In my almost 44 years I have come to terms that there are things in this world I cannot explain or understand. Like where God came from; or the rationality of intuition, deja vu or the Loch Ness monster; or a man’s primitive need to “adjust” himself in public. But the truth is that I don’t waste my time pondering these things. To not fully comprehend them does not make or break my day. But there are things that I expect an answer to. I’ll go as far as expecting a solution to them. Why? Because if I could effortlessly come up with a better way, then the other party best not inconvenience me for their own inability to realize the stupidity of their ways. Case in point:
The Kindergarten School Nurse:
During school hours my five-year old gets an upset stomach. What kid hasn’t? They shuffle him off to the Nurse’s office. She checks for a fever…NONE. He uses the private bathroom there and throws up neatly within the confines of the bowl. I get a phone call at my office. “Your son is sick, you need to pick him up”. Well, was it just one incident? Maybe something didn’t agree with him? He has no fever, so no immediate urgency? I’m all the way in the City, so can you keep an eye on him and see where this goes? Frustrated she agrees. Not even 15 minutes later and he throws up again, still in the confines of the bowl and still no fever. School staff in an uproar. “Okay, his Dad is on his way, but he is also in the city, and has to take one train plus a bus ride there. It’ll be more or less a 2 hour trip”. More uproar. “I cannot, we cannot teleport ourselves there. I cannot, we cannot blink ourselves there. Are you not a nurse? Are you not capable of handling this?” She explains that other children come in for medication that are NOT sick and she cannot, for the safety of the children expose them to my apparently plague carrying child. Here’s a BRIGHT IDEA! With all the unused rooms in an entire school, how about having medication in a separate room. OR… how about seeing those HEALTHY kids at the door, give them what they need and NOT expose them to the Black Plague that is my son. Makes me wonder how many kids in an elementary school are lining up to be dispensed medication as if they were in a Meth clinic. I thought we were done. Easy peasy solutions. She retaliated with siccing her bulldog on me, a.k.a, The Principle.
The Kindergarten Principle:
Déjà vu. I may not be able to explain the phenomena itself, but I know that listening to this woman vomit out the same verbal antics had me with that eerie feeling of “here we go again”. I wondered; were they standing next to each other and she just passed the phone? Was the nurse egging her on? I could actually picture the nurse doing some type of boxer’s fancy footwork dance instigating each word in hopes to intimidate me. I was a little disappointed knowing that as a woman, The Principle couldn’t understand the scenario or couldn’t be more helpful as a working mother herself. I forgot to mention that the nurse too is a mother and a single mother to boot. Either way, The Principles only solution, instead of waiting for Dad, which by the way was already on the bus at this time, was to call 911 to send Little Black Plague to the emergency room where they apparently have REAL NURSES. “I do NOT give you the authority to send my son on his own to the hospital. This is NOT a life threatening situation”. Well, that didn’t go over too well with The Bulldog, because she mentions how her authority trumps mine. Call ended. Long story short; she calls 911, they clue her in to reality and tell her that she CANNOT send Baby Plague their way without Mama or Papa Plague. Bam! It takes every ounce of my being not to call back and reduce myself to childish behavior and sing loudly… “I told you sooooo, hahaha”. By the way, I’m doing my own little fancy footwork dance.
I thought ‘Hey, why not just keep it confined to ALL my issues with “school”.’
Back to school night, Book fair night, Fun fair night, Family Fun night, A Night at the Derby Fundraiser, Digital Learning Day, Science Fair Night, Blue Claws Game Night, to only mention a few of the events that the elementary school consistently schedule during OUR work hours. Let’s see…parents work and pay taxes to help support their community public school system. Parents contribute to class supplies because we understand that the school system expect teachers to pull it out of their own dried out pockets. Parents help with fundraisers because we all agree that our little 5-year-old angels are just not capable of selling enough over priced gift wrapping paper to make a difference. So, how about EFFECTIVELY scheduling the thousand and one events during hours we can actually attend without sacrificing the jobs that continue to support the thousand and one events? Because we all know that if we can’t make it to Junior’s little recital, then the School Gods (yes you, school Nurse and Principal) will knight us as unfit, uncaring and non-supportive. “Poor little Johnny, all alone, presenting his poem aloud without familiar applause”.
Kindergarten School Homework:
Envision yourself alone, in a large gloomy house, and you hear a sound behind the door closest to you. You creep up slowly, put your hand on that doorknob, turn with a tight grip and pull open that door ever so gently and cautiously peek in with such restraint. What happens next doesn’t really matter. But hold on to that feeling to help you appreciate how I feel every time I have to go in to Cristian’s backpack and pull out his Homework folder to find a worksheet that frightens me despite all my years of education and experience. I’m no school teacher, but a teacher I am nonetheless, 3 times over with 3 boys of my own. And as a teacher I would want to provide my children with the most concise and CLEAR direction as possible to obtain the best outcome from them. Where the hell do they pull these worksheets from anyway? From some antiquated dusty file approved by every decaying school board member who refuse to accept modern technology to teach our children? Easy solution: Google Free Kindergarten Worksheets. I came up with hordes of lists. Heck, I’ll print them out and distribute them myself if they’d like. This way, those cute little pictures are clear to the eye, clear to decipher and not having even my genius husband scratching his head.
Class Rank Labeling System:
True or false? I have 3 sons and if I pinned them against each other labeling them in order of intelligence and talent, to their faces, I would be deemed an unfit parent. “No Junior, your brother is talented. You are just average. And because he is talented, I will provide him with more opportunities to continue to grow and learn. You? Well, you can be content with the average things in life”. Why do we accept, even applaud our schools for doing the same thing to all of our children? Excuse it however you’d like, but this is where our children learn division and exclusion.
Scarier thought is that I’m going to have to go through this all over again once the two-year old reaches school age. Home schooling is starting to look real appealing with each passing day.
— Elke — I feel it so I speak it!