Audrey came home from her first day of preschool last week and I noticed when we got home that her name was written in permanent marker on the outside of it. Honestly, I was upset and irritated at first. The lunchbox was not cheap and I bought this more expensive, high qulaity backpack and lunchbox intending for her to use it for several years and to even possibly use it for another child if we ever have one. Anyway, in the moment of my irritation I posted something about the situation of my private Facebook page, asking for tips on removing permanent marker from cloth. Was I venting a little? Yeah, probably. But my main goal was to get advice on removing the marker.
Through this post, I got removal advice, which worked for the most part, and some perspective from my friends through their preschool, daycare and teaching experiences. I realized that it must make it so much easier for the teachers to have the kids' names on the outside when there are 13 kids reaching for their lunchbox at the same time, especially with allergies and the fact that Audrey herself has an allergy. I still thought it would be more appropriate to let parents decide how to mark the outside of their child's lunchbox with their name, but I removed the marker, tied a temporary tag with her name on it to the handle, and left it at that. I could have said something or written a little note, but I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. It is just a lunchbox after all.
Well this morning, Audrey's teacher pulled me aside. She said she wanted to apologize about writing on the lunchbox and said that she had been "reprimanded." She explained that it made it easier, especially with allergies. She went on and on about how if I have any concerns I should feel free to talk to her, and that they would be doing some painting in class so there is a possibility she could get paint on her clothes. I was in shock. I tried to explain to her that I hadn't said anything to anyone at the school, and that I hadn't said anything to her because I didn't want to make a big deal out of it.
But I'm not sure if she believed me. She was trying to be professional but just looked hurt while she was talking to me. And I'm upset because I don't know who said something, or what the circumstances were that it came up with a school official, or why I was never asked my opinion on the situation before the teacher was reprimanded. And now I feel like she thinks she has to walk on egg shells around me. I don't care if Audrey gets a little paint on her clothes. She's a kid. It will happen accidentally. It will wash out. Writing in permanent marker on her lunchbox is not accidental and took hours of scrubbing with rubbing alcohol to get it out. That is not the same thing.
And it is just a lunch box. I'm fully aware of that, which is why I didn't say anything. But the Facebook part really bothers me. With the privacy settings I had, it had to be one of my "friends." But there are only 2 people I'm friends with that have any connection to the school I'm sending Audrey to, and I can't understand why they would say anything. It's none of anyone's business but my own, and had I wanted to say something, I am quite capable of saying it on my own. I don't need people talking to the school on my behalf without my permission, whatever their intentions may have been.
And while their intentions may have been good, they have gone and done the exact opposite of what I wanted to happen; they made a big deal out of it. It just makes me uncomfortable now. Today was only her 3rd day of class, and I feel like we're starting off this year (and a possible 2 more years in the same class, with the same teacher) on the wrong foot. It is a hard enough transition for me as it is, leaving her with basically a stranger when she has been in my care almost exclusively for her entire life. So I cried, and I vented on Facebook hoping the person who did it would see the post, and then I deactivated my account. I post a lot about my daughter on Facebook for friends and family who don't get to see her very often. So it is unfortunate that I felt like it had to come to this. And I'm sure I will re-activate eventually, but I won't be posting very much at all. I'm just a sensitive person and liars and people who involve themselves in other people's business bother me. They bother me more than they should. When it comes down to it, this is about a lunchbox. I shouldn't be crying about a lunchbox.