Stella has now been going to her new school for nearly a month. We’ve been so anxious after our experience at the Stepford Academy, but so far so good. In other words, I have not been summoned to The Office. I have not been phoned at work to be spoken to in The Tone of Voice which implies that we are the most horrendous parents in the world and our kid sucks. I have not been asked to pick my child up early or keep her home half days.
Her teacher, Ms T, is amazing: she’s this cool black lady with dreadlocks that periodically change color. She has a nose ring, which she ingeniously used the first couple of weeks to get Stella to pay attention to her and make eye contact; a “sparkly nose” is a powerful weapon! She plays neat music in her classroom: Yo Gabba Gabba, Bob Marley, and I can only assume Earth Wind and Fire since Stella has been obsessed with singing “September” for 2 weeks now. It’s awesome.
The staff is aware that Stella has had some communication issues. They know we’ve been to a neurologist and are seeking speech therapy. They are fairly candid when she’s had a bad day, but they really seem like they’re in my child’s corner. And honestly, it seems like she only has about 1 rough day a week at most.
This school does such neat stuff. It is not your traditional curriculum. I picked Stella up last Friday and she was drenched, muddy, and wearing a pair of her beloved boots. This school allows and encourages kids to play in the rain and mud (provided the weather isn’t dangerous, of course). In 3 weeks, my kid has been exposed to a baby goat, a service dog, and an ambulance in accordance with this month’s theme of “community helpers.” It also fits in with the school’s overall mission statement, which is to be more of a cooperative than a “regular” school. We parents have to commit to at least 15 hours of service per year. This can be anything, from helping with supplies, donating time for maintenance, helping plan activities, anything, really. Normally I hate group or team activities, but I find myself really drawn to this. I want to be involved with this community that is helping to care for my daughter (and one day Felix as well). Will and I both find ourselves wanting to be part of the team.
That being said I’ve encountered something uncomfortable for me that I didn’t figure I’d have to deal with for at least a few more years: fundraising. The school has one major fundraising even per year: an “adult prom.” This year it’s at a local bar with a 1920’s speakeasy theme. So far, so good. The catch is that each family was sent 10 tickets to sell at $10 apiece. Initially we weren’t even going to go, as we’ll be getting back from the beach that day. However, Oui Oui has said she’ll come watch the kids so I guess we’ll try it. There will also be a silent auction. We’ve managed to find some donations for that, but I don’t know if they’re the right kind of stuff.
I can’t sell all 10 tickets. It’s just not my bag. Some of our parents have said they’ll buy a couple to help, which is awesome, but beyond that I’m simply uncomfortable hitting people up for a $10 ticket to an event they’re not going to attend. I have strengths, but I don’t think being one of these crazy salesmothers is going to be one of them. I can’t see bringing a sign up sheet to work to “encourage” colleagues to buy raffle tickets/chocolate/cookies/popcorn. It just creeps me out.
So now I have 3 days to decide what to do, since we’ll have to turn in whatever money and tickets we don’t sell before we leave town or miss the deadline. Do we just shell out $100 we really don’t have to be team players or do we turn in what we can/sell to our parents and hope that we can compensate for a lack of salesmothership in other capacities?
I haven’t wanted to fit in this badly since junior high.
*Pictures “borrowed” from the school’s Facebook page.