Pops went early and took A for his first day. I went a bit later to go to greeting coffee and take Ki to kinder orientation hour. Ki and I had picked out her outfit the night before. But somehow morning of we could not find the beloved new brown and blue Kangaroo tennis shoes. She had to wear purple Crocs-which matched. Then she wanted to wear her SF Giants coat (a baseball hand-me down from her brother). I couldn't find it (didn't look to hard, may have hidden it if I did find it). "Well, I can't find it, and we'll be inside" I declared.
"That's okay Mommie, I'll wear this one." She rips out of the closet a 2 generation hand me down grey hooded sweatshirt with "basketball" across the front.
"Oh...uh, well let's put that in your backpack and you can get it out later if you need to."
I arrive at Raincloud school and try to maintain the I-am-comfy-here look. It is like being the new kid at school myself. Lots of well dressed women greeting one another and hugging. Not a lot of sweats and jeans here. I turn around and really look at my daughter the for the first time since we've arrived and she is wearing the sweatshirt. I wander over to table with the coffee and I spot this Mom and twins that were in daycare with Ki 3 years ago.
I say,"Oh, Hi Karen! Our girls are in the same class!. Ki, you probably won't remember, but this is Karen.
She says, "Oh actually, I go by "Mrs. _________" at school."
WHAT????? I don't know anyone who goes by "Mrs._____________."
I retreated to the playground with Ki to try and take a breath and overcome that. I have never felt comfortable around that woman. There is something condescending or righteous in her interactions at times. Oh joy, we're in the same class!
I made little small talk with others and walked into Mrs Junes class with Ki. (I should mention I do know a few great families here, and I have met some other women who seem nice.)
The teacher and class structure, materials, plans etc were quite impressive. I've heard great things about this teacher. It will be a good year for Ki. She is a bright and curious girl. Hopefully, she'll be able to reach out and make some friends.
The teacher had mentioned that they don't need any supplies brought in for the kids, they have everything. What they want to do, as they have done in the past, is to have parents donate money toward having the field trips come to us. (Busing is expensive and there is only one bus, driving is hard because of carseats and short day etc). So if we could donate money, in addition to the $500 each class gets from PTA, that would be great. Well that sounds reasonable and good!
So I later go to sign up sheets. I have in mind to be a volunteer, but not coordinator, for Art in Action. Sure enough, "Mrs _______" has signed up as coordinator. For some reason she signed first and last name and not Mrs._______. Oh, %&%#&* I say to myself. I end up signing up anyway. I'll be the bigger person here and not let her irk me. This is what I want to do and Fridays is the day I have available.
I look over at the "field trip" donations sheets for these 2 kinder classes only. They read:
I can pay for the FULL $150.00 cost for Museum X visit.
__________________________ (parent signature)
(There are a few of these with similar or greater amounts listed)
I can pay for PARTIAL cost of $500.00 Bug Museum visit:
___________________ (amount parent to donate)
I am shocked to read continued donations of nothing under $100. People are signing up and putting big numbers next to their names. And for all the world to see. This seems wrong to me in so many ways. You get it-I don't need to write them out. Oh-I didn't mention that each family is requested to donate $200 per kid at the school. That I get and they can't make you donate, or you can donate what you can. I get that a good public education is no longer free. But this public listing thing makes me grind my teeth! I didn't sign up. I don't want to cough up a big chunk of money just because "everyone else is" and hence acquiesce to this public display. I'm thinking of giving a check to support in amount I am comfortable with, and not put my name down-but just hand it to the teacher. mmmmmmmmm
Ki and I leave and I excitedly speed over to Bea's house. She is throwing a Mimosa Bash for Mom's for the first day of school. All of us are "special" moms and I look forward to spending time in the comfort of my tribe.