Bad Mother: School Events Kill Me – Pizza Days and Pasta Nights

Unschooling 101

Mr. Sensitive is in his first year of Kindergarten. I started off as a proud Kindergarten parent, and then hit many bumps in the school year. There was the time they sent Mr. Sensitive home on a school bus, 30 minutes before the end of the school day, without consulting with me. He was not a ‘bus kid!’ I arrived at the school to pick him up, only to collapse with shock when I heard his he was put on a school bus, for the very first time, without my knowledge or consent. No one apologised.

I tried to keep a calm and soothing expression when Mr. Sensitive was returned to the school by the bus driver 15 minutes later – ‘Mommy, you weren’t home!” Thank God the bus driver cannot drop him off without an adult present to pick him up.

What followed was a blame-game. The teacher said the teaching assistant did it and both said the vice-principal told them to do it. The vice principal wouldn’t even look at me. I called the superintendent and the transit coordinator at the school board. The transit coordinator said it was a clerical error, that it should have been caught, and apologised. The vice principal, who was in charge of bussing, should have caught the error. The vice principal hasn’t talked to me since.

So communication and organization are clearly not strengths at this school; and apparently neither is professional courtesy.

I found out about Pizza Day three weeks after the program started when Mr. Sensitive pointed at a picture of pizza and said Pizza Day. Puzzled, I asked the teacher about it, she said the forms were sent home a month ago. I replied that I did not receive that information. She sighed and said there were a lot of forms left on the floor the day she handed them out. Great. Could they not hand a class set out again, this time actually placing the forms inside each child’s backpacks? (I personally do not expect someone who just learned to wipe his bum and is still afraid of monsters to take responsibility for organizing his life.  Why does the school?)

I am upset because my son has been watching other kids have pizza for lunch while he eats leftovers in a thermos. I am upset because my son has been missing out on the shared social experience of doing the same thing as the other kids. I am upset because I know the social world is all Mr. Sensitive will have, and I want him to enjoy the same things everyone else does, while he can.

Christmas concert? No, his school does nothing to mark the winter holiday season. This is especially ironic since it’s a CATHOLIC school, where you would normally expect such things. My public school mom friends all went to ‘Holiday Concerts’ for their kids.

School pasta night? That was another bust. I read in a newsletter about the upcoming event, and that more information would be sent home. Mr. Sensitive proudly talked about showing us his school. The other moms in the community talked about it – but no one knew when/where it was or how to get tickets. To my knowledge there was no other information sent home, but that’s not to say it’s on the floor of the classroom somewhere. I gave up trying to figure out how to attend the event and we went out to a restaurant.

The next day one of the moms in the community asked me why I wasn’t there.

ARGH!

Bring on education week, when the school sent home a letter listing school events.  It was not clear if parents were invited to attend as well. I call the school and asked about Mr. Sensitive’s ‘Reading Buddies’ program. The secretary said yes, it was Thursday afternoon, and yes, parents can attend. Great. Racing to get ready; I showered, did my hair and make-up, and found an outfit that said ‘business casual’ instead of ‘public pajamas’.  I left Little Miss Adorable and baby Dunk with Hubby while I raced off to see Mr. Sensitive in his reading program.

Finally, I get to show my support of Mr. Sensitive in school. I want to be wowed by cute Kindergarteners milling around. (And as a teacher myself, I wanted to spy on the classroom life.)

I arrive at the school and find out I just missed it.

I felt physically sick. What the hell? I can’t even make it to one lousy school event? What’s wrong with me? I must be the world’s worse mother.

I stood at the classroom door and watched 28 Kindergarteners cleaning up for snack. I made small talk with the teacher, lying about being in the neighbourhood and popping in, hoping to catch the ‘Reading Buddies’ program. I did not say I rescheduled my entire day around it. I said I may as well pick up Mr. Sensitive, since I was here anyway.

I did not want to go home, so Mr. Sensitive and I went to our local coffee shop. I sipped a cup of tea while he ate his way through a chocolate donut, a chocolate cookie and chocolate milk. (I was too upset to eat, and gave him the all chocolate instead.)

He was thrilled to have my undivided attention, and we sat together for about 30 minutes. I think that was time well spent.

Does anyone have school event experiences to share? Or advice?

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About Angela

Super-powered, Special Ed teacher and special needs mama to FOUR (!) children with an assortment of special needs; including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Prader Willi Syndrome. Our family features a heavy dose of good ol' ADHD). I blog about our halfpastnormal life.
This entry was posted in Early Childhood Development, Parenting, Relationships, School and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bad Mother: School Events Kill Me – Pizza Days and Pasta Nights

  1. Mary says:

    Having worked in the front office of a school of 600 kids, whom have parents that you also interact with. This raises the number to 1800 people you must answer to. They do their best, and yes the occasional mistake happen, they are truely sorry for that. They also have the responsibility of keeping track of which parent a child is living with this week and how they should get there. I try to remember when a staff member is attending to one of my request that I am not the only person they are trying to help but there is an tire staff of 50 people and at times they will make mistakes and at times I am not their priority but they are truely doing their best. Often they hear of the occasionalal and rare mistake that are made but really hear about the many things they do right.

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