As a working parent, there’s one thing I always dread after sending N off to nursery.  Biting?  Fighting?  Bad language?  Inappropriate actions that his dad’s taught him?

Nope.  It’s the dreaded nursery phone call with their name flashing out on the phone display.  My heart always sinks as you never know what the problem is.

This only really applied at the day nursery where he is 3 days a week.  After a year of being at nursery school on the other 2 days I don’t think I’ve ever had a call from them.  But day nursery we do.  Thankfully N’s not a particularly ill child, or that clumsy.  Plus of course, any less urgent information tends to come over via email…or text if it’s a reminder of something happening at nursery that week like jeans day, or bring your Grandparents in.

But phone calls, I just want to hide when I see the name flash up.

Of course I want to know if N’s fallen up a step and into a door frame corner, ending up with a nice bruised stripe diagonally up his face…sorted out with ice and cuddles, no need for stitches or hospital, just a check that the nose wasn’t broken at the doctors.

bashed up nose and face
He really looked like a bruiser here

Sometimes it’s a call for calpol to be given.  I must sound really rude on the phone, but I always dread that as calpol never really works for N.  Nurofen’s much better.  But also he is quite a hot child.  And then of course, if the temperature doesn’t go down, then I have to pick him up, only to find that half an hour after picking him up, he’s on normal form.  The bonus is that our nursery do administer medicine if required and if authorised.  I’ve heard a lot won’t.

At the moment there’s the threat of chicken pox, as it’s going round again.  N had chicken pox a while back, but it was really mild. He only had 5 spots.  So there’s the worry that he might catch it again.  Last time was a pain as he had spots but didn’t seem to have any other symptoms so trying to work from home when he was like his normal self but quarantined at home was a bit difficult.

He’s been really tired the last week or so too, so now I’m on spot look out.  He does have 3 spots in a row on his back which he turned up with last week.  He does react to bites the same way as his dad where I usually get off scot free.  So I’ve been examining these to check if they’re blistery but thankfully they’re not.  But I still got the call today to see if they could have a look at them as check there’s nothing in them – they almost looked like the centre of them was black/red, just the same as a bite I had a while back from a car boot sale.

All these bites sound like we’re grim and flea ridden, but I think being on a farm means you end up being bitten and have no idea how.  I remember I came back from Tractor Ted’s show in the summer with a bite on my hip from sitting on a straw bale – it had got me through my jeans!

So the dreaded display lit up this morning with the nursery name and my heart fell wondering if I needed to get the bites properly checked in case of chicken pox.  Luckily it wasn’t needed this time, and no treatment needed.  But it’s still worrying with the tiredness.

I guess parents, whether children are in school or nursery are always waiting on tenterhooks for the call home about their child.  It’s part of being a parent, and if you didn’t worry to some extent, you’d probably not care enough.

Do you dread the call from childcare?  What’s the most unusual call from them you’ve had?


  1. Pingback: Goodreads #38 - Parenting - darktea

  2. Your oat made me smile because I remember all too well the felling – it doesn’t go away, I know get the feeling when the school rings! Glad he is feeling better.

    • He is, thanks. It’s a lot of years during nursery and then school to wait for the call!

  3. My son is in middle school now but I do remember those moments and the anxiety I would feel as a single mom knowing I’d have to leave work if anything ever happened. Luckily we didn’t receive too many phone calls at that age. It wasn’t until elementary that things started to ramp up for us. I hope your little guy feels better an thanks for sharing.

    • He’s doing fine thanks. Just a bad cold now, but hopefully on the mend and he’s been fine at nursery if just a bit tired. Hopefully we’ll all get through this school year unscathed.

  4. I was in that state today. M had earache last night and a slightly raised temperature this morning. And I had my annual appraisal this morning so I sent him to nursery hoping for the best. Fortunately this time he was absolutely fine all day.

    • Uh, hope M was ok. N’s come down with a horrible cold, moaning of ear ache one night, but got through nursery just being a bit quiet and tired. He slept fine last night though and been much livelier this morning. So hopefully all just a fleeting virus.

  5. Melissa Smith

    I got a phone call from preschool last year for my son. He was sleeping from the moment he got there so they figured he didn’t feel the greatest. Sure enough, he never even managed to take his coat off or let go of his lunch bag.

  6. Most unusual phone call when my son was on a skiing trip he had been air lifted off mont blanc

    • Wow, extreme sports and extreme phone call. Scary when you’re in another country!

  7. Rebecca Swenor

    I haven’t had a child in daycare for years but I do remember getting a couple when I lil one was running a high temp. I had to leave work a couple of times when he was sick. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Daycare’s call parents for things as little as paper-cuts. I think to protect themselves they have to write up lengthy incident reports. I haven’t gotten any crazy calls. One time the nurse called to ask about my daughters eczema. I was surprised she couldn’t identify eczema .. surely my daughter isn’t the only one.

    • That does seem a bit ridiculous. Ours isn’t that bad, it’s just the temperature thing, and then they’re trying to watch out for spots. They are a lot better than some nurseries round here I’ve heard about.

  9. Sharon (@crazykids6)

    Oh yes, when I worked while four of our kids were little, I always cringed when I saw the daycare calling. And I know it’s weird, but I really do wish chicken pox would hurry up and infect our youngest four kids since the others already had it

    • Let’s hope your youngest is just immune from the others. Some people are. But it’s so annoying waiting and hoping they’ll get it younger.

