So, there’s always one mom at preschool who isn’t like all the other moms. Everyone knows the type. Everyone tries so hard to be the perfect preschool mom, in order to not be the bad preschool mom. What’s worse, everyone knows how the mom turns into the bad preschool mom.
She’s the mom that doesn’t volunteer for room parties. She doesn’t sign up to be the room mom during lunches. She doesn’t know that moms routinely stop by to pass out and eat snacks with the kids. She signs up last to bring food for special events–if she signs up at all. She drops her kid off late, interrupting class. She picks up her kid at random times. She doesn’t remember the homework folder. She doesn’t remember to read the homework folder. She can barely get her child to finish the homework assignments. She doesn’t remember to pick up papers left in her child’s folder. Heck, she regularly forgets to bring his blanket home, and then frequently forgets to bring it back once it gets home.
The teachers treat her child like he’s a forgotten orphan, while carefully veiling passive-aggressive remarks in her direction.
She’s not dense. She’s not stupid. She’s a busy, single mom, with too much on her plate, and not enough time to do all the extra stuff she has to do in order to be a good preschool mom.
You know the one; I know the one.
Oh, yeah, … that mom is me. I’m the bad preschool mom.
I figured it out months ago, mostly from the behavior of the teachers working with my child. There’s the sweet teacher’s aide who coddles Son Son when he leaves, telling him he’s an amazing kid. She never wants him to leave her, showers him with hugs and attention, and asks him to stay with her. While I’m standing there. It spooked me out the first few times, but once I figured she was bat-crazy, I was fine with it. At least I was until the day she turned her crazy comments toward me, saying, “You know, Tiny is such a good boy. I mean a really good boy. He’s a beautiful, terrific, bright boy. Such a good boy. I wanted you to know that. Your son is such a good boy.”
Great GOD, woman! What do you think I do? Keep him in chains in my house? Refuse him food? Beat him? Yes, my tiny human is amazing. He’s brilliant. And he’s mine! He also already knows how wonderful he is, because his mother–AKA me–tells him that at least fifteen times a day. If. Not. More. You don’t need to freak me out by thinking that I’m going to come get my kiddo one day, and he won’t be there, because you took him!
But, she’s not the only teacher who weirds me out. Next is the one who scowls at me. Just scowls. She doesn’t say hello when I greet her. She says nothing at all. She just … looks at me. It’s clear in her eyes that I am Very Bad Preschool Mom.
Thanks for that. Appreciate it. I mean, the look makes everything much more clear.
And then comes the actual teacher, the one with certification in preschool. At least, I presume she is certified, because she teaches the class. She really has passive-aggressive down pat. I mean, really. I have to give her props for it. I walked into the classroom one day, and started getting Tiny Tot’s things ready to go. She completely avoids eye contact, which is nice, after getting Stink Eye from the other woman. Plus, she is usually distracted by other tiny humans seeking her attention. But one day, she suddenly spoke to my tiny person, saying, “Oh, wait, Tiny. You forgot your paperwork, again.”
Something made me speak up as she hefted out at least twenty half-colored pictures from his folder. I laughingly responded, “Oh, that was me. I forgot to grab them.”
It was then that she bored her eyeballs into mine, stating, “Oh, … I know.”
Do you, now? Because you could have just said, “Oh, wait! There is a shitload of papers in here,” but, you didn’t.
Passive-Aggressive Teacher of the Year Award goes to … .
She also took it upon herself to write me a little note that kids get special treats for turning in their homework every week, for a month straight. When that note didn’t send me running back with the homework, she told me, “You know his punishment for not turning in homework every week for a month is that he doesn’t get a prize like the other kids do.”
Ah. Well. Let’s be clear: I don’t believe in homework for pint-sized humans. I barely believed in homework when I taught fifth grade. Anyone know a toddler that wants to spend all day hunched over countless worksheets, and then go home at the end of the day, and do MORE worksheets?
Yes, I suck it up and help him do them. But no, no. I still do not agree with a four year-old having any homework in preschool, let alone multiple worksheets every week. Now, Tiny and I do the too-complicated-for-toddlers worksheets. We do. Every last one, sometimes with bribery or threat. And then I do send that damn folder back to school, in his backpack, with his blanket.
Do any of those teachers look in his backpack? No.
It’s not even a classroom routine to clear out their backpacks of important items when walking in the classroom. Shouldn’t it be? Where are the folders supposed to go? Mars? Saturn? How do the other perfect preschool parents get them into the teacher’s hands?
So when the folder doesn’t come out of his backpack by Friday, who’s fault is that? Mine? I did my duty; I sent the folder back to school. Which means since my tiny human now has a mark against him for that week, due to the negligence in looking through his backpack–you know, where kids usually store school supplies–why in the world would I try to have the homework completed “on time” the following week?
Not to mention, I think they purposefully wait now until Wednesday night to give me five sheets of homework due Friday. When I remember to ask Monday what papers Tiny needs to bring home, I receive a lot of blank stares, followed by, “Oh, I don’t think he has any.”
Then Wednesday night, BOOM! Homework.
Sneaky, rotten, purposeful delay.
So, yes, I am the bad preschool mom.
And you know what? So be it.