Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Communication breakdowns

I’m hardly ever about violence, but yesterday when Deaglan told me that one of his teachers said he was silly because he had a doll in his backpack I pictured one of those first scenes from Fight Club where Brad Pitt is beating the snot out of Edward Norton. Well I’m not implying I’d be pretty enough to be the female version of Brad Pitt in my scenario – not him in Legends of the Fall anyway. Possibly Kalifornia meets Burn after Reading.

Any-whoo, where was I?

“Mommy it hurt my heart that she said I was silly,” he cried in his froggy little voice.

We’d put Baby in his backpack on Sunday night for the letter B’s Show and Share. Last week we got a schedule of who would bring their toy on what day for the letter A. This week there was no note. Worried that he might not be prepared for his turn – that I’d somehow missed the note, I told him to take Baby out only when it was his turn.

I’ll be honest; I don’t know what went down between him and the teacher. He’s three and a half after all, and as proud as we are of how articulate he is, there are still times when we’re not sure if we understand each other.

It’s the third time though, in the three short weeks of Big Kid School that he’s mentioned something worrisome a teacher has said. In the first week a teacher allegedly told him he wasn’t allowed to eat his whole wheat fusili noodles – that he should eat his ham instead and in the second week he was told not to eat the nut-free chocolate cookie we sent, the reason being it was unhealthy and wouldn’t help him grow.

Each time, I waited for my murderous rage to subside before sending a lovely note, gently asking what the hell was up. The noodle thing is still a mystery but the teacher wrote back that she encouraged the kids to choose healthy snacks for the morning recess - save treats for the afternoon.

Okay fine, but ixnay on ootingshay the parents down-ay for their choice in snacks.

So I chose my words carefully this morning when I wrote an explanation of why my son had a doll in his backpack. I didn’t demand to know why someone had accused him of being silly, didn’t throw around terms like sexist discrimination and gender profiling.

The last thing I need is to inadvertently shine a spotlight on Deaglan or for anyone to think they are dealing with the Nut of all mothers. I fully expect he’ll come to that conclusion on his own right around the time he turns fourteen.

But I will say this: I never knew how deeply each assault to his feelings would wound mine.


  1. Is it weird that I want to storm that woman's classroom? Hell hath no fury like the bloggy friend of a mom whose child's feelings were hurt.....

  2. are better than me, Kim. I totally would have already approached the teacher at drop-off or pick-up to find out what was going on. Not cool to call kids names and not cool to criticize the parents' food choices. (at E's school, one of the parents mentioned we were supposed to include a milk, a veggie, a fruit, a protein, etc. and I told her I would send whatever I wanted in my daughter's lunch thankyouverymuch, & if the school has an issue with it, they should come over & pack her lunch for me! Otherwise, butt out.) I hope things get better soon! Hugs!

  3. Wow. It's really not their business what your kid eats or if he has a doll. I would've made a phone call or walked in that classroom. I didn't have a great experience in a daycare nursery last week with Donut and I was so upset about it. I did talk to the director and they were more on top of things. I just can't keep my mouth shut when it comes to my kid. You have more patience than I do!

  4. I applaud you for at least checking to see what actually happened. Sometimes I think adults don't realize the impact their words have on little people. Hopefully the teachers realize that.

  5. Holy crap...I'm mad just reading this, and it's not my son. Seriously, I'd like to go ninja on that teacher!! I've got your back, Kim. It hurts my heart too when a child has their feelings hurt. Keep us updated!

  6. I dread these things. I'm glad we're at least a year away from such drama. I know it's coming. I'll learn from you - just keep posting about it.

    I hurts my heart, though, that something would make his heart hurt. :(

    What a sweet sensitive guy.

  7. You are such a better person than I am, because simply by reading your post I want to have it out with the teacher. There is no reason for a child to have his feelings hurt, especially by a teacher who is supposed to be someone he trusts.

  8. Ugh, she should've kept her mouth shut.
    Yesterday Pierce came home and said "Sissy called me stupid". When it's another kid, what do you do? You feel so bad.

  9. I'm so confused?? Why would the teacher say such odd things? I definitely think an intervention is necessary here and I think you are unbelievably accommodating for going this far without freaking out. As I would have.

    Maya is also going to realize she has the nut of all mothers...I just fear it'll be WAY before she's 14!

  10. Kids are tenderhearted, and that was so uncalled for. I hope that is the last incident you deal with. I don't like this repeat thing.

  11. Each assault on Amy's feelings was, and still is like a combination of a knife in my heart and a sledgehammer blow to my head. It hurts-big time! Hugs my dear. The main thing is that your kids know you have their back-that you don't agree with what others say necessarily. There will, unfortunately, be silly adults all along the path to growing up. Don't let them get the best of you, or your beautiful boys:)

  12. Love the new masthead. ;)

    You wrote so well...I can totally feel your pain. I commend you for your way of handling his "hurt heart", which is the most precious thing EVER by the way!! I turn into this crazy momma lion/bear when it comes to Noah. The rage is a bit overwhelming... I think I am better now because Noah has made it very clear that I embarrass him when there is a peer issue. However, when it comes to an adult, he actually would love me to knock them out! Verbally that is. ;) Peace and Fun-Parenting my friend!!

  13. WOW. Kim..good for you for keeping your cool as much as you did. Sounds to me like you should of pulled a "Hands that Rocks the cradle" on her ass??!! Remember when she goes to the school yard to take charge with that other little kid thats picking on Emma? But instead you do that to the teacher...not sure if you know the movie but thats that thought that came to mind...LOL

  14. I think you're right to try to stay outwardly calm.

    Your son's going to take cues from you and acting angry will probably just make the teacher defensive and possibly even lie.

    But I would be tempted to take my child out after that or speak with a supervisor if there is one. There's no good excuse for saying something like that to a child.

  15. Oh my - my heart goes out to you as we are having the same less-than-wonderful experience with big school this year. My heart has been quite SORE. It is so hard to keep quiet, but I totally understand why you do - which is why I have as well.
    Life in the real world is hard. :(

  16. Argh! Now my feelings are hurt. My mom used to march up to our elementary school on a regular basis to read a teacher the riot act. By 4th grade, me and my sister were "those kids" with the mom who flew off the handle so teachers avoided saying anything to us except what was absolutely necessary. It's was embarrassing. I like you idea of sending notes, much more diplomatic. They'll probably get tired of replying and keep there opinions of Deaglan's snacks and toys to themselves.

  17. Kudos to you for checking the story before going nuclear, but I'm dying to know...what was the teacher's side? Because it had better be REALLY good.

  18. I think you handled this potentially explosive situation with grace and dignity. I feel so bad that she hurt sweet Deaglan. I can't believe that she said those things.

    Love how your guy eats spaghetti! He likes to feast :)


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