Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mama Drama

I'm not a big fan of Mama Drama, unless of course I am not involved in it and can watch from the sidelines. Then all of a sudden I can't get enough.  Watching one woman, or a group of women, go nutzo over something that doesn't even register on my radar is one of the most rewarding forms of entertainment that I can think of!

Preschool seems like it should be a pretty "mama drama" free place. WRONG. I met this woman last year who I wanted to bitch slap. You can read about my first encounter with her here. And then here. Oh yeah, and here. Thankfully, this year she put her precious darling in morning preschool and CJ is afternoon. Now she has her panties in a wad because the preschool has organized a new drop off method. Instead of having the parents walk the kiddos inside, the school has organized (gasp) ... a  car drop off line where the staff will be there to gather the kids and walk them into the building.  And it's only for drop off.  We do have to go inside after school to pick up the kids so there is some regular interaction with the teachers, etc.  She wrote a letter to the board and then e-mailed it to the afternoon moms asking us to speak up about how we feel about this new drop off schedule. Sorry for her, I followed up to the board with "I think this is wonderful and it's long overdue!" Stay with me here because I am going to include the letter. She's a long winded melodramatic mama, so it's a long one.  And my snarky comments in pink just add to the length!

RE: Liability Concern with Drop-Off Procedure (she had me at "liability". I wonder if her hubs is an attorney?)
 Dear HPP Board Members:
This is Emily’s second and final year at your school. Barring a few mishaps and unpleasant situations, we have been fairly pleased with the progress she has made during her time at HPP. (She may be "fairly pleased" but I am guessing the administration is fairly pissed with her whiny-ness.  I feel sorry for the admin. of whatever primary school this girl goes to.  I'm thinking the HPP Board and admin are thankful Emily will be heading off to kindergarten next year.)

There seems to be a disconnect between the “Board”, the parents and the faculty. J passed out flyers upon pick-up this morning stating the new drop-off procedure and casually breezed through the hallway asking if anyone had any questions regarding the new drop-off policy. After having only heard of the new procedure at that moment, I grew rather angry that this was being force-fed to us. (Yum, I love being force fed!)  I questioned how this decision was reached and J could only say that it wasn’t her decision, that there would be no exceptions and that myself and other parents would have to “deal with it” or take it up with the board by writing them a letter. This is an unacceptable and unprofessional response. (This is an example of Mama's melodrama.  Having known the director for the past two years, it seems highly unlikely this is really how her response went down.)

Not only as a parent, but also as a participant in the school, I feel that more collaboration was needed before reaching such a decision that impacts everyone.  (Don't like it?  Take that perfect child of yours somewhere else.  And for many of us, that impact is a POSITIVE one!  And, oh yeah, why didn't you join the board if you want to be such a participant?  My guess is, the admin and other board members all said "HELL NO she can't be on the board with us!")

J gave three reasons for the change in policy:
1) Many parents requested this and threatened to leave the school if the change was not implemented. (Hhhhmmm, Mama, though I have no clue who these parents are, it looks like you might be outnumbered.) 
a) My response to that is twofold…. First, the parents threatening to leave have been dropping their children off for more than half of the school year. (Some for more than 18 months.) They clearly knew what they were signing up for.  (Maybe they believe, like me, "change is good.")
b) Secondly, It is halfway through the year…. Now is not the time to make changes in a routine that has been established in a child’s life. It is well documented that new behaviors take 3-6 weeks to become habit or absorbed as routine. Not only is this disruptive to their routines, but it will remove their focus from learning. (What are you, a child psychologist?  It's also good to have kids who are flexible and can adjust to new things!  If you didn't fuckin' coddle your child to the point that she can't function without you, this would not be an issue.  And walking into school without Mama is going to disrupt their learning?  Then you/your child have bigger issues and should probably seek professional help immediately.  Besides, it's PRESCHOOL.  They are not preparing for Harvard.)
2) Many parents are not dropping their children off until 9:15 and are causing circle time to be interrupted.
a) It isn’t remotely fair for parents who can be there on time and who enjoy dropping their children off to be penalized for those who cannot make it on time.  (The only enjoyment about dropping off the kids is that you are DROPPING OFF THE KIDS.  Bye! Bye!  Have fun!  Mommy's going to enjoy some down time!  ALONE!)
3) Parents with more than one child don’t like having to drag all the kids into the school to drop-off.
a) What was MOMMY WATCH for?  (Obviously, Mommy Watch was a bust.  For those who are interested, Mommy Watch was where you could pair up with another mom who has little ones and you take turns taking the kids in.  Kind of like a car pool, but you meet in the parking lot.  Prevents you from having to drag all of your kids into the building.  And for those of us who don't have other kids in the car but are just too lazy to walk into the building, this new method is awesome!)

I have many reasons why I feel the drop-off procedure is a bad idea. I also feel it was handled miserably.  (The only problem she has is teaching her daughter a little independence.)

Furthermore, these are OUR children. There are many of us who enjoy the interaction with our children at Pick-up and Drop-off as well as the interaction with other parents. (HUH?  Who are these mad women you speak of?)  It is a time when we can witness the interaction of our child with his/her classmates and evaluate their mood.  (Evaluate their mood for what?  So you can analyze it the whole time she is separated from you?)

I am not comfortable with the idea that the six classrooms (actually, I think there are only four) full of children are going to be dropped off at the same time and my child will be taken from my vehicle to be “directed” to her class.  (Of course you don't want her to be directed.  You don't even direct her.  She DIRECTS you.) I do not feel comfortable leaving my child without knowing she is in her class. (Because that's a big bad church and who knows what kind of crazies are lurking in the halls!)  Not to mention the fact that there are only two teachers per class. One is supposed to get the children from the cars and one is supposed to get them to their classrooms, get their coats off and hung up all while watching the children in the classroom. That is quite a liability. (There's that legal-ease again.)  I find it hard to believe that 2 teachers will be more efficient getting 12-14 children to their classrooms and coats off and hung up than 12-14 parents helping their own children one on one. (Um, it's 10-12 kids per classroom.  Ten for the younger ones, 12 for the older.)

