to be reminded of the situation again.

Or should I just bite the bullet and veto the holiday?


Your Comments

Comments (8)

8 Responses to “ Holidays ”

    Jen commented at 6:37 pm on May 11th, 2011

    As a teacher I’m horrified at the idea of a child missing time from school. A full week is too big a chunk to miss and they would have to work so hard to just catch up, never mind get back on top of things. Last term is when we are doing that final push to get the kids to their target levels, assess them for classes, support and challenging for the next year.

    If you wanted to put a stop to it then you could fall back on that – kids are pretty decent creatures and they know what’s right for them. It could be something to explore?


    Crystal Jigsaw commented at 6:38 pm on May 11th, 2011

    Gosh, I’m sorry to hear this. Personally, I think taking kids out of school for holidays is ridiculous as they get enough holidays as it is, but I do understand the other side, when a parent can’t afford to pay the extortionate prices during the holidays. But you’re right, she shouldn’t have done that without at least asking you first. I obviously don’t know your full circumstances which gives me no right to have an opinion on your dilemma, but both parents have rights to their children, but surely for the sake of the child these things should be thought through carefully. I hope you get this sorted.

    CJ xx


    Bloke commented at 6:51 pm on May 11th, 2011

    Thanks for your comment.

    I’m more annoyed that she simply went behind my back- I simply hadn’t been informed, let alone been asked. This is Natalia’s 1st year in Secondary school, so next year will be more important for her, and Jack will be taking his SATs next year too, so I can’t let it happen again.


    Bloke commented at 6:54 pm on May 11th, 2011

    Thanks. She booked a £10 Sun holiday (which I believe are always during term time), whereas I have paid through the nose for a holiday during half term despite earning a third of her wage. But the money’s not the point, it’s that she just tried to get the kids away and off school behind my back.


    Tracy Tidswell commented at 7:09 pm on May 11th, 2011

    I have mixed feelings about taking children out of school, it depends on their age etc and the educational benefit of travelling somewhere. But this issue is irrelevant, the fact is she is going behind your back about this, both with taking them out of school and taking them away for a week full stop. My ex and I negotiate everything and keep each other informed, I would never do this without him knowing, it would lessen his trust in me and most importantly, put the children in an awkward position. it may be though that you have to let them go this time but with a possible letter from your solicitor. Also, it’s worth informing the school of the situation and making them realise that in future you both need to be part of this decision.
    It’s a rubbish situation for her to put you in, sorry. Good luck :)


    Delabela commented at 7:23 pm on May 11th, 2011

    Ask the school to ‘refuse’ the request. Your daughter will most likely
    be missing end of year exams which will be important
    to see how well she’s coped in her first year.


    Bloke commented at 7:28 pm on May 11th, 2011

    Delabela: The schools may refuse anyway, but I suspect that it’s unlikely. I think that I really need to prevent this from happening in the future.


    Bloke commented at 7:36 pm on May 11th, 2011

    Tracy: Thanks for your reply. I agree with you on every point- I’ve taken the children out of school for a holiday in the past, but even then I had a quick informal word with the teachers or head before booking it, just to ensure that nothing important was being missed. With my daughter now at secondary school, I felt it was important that she didn’t miss anything, so purposely booked half term (even though it cost a bloody fortune for what it was).

    My main grievance is just how sneaky she’s been about the whole thing. At what point did she think I’d find out? I guess she didn’t think that far ahead.


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