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A rant about minor things that annoy me

March 9, 2012

Here’s a list of things that I am adamant were dreamed up purely to infuriate and exhaust already-busy parents of schoolchildren*, in no particular order:

1. In-school swimming lessons. Advantage: I don’t have to worry about taking them to after-school swimming lessons. Disadvantage: every afternoon for two weeks I have to remember to put the towels and swimming gear in the washing machine (rinse by hand? Far too lazy.) and hang them up as soon as they’re done, in case they don’t dry in time for the next morning. In the morning, because I can’t pack them the night before, I have to remember to dress the kids in swimming gear and pack (or remind them to pack) underwear, towel, goggles, hairbrush, socks, sports shoes, the kitchen sink … I’ve had to run back down the road once for Alastair’s stuff and Emma has had to run back twice for hers, in the past week.

2. Uniforms with pleats. Why, for the love of God or your deity of choice, why? Emma’s summer uniform is okay, it’s cotton and the pleats fall into place quite well. The winter skirt is made out of some awful mostly-polyester fabric, which means you can’t iron it on high, which means it is extremely difficult to keep the pleats in shape. Isn’t constantly washing and maybe occasionally ironing (if you are me) school uniforms enough, without the pleats?

3. Putting a school logo on everything. I just got the winter uniform order list for school and the formerly plain white long-sleeved shirts for the girls, now have a logo on. In other words, I have to buy the $25 ones through the school instead of the $10 plain ones from Kmart. Along with the polo shirts and the boys’ shirts. Even the knit shorts for sports uniform have the school name on, but no-one’s pulled me up on our $6 plain pairs from Best and Less. The hats also do, but here I draw the line and sew on a $2 logo badge to a broad-brimmed hat from Coles in the exact same blue. Know why? Because the school uniform shop cuts all the drawstrings off the hats before selling them. I have the advantage over most people in the school; having gone there myself I know why they do this – a silly girl once jumped down from a high water fountain and got her string tangled round her neck. No actual bodily injury. Never mind that if the kids walk anywhere, their hats blow off.

4. Doing things or arranging things with no note home to parents, just telling the students. I don’t care that my daughter’s nine and a half, she still forgets or gets mixed up. I don’t have time to come up to her classroom in the mornings (it’s a long way up the ramp and I have to take her younger brother to his class) to work out what she actually means about the parent-teacher interviews, just send me a bl**dy note home, okay?

5. School canteens. I know, I know, most parents think this makes their lives EASIER (I know parents at our school that order from it EVERY day for their kids), but I hate being pestered for a lunch order when I have perfectly good food at home, I hate having to find change. Use an online ordering system!! There is one out there.**

6. Easter chocolate raffles. Look, this isn’t so much a health thing. My kids eat chocolate. Sometimes, they eat slave chocolate, though I prefer Fair Trade or organic. I’m far from perfect. Yet there is something horribly wrong to me about the very stark contrast: my kids and their classmates, who are already by comparison highly privileged – and our school’s socio-economic levels in general are privileged compared to much of Australia, not just compared to developing nations – benefitting almost directly from the blood and slavery of children who would love to just GO to school. Blah. Easter every year reminds me I should be more diligent about choosing Fair Trade.

* I’m sure many of these are bugbears for teachers too (especially since many of them are also busy working parents), thankfully they, like us, put the benefits of the little darlings above their own frustrations 🙂
** I should go to more P&F meetings and actually give some constructive and positive feedback instead of on the internet. I’m trying, okay? I joined the fete committee.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ren permalink
    March 13, 2012 11:23 am

    On the hat string thing a lot of schools are getting rid of them and depending on the age and activity level allowed at each school ie whether they’re allowed to climb trees or have to stay calm and ‘ladylike’ I tend to agree with it.

    Everything else tho yes. Our school has a preferred uniform but if there are families who need to buy the plain logo less equivalent the that is ok too.

  2. georgieandthree permalink*
    March 13, 2012 1:25 pm

    I don’t think there are really any climb-able trees at our school … being an inner-city school plenty of the kids walk to school across busy roads (eg lots of us cross at the Vincent/William intersection) and I think the risk of a 5yo forgetting and chasing a hat into traffic is higher than potential injury from climbing things and falling/getting tangled.

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