Bella's school must think I am a horrible parent. I expect a knock on the door from child protective services any minute now because, between my own ineptitude and Bella's stories, I must come across as some sort of neglectful, mean mom.
One fine example: I put Bella's hot lunch money in her folder, telling her that I was doing so in the process. When I did that I took her lunch box from the day before out of her backpack but didn't have time to put it away, because her brother was busy falling off the sofa. I promptly forgot about the lunchbox, she didn't hear me mention the lunch money and put the lunchbox (from the day before, remember) back into her backpack. She gets to school, never finds the lunch money, takes her lunchbox to the cafeteria and.....nothing but an empty sandwich box, a warm cold-pack and a used napkin. The school gave her a PB&J sandwich, so it isn't like she went hungry, but man, I felt terrible. BUT - she should have been listening when I told her about her lunch money (I thought she was listening - I made her verify that she heard me, and even had her repeat it back to me) and she should have seen it in her folder - it was right there. It was still in her folder when she came home that day.
Another example: Bella came home from school one day and had supplies in her backpack. I was curious and asked why she had the scissors, glue and markers. She answered: "I told my teacher that we don't have any of that at home, and if I was going to finish illustrating my story I needed to borrow them from school". I could just see her teacher feeling very sorry for poor Bella, who has no supplies at home, but that little tale of woe, my friends, is completely untrue. Bella has a ton of school/art/craft supplies, and even if she didn't, I have girl scout supplies coming out of my wazoo. We could open our own store, we have so much of the stuff lying around. Bella is just too lazy to find them, despite the fact that they are everywhere. I keep a stash in the living room, in case we need them, and her room is crawling in markers and other supplies - they are everywhere. I even keep sets in the car, in case I need them for scouts. And yet she bats her big eyes and claims to not own a marker or a glue stick. Whatever.
We had another episode today - today was school pride day, and they didn't have to wear their uniforms. This morning Bella wasn't exactly certain of the rules, and neither was I, so I went to the school website and pulled up the handbook to make sure. Feeling safe in what she ultimately ended up wearing (after going through about 6 different outfits) I sent her off. So this evening, after working all day and going grocery shopping, I come home and the first thing Bella says is, "I didn't have a collar on my shirt and I was supposed to and so I had to wear a sweatshirt all day and it was hot and it was somebody else's sweatshirt from Lost and Found and it was kind of smelly". Well, then.
I was a little cheesed, at first. It was warm today - around 80 degrees. She wasn't in danger of a heat stroke or anything, but it had to be uncomfortable running around all day in a sweatshirt. Then Bella showed me a printout her teacher had put into her folder from the class web page - not the school, the class web page - that did indeed say everyone had to wear collared shirts, which was contrary to what was on the school web page in the school handbook. I did not check the class page, I admit, and maybe I should have, but frankly I don't have the time or the energy to compare the two sites on a daily basis.
I wrote a note to her teacher, then threw it away. Then I wrote another note to her teacher, and threw it away. Then I went to the store to get stuff for girl scouts, came home, thought about writing another note, and haven't. It's not the teacher's fault, I'm not mad at her, but I think someone should know that there is an error. What about parents who don't have internet access and are going exclusively by the handbook? Although it would be very difficult to send a child to this school without having internet access, since everything is online - newsletters, homework, forms - even report cards, now, are exclusively online. Anyway, all that to say, I was kind of miffed, but I just need to get over it. Although I still want to write that note.
I feel bad - I feel inattentive, lazy, and bad. I sent her to school Friday with lunch money, and the school called me to tell me it was a half day and there was no hot lunch. I thanked her profusely (that was in the thick of my illness - I was running almost a 102-degree fever that morning) for reminding me, and then the secretary said, "So you are going to come get her, right? Otherwise she won't have anything to eat". I understand that she was just doing her job by asking that and she didn't mean anything by it, and I'm glad someone is looking out to make sure that Bella eats, but it made me feel so guilty. Like I was planning on leaving her there anyway and hoping maybe someone would feel sorry for her and throw some goldfish crackers on the floor or something.
Accidents happen, though, right? No one is perfect. I am trying to stay on top of all these details. It doesn't always work out for me, but at least I'm trying.
Happy Saint Patrick's day!