Excuse me while I cover all my furniture in plastic

When I went to pick up Zoe from School on Friday, we stayed and played for a while before I realized we needed to stop at the grocery store on the way home. I gave her bottom a little pat to check on the status of her diaper and felt.... nothing. NO DIAPER. It seems she had shown an interest in wearing underwear (more than half the kids in her class are now potty trained) and the staff gave her a pair to wear.

Of old, stretched-out, STAINED boy's briefs.

I was a little grossed out and more than a little annoyed, that they hadn't asked me, that they put some random, old, emergency undies on her. That I didn't get to be the one to put her in her first pair of underwear. That the first pair she wore had an escape hatch for an appendage she doesn't have.

I don't know why this whole thing bothers me but it does. We'd been talking about the orange (her favorite color: "ORANGERAGE!") underwear we would buy together and how the very first time she wore underwear we would be together and celebrate. I know it's silly, but on Friday I felt like something had been taken away from me.

I don't often feel like Zoe's teachers overstep their bounds. I usually like the balance of power (ie. they are usually deferential to me and CG, which is, I think, as it should be.). But I've heard them talking a few times about other children with a tone (or words) that suggests that they know the child better than the parents do. When this has happened, most of me thinks: they should step OFF. But the small, petty part of me thinks: well, maybe they do. Maybe since THAT child is at school 5 FULL days a week and MY child is ONLY here 3 partial days a week I AM SUPERIOR IN ALL WAYS AND MY CHILD WILL BE A SUPERSTAR, the teachers have more time with the child than the parents, at least during the week.

(This time-with-child score-keeping is such an ugly, petty, stupid [DID I MENTION PETTY? UGLY??] part of my brain. Can we just pretend I didn't write it? Think it?)

This weekend, I wrote an email to Zoe's lead teacher and she was apologetic but told me "all the teachers feel Zoe is ready for underwear". Well, that's just dandy isn't it? (And perhaps you could have told me BEFORE you put underwear on her?!) Because I don't think that ANY of Zoe's teachers are going to be willing to come clean out her carseat or have my carpets steam cleaned or do my laundry. What if I'M not ready? Personally, I'd like her to be able to walk into the bathroom, pull down her pants, get on the potty, go, wipe herself, flush, and wash her hands without any prompting/tantrums/extreme dawdling/forcible hand washing and I think we are months, perhaps YEARS away from that.

Whatever, teachers. Yesterday, I pulled my ostrich head out of the sand and we went to Target and got us some tiny undies. Twenty pairs to be exact. Because I have a feeling there will be quite a few pairs that I just don't feel like dealing with, EVER AGAIN. Hopefully that won't happen to the one lone pair of "ORANGERAGE!" undies I could find.


Erica said...

OK, maybe I'm weird, but that email from Zoe's teacher PISSES me off! Who the hell does she think she is with her "we feel she's ready?" She is NOT Zoe's parent and doesn't get to make that decision.

Oooh, I'm all uppity now.

Erica said...

You know, if they felt she was ready, isn't their place to email/call you and talk to you about it? Not make unilateral decisions regarding your child?


Marie Green said...

Um, I would wait. There is no hurry, and if she wants to wear panties once in awhile, I see no harm in humoring her, but you are right that YOU are going to be more trained the SHE is- convincing her to go, talking her into washing her hands, etc.

(I'm saying this as someone who trained her twins at 2 1/2 and will be waiting longer this time around. There were MANY accidents.)

Also, may I suggest those thicker padded underwear? I think Gerber makes them- they are near the cloth diapers/burp clothes at Target. They contain the mess a bit better. =)

Good luck!

Kathi McCracken Dente said...

You are TOTALLY in the right here. They had no right to decide to put her in panties. And when were they going to mention this to you??? And I am horrified they put her in stained, boys underwear. What were they thinking? I mean MAYBE that is OK if you decided to put her in panties and she had an accident and you didn't pack a back up and there was nothing else. But just for the fun of it?... no way.

My Buddy Mimi said...

I went to Target with Mimi to buy some more underwear for her, and I was letting her pick out her own. I totally tried to get her to choose that same package (so cute and colorful!), but she insisted that she wanted the (evil) Disney ones instead. I seriously considered going back on my own to buy them as backup. And I may still do it.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

erica and kathi- I KNOW, right? OY.

marie green- Thank you SO MUCH for your perspective. I put her in underwear today and then a pull up on top since we were headed out to a parent ed class and I didn't want a mess. I assumed she would tell me she needed to go and/or feel the wet underwear but NO DICE. I'll be sending some underwear to school and we can wear a pair here and there at home but it's going to be pull-ups for a while longer. And I'm going to check out those thicker undies!

my buddy mimi- I gave her the option of choosing only my pre-screened options. Which I now think was maybe silly of me. I mean it's UNDERWEAR. Do I really care what it looks like? (Apparently, yes.)

miyoko said...

phoebe has the thicker padded underwear. good for training. but alas the panties thing was a phase because the minute she felt pee dripping down her leg she got so freaked that it halted her enthusiasm for both panties and the potty as well. sooooo we're back to diapers and 1 bedtime potty trip a day. in time, in time.... when she's ready. :D

and i also think it's weird they not only put her in panties without telling you, but stained boy ones no less!

'graduating' to panties is fun for mommy and kid!

Astarte said...

First of all, I want a pair of undies with little bluebirds on them!! How cute are those?!!?

I think the teacher should have talked to you first. I mean, it's not like there was a pantie emergency. Where's the fire, people?! And BOY underpants?!

When I was in college, I worked in a daycare, and frankly, a lot of the people there felt that we knew the kids better than their parents. I mean, when a kid's with you nine or ten hours a day, and only awake and at home for about three, well... we did spend more time with those kids than their parents. It wasn't right, though - I think that no matter how much time anyone spends with kids, they never know them better than their parents, just by virtue of the fact that kids aren't Themselves when they're outside the home. They have their Outside faces on. It's only when they're at home, and relaxed, and in their own environment that they are truly themselves, and that's when the parents are there.

OK, off my soapbox now. But, seriously, they were out of line.

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