      • Chicken pox has been doing the arounds at my son’s nursery and I was hoping he would get it because I’d rather he had it now then when he starts school. He missed it this time, but almost two years before he starts school.

        • Chicken pox party for M then! He’s got plenty of time to catch it.

          N has another 2 random spots turned up, but again more like bites as bigger red patches round. I’m thinking he might need a new mattress (it’s an ancient one that’s been on the bed for years) and a serious boil wash of all his teddies and bedlinen. The OH gets bitten on the farm, but the last few days, N hasn’t been out. I don’t get them though and I sit on his bed, so no idea where he gets bitten, unless nursery sends him home with them.

  10. I have never really gotten a call from the nursery school. However I have one more child to go through.

  11. Oh, this brings me back to the days when my oldest was in daycare. It didn’t help that both my husband and I worked 1.5 hrs away, at the time. I didn’t get too many odd phone calls from daycare…usually, it’s because daughter was feeling sick.

    • I’ve done that 1 hour commute and been called, but luckily my OH and his family are only round the corner if it’s ever urgent. Nice to be closer.

  12. Can’t say I’m familiar with nursery school. Is that like daycare or more like pre-k?

    • We have day nursery which I guess is the same as daycare (although it does have a pre-school room), and our nursery school/pre-school is the equivalent of pre-K.

  13. Bonnie @ wemake7

    My son doesn’t go to a nursery school or daycare but I know the dread and that feeling when I see that the school is calling with my 4 oldest in school.

  14. Oh yes, I do remember those calls, and the feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach. Poor little guy. Hope he healed quickly.

    • Yes he did. He doesn’t suffer for long (touch wood that’s the worst he ever gets

  15. I must say I haven’t brought mine to a childcare, which I think is a good thing. The only reason is I am a stay-at-home mom and I have all the time to take care of her. Good thing too that I have friends who have kids the same age as hers.

    • Aw. Luckily N took to nursery really well and we’ve not really had any issues. I’m hoping being there will help with the transition to school as well

  16. I could imagine how tense it would seeing the number of the nursery. You’ll get used to it for sure. Your son looks like a real trooper.

    • He’s only there for another year. I’m hoping once he’s at school there’ll be less of it.

  17. Kungphoo

    Now that my kids are much older, we dread the principal calling and saying they did something.. or something happened..

    • I can believe it. Guess the worry never goes away, but may have more implications

    • Oh, that is really scary. So much to rely on for the school and other children as well as yours. Hope you never get one that’s a serious issue

  18. I’m lucky so far and haven’t had one of those calls. You’re right, it must be horrid. If they were hurt, I’d want to be there with them.

    • So true. One of those times you think that working isn’t the best idea…not for long when they’re charging around at home like nutters!

  19. When my first born went to school by age 3, getting a call from their principal was my dreaded thing to happen, but thank God it didn’t.

    Poor little guy of yours.. I hope he feels better now..

  20. I certainly do hate phonecalls in the day…it generally means that something is wrong!!! When I was working full time it was dreadful when the nursery rang…as you say it was inevitably something minor but your heart nearly skips a beat when you see the number flash up! Horrible. I hope the spots clear up soon…

    • They are clearing up nicely. Just look vicious in the meantime! Thanks for stopping by

  21. Miriam of Adventurous Miriam

    Oh no, that sounds so scary! I think we all dread that phonecall when it comes to our loved ones. I hope he’s okay!

  22. I’ve been pretty lucky. Only had a couple calls and it was for ear infections both times.

  23. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    My kids hardly ever got sick or hurt until they went off to preschool. Not to mention all the naughty words they learned there from the other kids.

  24. I had a call once in the middle of a very important training meeting, the phone was brought to me and all I said was ‘Yes’ and ‘bye’ they rang to ask if they could take a picture of her for the nursery brochure, everyone wanted to know if she was ok as it was her first day, it was a bit embarassing!

  25. I’ve only ever had one call from school, to fetch my daughter who was poorly. Turned out she was faking it… she won’t be doing that gain in a hurry lol

      • When I went to the vet recently her son was there, “apparently ill!” she said. She made him stay at the surgery all day and he was bored to tears. I doubt he’ll do that again in a hurry!

  26. Luckily I rarely got phone calls from Nursery but the worst child related phone call was the one from Simon who was skiing with the boys. “It is possible B may have broken his back!” In the microseconds between those 9 words and a bit more explanation I had started to plan who would look after the animals and the fastest way to get to The Alps. Luckily it was less serious than I first imagined. He did have 2 hairline fractures but could travel home by train as normal and recovered fully.

  27. I have different ringtones set up on my phone for each of the children. Tigger is a sickly child so would often get a call from his day nursery but never from his preschool. The worst call I’ve had was when Roo fell off a bike backwards and as they rang me 30mins before collection I knew it was serious. A trip to A&E for a big bump but no lasting damage.

    • That’s a great idea with different ringtones. Bumps are so horrible – at home I just keep an eye on him, but I suppose nurseries have to cover themselves.

  28. I think my best phone call was the time they called to say that they’d received three sets of childcare vouchers one month after something very strange went on when my employer switched voucher providers – apparently never in the history of the nursery has a parent tried to over pay!!

    • Wow that’s pretty impressive, especially if you weren’t charged. Makes you wonder how they can get so wrong.

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