Hi. How’s your Tuesday? Mine could be better. Early this morning I arrived at Stella’s school for a meeting. I thought this meeting was going to be between myself, the three different first grade teachers, and the principal so that we could find the best fit for Stella next year. I also had a plan: I was going to have a private word with the principal to share some of my thoughts about the Harpy. I was going to be respectful, logical, and icy.
My plan fell off the rails when I realized this was an ambush. The guidance counselor and the Harpy were also present. The Harpy was her usual self. “I would not have known your daughter was medicated if you hadn’t told me.” (I wouldn’t have known you weren’t a walking asshole if it weren’t for your glasses.) “In her reading comprehension tests, she’s only answering concrete direct recall questions.” (Um. She’s 5? I wasn’t aware 5 year olds were expected to decipher the hidden meaning of Pete the Cat. What are those cool blue magic sunglasses a metaphor for?)
The good news: all 3 of the first grade teachers seemed awesome. One in particular has a rock star reputation. She asked good questions. She took notes. I may go purchase a chicken to sacrifice such that we pleaseohpleaseohplease get her. After the teachers left to get to their classes, my plan further derailed. I got emotional. I unloaded. I almost ugly cried to the principal and guidance counselor. All of my calm methodical thoughts and observations were out the window. I said the Harpy had been nothing but adversarial since the first day. I said I’d never heard the Harpy say one positive thing to or about my kid. I said there was no way I wanted that woman anywhere near my son when it’s his turn. I said Stella had been deserving of an invitation to the “most improved ice cream social” based I her behavior charts, but never got one because the Harpy was certainly not going to champion her cause. I said that if preferential seating was placing Stella right by this other little boy who is like my daughter after 12 espressos then something was terribly wrong and bad choices were being made for BOTH kids. I said I thought the Harpy was burnt out and was merely phoning in her job at this point. I was a F’ing mess. I hate that. That was so not how I wanted to do that.
The principal listened. She’s a professional. She can’t throw her staff under the bus. I get that. She apologized, and acknowledged that for whatever reason, the Harpy and I had gotten off on the wrong foot and never recovered. I thanked her for her time and support and said I had every belief that next year would be much better.
I still hate that I missed an easy pop fly. I should have handled that better.
What I did right: I was never disrespectful in meetings. I never spoke ill of the Harpy in front of my daughter. I did my best to back up their plays here at home with the honest acknowledgment that my daughter is difficult. I championed the hell out of my kid.
8 more day, y’all. I can do this.