“I’m not going to school today!” Tilly told her mother one Tuesday morning. She turned over in bed and frowned at the wall.
“Oh, that’s too bad,” her mother said. “I guess you don’t want waffles with strawberry sauce and whipped cream, either, do you?”
Tilly rolled over and tumbled out of bed. “I’ll eat waffles, but I’m not going to school.”
The waffles were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Tilly ate two. She drank her mug of milk and took her dishes to the sink. “I’m still not going to school,” she said.
“Oh, that’s too bad,” her mother said. “I guess you don’t want to wear your favorite purple sweater with the baby kittens on it, either, do you?”
Tilly went back to her room and opened her top dresser drawer. There was her favorite sweater with the kittens on it. She pulled off her nightgown and put on her sweater and her favorite pair of jeans. She put on her purple socks and tennis shoes. “I’m still not going to school.”
“Oh, that’s too bad,” her mother said. “I guess you don’t want me to braid your hair and put in a sparkly hair ribbon, either, do you?”
Tilly brought the hairbrush to her mother. “One braid, please,” she said. “And I’d like the purple sparkly ribbon.”
Tilly stood very still while her mother fixed her hair. The brush went swoosh down her back until all the tangles were out. Tilly felt the gentle tug of her mother’s fingers as they twisted her hair into a braid. Click! went the fastener on the purple sparkly hair ribbon. “I’m still not going to school today,” she said.
“Oh, that’s too bad,” her mother said. “I guess you don’t want a tuna fish sandwich and grapes and chocolate milk in your lunch box, either, do you?”
“I’ll help you make the sandwich,” Tilly said, “but I’m not going to school.”
Tilly watched her mother open the tuna fish can and make tuna salad. Tilly herself carefully spread it nice and thick on a slice of bread, then topped it with another slice before her mother cut it into triangles and wrapped it up.
Tilly put it and some grapes into her lunch box while her mother poured some creamy chocolate milk into Tilly’s thermos bottle. Finally she snapped down the latch on the lunch box. “I’m still not going to school today,” she said.
“Oh, that’s too bad,” her mother said. “I guess you don’t want to take your seashells for show and tell, either, do you?”
Tilly ran to her room. On the top shelf of her bookcase was a jar of seashells from her trip to the beach. There were tiny white ones with smooth, gray insides, and big brown ones with rough edges. She even had two round sand dollars with pretty flowers on their tops.
Just then the doorbell rang. Tilly heard her mother answer the door. It was Tilly’s best friend, Tamra. “Good morning, Tamra,” her mother said. “I guess Tilly’s not going to school today.”
“Yes, I am! Yes, I am!” Tilly called. She held her seashell jar in one hand and her lunch box in the other.
Her mother smiled. “I’m glad, Tilly. Now you can play hopscotch with Tamra at recess and you can show Mrs. Turner how well you practiced your addition last night.”
“Good-bye, Mom,” Tilly said as she kissed her mother on the cheek. “Come on, Tamra—I can’t wait to get to school today!”