A few weeks ago, Stella came home talking about her friend “Simon” (name withheld to protect the guilty). She and Simon played together at recess. They would occasionally suffer bumps and bruises from rough-housing on the slide. No biggie. She’s a tomboy. I was too. Every day when I asked her who she played with at recess (when she wasn’t forced to sit it out, that is), it was invariably Simon. I even saw them play; I go up there as much as I can to have lunch with her. Simon, Simon, Simon.
Late last week, she started complaining that Simon had hurt her mouth. How? Well, he” pinched her mouth with his own.” Excuse me? And he got some of his spit in her mouth. What in the name of hell is going on here? Clearly, Simon is trying to French kiss my 5 year old daughter, who, like Jon Snow, knows nothing about this sort of thing. Simon, diabolical twit that he is, even knew where on the playground to do it – at the top of the curvy slide where line of sight doesn’t exist.
I tried to remain absolutely calm. I explained that Simon had no business kissing her, that she would likely get in horrible trouble if any teacher saw that (even if it wasn’t her F’ing fault), and that kissing spread awful germs (No, I don’t feel bad for saying that. She’s 5.). As a rule, she should not kiss anyone at school ever, unless it was me or daddy coming to a function.
After finally telling Will – who immediately was ready to track down Simon and pound him into the ground like a tent stake – I figured that a gentle email to the Harpy (CCd to the guidance counselor for good measure) was a good idea. I was polite. I expressed that I know kids will be kids but…. I just wanted them to know that this was happening and where it was happening. I did name Simon, just so extra vigilance could be used.
I got a response from the Harpy, which was somewhat surprising. She “doesn’t do” email. She assured me that she was constantly watching Stella. That would have been fine. But she continued. Stella and Simon “do not play together.” Furthermore, Stella mostly “engages in parallel play” rather than playing with other children. However, I should rest assured that Stella’s physical and emotional safety were her top priorities.
Y’all, my blood boiled. For starters, I’ve seen Stella and Simon play together with my own 2 eyes. I’ve seen Stella play with lots of kids – tag, follow the leader, hide and seek. I’ve seen the Harpy on the playground with her head buried in her iPhone or paperwork. The fact that she attempted to discount my concerns was bad enough. To take it a step farther with the “parallel play” comment was egregious. She basically insinuated that my kid isn’t capable of having friends or playing.
Using direct observation, I can say this: this woman does not like my daughter and for some reason is out to undermine her. My evidence:
- The “she’s reading at an inappropriately high reading level” shenanigans before school even started.
- The comments she submitted to our most recent conference, stating:
- That Stella’s reading comprehension was poor as measured by Advanced Reader quizzes (which are not designed or administered to kindergartners as a rule, and which Stella had an average quiz score of 86%)
- These quizzes were were composed only of multiple choice questions (because obviously kindergarten and first grade kids should be answering essay questions – duh!)
- Ignoring the fact that she’s reading, at minimum, at a mid-year 2nd grade level.
- The “preferential seating” she’s given in order to help her stay on task is right next to at least 2 other kids who also have issues. One little boy, in particular, is like Stella on 8 espressos. Great! That’s helpful.
I know teachers get burnt out. I know my kid is challenging sometimes. But dammit: I wish this year had gone differently.
There are only 16 days of school left. One of those days is a field trip, during which her daddy will be present. Three of those days are early dismissals. I can do this, right? I can go that long without losing my shit, yes?