Monday, 23 May 2016

An Open Letter to My Daughter's Kindergarten

To the wonderful teachers who are stuck with my daughter fifteen hours a week,

Today I am writing to you with a plea for change. Normally I'm not one to complain. Normally I'm just happy accepting that life is full of ups and downs and I can usually coast through it all with a smile. But not any more.

For the most part I love what you do. You get my daughter away from her tablet and her television without complaint, you manage to get through five hours a day without her constantly begging for food and drinks like she's a starved orphan who hasn't eaten for weeks, and you get her out of my hair three days a week, for which I love you all truly, madly, deeply. But when I come to pick up my daughter every day, you never return my sweet little princess back to me. For some reason you always lump me with a giant mud monster, and this has to stop.

Exhibit A: The result of ten minutes of scrubbing mud from ONE child's jumper. You don't want to know what the rest of the bathroom looked like when I was finished scrubbing.

I get that kids love getting down and dirty, and I get that letting them play in the mud is great for all sorts of reasons. But I'm not entirely sure that the children aren't staging mud wrestling events while in your care, which is the only explanation I can find for why they go home absolutely caked in mud every. single. day. Now if these mud wrestling matches have some kind of educational purpose, whether it be you're teaching them economics by letting them bet on the matches, or you're teaching them about physics, by showing them how to body slam their opponent into oblivion, then it would be a totally different story; but from what Miss K tells me, she has learned absolutely nothing from these experiences other than mud is awesome.

Apparently she only needed 45 minutes to get this dirty

I really shouldn't be surprised that Miss K has taken a shine to jumping through every puddle of mud she ever lays her eyes on, especially given that she feels that Peppa Pig is her spirit animal, but surely not every child has the same spirit animal, and yet I notice that nearly every child is covered in mud from head to toe by the end of the day. All of us parents stand outside in a group prayer every afternoon before you let us in to sign our progeny out for the day, begging for the mud to go no higher than the children's gumboots, and every day we all laugh with you about how much fun our children had getting absolutely filthy. We give sympathetic glances to the parents with the blackest children, and mentally congratulate ourselves for teaching our children about restraint when playing with dirt. Then we all head to our cars and cry into our steering wheels.

Some of the parents are beginning to get desperate. One parent is starting to buy stocks in hydrophobic solutions, in the hopes that they start making whole outfits out of the stuff one day, and another mother has just signed her daughter up for an internship with the local laundromat, just to teach her exactly what happens to dirty clothes. I myself have resorted to doing the laundry in the dark, reasoning that if I can't see them, then the stains aren't permanent. But without your help I fear anything we parents try will only be a bandaid solution.

We parents feel that since you and your staff are encouraging this kind of messy play, it is only fair that you provide free laundering services through the kindergarten. We have even discussed signing consent forms that let our kids work for you, free of charge in your laundromat, although we're checking with a lawyer right now just to make sure this doesn't constitute slave labour, and will need to get back to you before we put pen to paper.

Whatever the solution may be, something has to be done. I know you think your mud pile is beneficial to our children, however I feel it is more beneficial that I am not curled up in the fetal position next to my washing machine every single day singing the Peppa Pig theme song over and over again.

I look forward to coming to a mutually beneficial solution at your earliest convenience.

Kind Regards

Searching for Sanity

*Do any of you wonderful readers have children who enjoy getting as filthy as my own daughter does? Please share your horror stories of dirt for days and picking mud out of kids hair with me to help me get through the next six hours of scrubbing I have to do.*

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