Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The letter I'd write if I hadn't grown tact

Dear Principal,
This letter is to inform you that our daughter Madeleine will not be attending your school either in the recommended two-year Young Fives program or regular kindergarten. The reasons are as follows, in no particular order:

1. Madeleine's father and I disagree with your district's practice of using an outdated and subjective "assessment" to place a child for the duration of her academic career. If there was the potential to reassess in later grades and place her with her chronological peers, we might be more willing to consider this option.
2. We disagree with a "solution" that has questionable and possibly negative consequences. Research has not borne out that two-year kindergarten programs result in greater success for those students, even in the early elementary grades, and may result in higher dropout rates when students reach high school.
3. We question the recommendation that a child turning five in September and assessed at four and three quarters in early May be too young for kindergarten. Exactly how old does a child need to assess?
4. The consistent misspelling of her name on all paperwork indicates an indifference to the individual child at best or gross incompetence on the part of your staff at worst. Even after I mentioned it at the parents' orientation on Tuesday, April 25 it remained incorrect. That is inexcusable, in my opinion.
5. Any school that continues to photocopy and use a form that goes home to parents with a misspelling on it deserves to have its merits questioned. The Gesell evaluation form has two spellings of "spatial"--one of them correct.

We recognize school resources are limited and we did not begin this process to waste time or effort, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience to you. Please dispose of all applicable paperwork appropriately; to reiterate, Madeleine will not be attending your school in the fall of 2006.


Yeah. That's what I'd say. So now what do we do?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

How do I preserve this?

This morning we got out of the house late for preschool. The clock in the minivan said 8:34 when I started it up; preschool starts at 8:30. Ah, well; losing my temper isn't going to turn back the clock, so why bother?

We are two minutes or a half-mile away from home and The Boy™ starts wailing. It goes like this:

Him: "Little Bob! I want Little Bob!" [his Bob the Builder lovey.]

Me: "It's too late, son. You should have remembered Bob when we were still in the house."

Him, anguished: "I want to go home! Little Bob!"

Me, still calm: "Dale, we're not going back. He'll still be safe at home when we get there for lunch."

Him, louder: "I want Little Bob! Let me out!"

Me, after a deep breath: "We're already late and we're not going back. He's on your bed waiting and he can come to church on Thursday."

Miraculous Madeleine, from the minivan's back row: "Dale, my Charlie is a bear and he's still at home. He'll keep Little Bob safe from monsters. You can sleep with Charlie just for tonight also, if you like."

Him, edging toward calm: "What about Little Bob?"

Madeleine: "You can sleep with them both. It's okay with me if it's okay with Mom."

Yeah. Like I'm going to tell a four-year-old to be stingy with her treasured lovey, the one she's offering out of pure generosity of heart.