I like to see my child’s name on the door.  (I'm sure you think everyone else likes seeing your child's name on the door, too!) I like to know that the teacher has seen her enter the classroom and know that she will be staying there until the entire class is led elsewhere. I think the teachers do not need the added responsibility. I think it is hectic enough as it is.  (Jeeze, based on this, she makes the staff sound incompetent.  I am surprised Mama doesn't stay in the classroom for the entire 2.5 hours.)

Finally, I think something that impacts the entire student population and their parents needs to be discussed with the parents before implementation. (Oh my, she is in for a BIG awakening when that girl gets to elementary school.  This Mama is every teacher's/admin's nightmare!)

The “Fall In Line” or “Deal With It” theory is neither professional nor parent-friendly. I feel a meeting needs to be scheduled, or a letter sent home for discussion on such issues. To have a decision made that will impact all children without parent input is unprofessional and VERY disappointing.  (Again, elementary school through college is going to be very tough for this Mama.)

I look forward to hearing your response. I hope a school-wide meeting can be held to further discuss this situation.  (Oh, I think she only looks forward to hearing them say she is right and "what the hell were we thinking when we wanted to help you Mamas have an easier time of dropping off your kids?")

Life would be so much better for us, kids and adults, if these helicopter type of Mamas/parents would lighten up.  We all love our kids more than words can explain.  But that love does not translate to coddling, over protecting and being downright irritating because you are trying to control every flippin' moment of your child's life.  I wonder if this Mama plans to ride the bus to school next year with her daughter?  And people wonder why we have young adults now who can't manage their lives, their finances, their educations, their careers, etc. etc.  Maybe it's because they were never taught or permitted to do anything on their own and gain the confidence that comes with that independence during their growing up years.  Baby steps, Mama, and having your child walk herself into a preschool building and down a ten foot hallway WHILE BEING SUPERVISED is about as safe as it gets in the real world.

11 comments:

  1. OMG! I had to take a break....a potty break...from reading this. I was laughing so hard...tears in my eyes.

    You are so right about the issues she will face once her child goes to elementary school....you know what one of them will be....seatbelts on school buses!!!!

    Please, please, please....take advantage of any opportunity to state your opinion to her...since she felt she was well in her place to share her opinion with you ...and the rest of the parents. Of course, you MUST post the encounter! I am sure she would be SHOCKED that someone actually likes the new drop off procedure.

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  2. WTF?? The school is 2.5 hours long!! Loosen the effin apron strings. This mom is so going to be the kindergarten room mom - and make every one else's life miserable.

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  3. oh girl... you are right. i totally enjoyed that mama drama (because i am not involved!!!). she would get along VERY well with the type A, competitive, uber controlling, freakish moms in my neighborhood.

    i really enjoyed your commentary. hilarious.

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  4. Sweet Jesus! This woman clearly has TOO much time on her hands! And considering this is her kids LAST year there, well, isn't this just another way of preparing her for Kindergarten?

    I'd definitely want to bitch slap this woman too!

    And if she wanted to, couldn't she still continue to walk her child in? God forbid the school comes up with something more efficient!

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  5. I had to take a break to go throw up during this. Sorry it took so long:)
    I can't even begin here. It's preschool! Get a grip woman. And the teachers have your precious for the morning. You don't trust them to walk her inside?
    I have a woman here I have had to deal with for 12 years just like that. She has never gotten better. Good luck to you~

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  6. This is friggin' CLASSIC!!! I love it Kim and it deserves to be read all over the internets!! This mom is a lunatic and these kinds of mom absolutely drive. me. mad. The "evaluate her mood" line had me laughing out loud. Really laughing! That is too much! Evaluate her mood?? WTF? You are so right that she is going to have a rude awakening in elementary school. Time to start realizing that the world and all of its bazillion rules do not revolve around the comfort of her child.

    Holy hell lady - THIS was a GREAT one and deserves to be read by many many moms.

    Maybe you should have a little intervention with this mom. Pretend the school is going to have a meeting regarding the drop-off procedure and make it an intervention instead. This woman needs help.

    Wow - this post really got me going!

    :-)

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  7. I have to tell you, you are only beginning to be exposed to this type of woman. My Scandy Suburb is chock full, and they all have one thing in common. No, 2 things: Misery and Needing to Get a Life. Their lives are out of control so they feel the need to wreck unnecessary havoc and control others. It really doesn't let up until middle school, so good luck!

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  8. Wowo! I'm speechless. I got tired just reading her letter. Imagine what the staff is saying behind her back. She must have quite a reputation at school.
    J'adore your snarky comments. Makes her long-winded self-important letter interesting.

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  9. Oh gee freakin wiz! The preschool my kids went to wouldn't let us drop them off(with supervision from the director and aides) until they were 3. I couldn't wait until that year. Then I moved my youngest to a different school last year and the one thing I missed was the drop off. It saved so much time!

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  10. Forgot to add, don't know how other schools handle this but our elementary school only allows the parents the first day of school for kinders to be walked to class. They expect them to be able to do it by themselves from there on out, plus now you can only enter the classroom areas if you have had a background check.

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  11. 2.5 hours. I think it probably took her longer than that to write that dang letter.

    She is full of shit. Somebody needs to drop HER off...at the pool...and flush!

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