The moment our car stopped in front of her school gate, she claimed that her feet were tired and I should carry her. Since I anticipated spending some time inside settling her down and didn't want to be late for work, I just decided to give in and carry her. When we stepped in we were asked to go over and get her temperature checked (not with a thermometer, it was some sort of handheld device that they aim at your forehead) and clean our hands with a sanitizer. Apparently, there's been some concern over kids coming back from summer vacations with some nasty viruses. Now my daughter loves using the sanitizer, so imagine my surprise when she started screaming her head off while at the same time trying to climb up onto my shoulders!
Things just got worse when I carried my wailing child into her new classroom and she refused to get down and greet her best friend, who I must admit was looking stunned. I finally handed her over to the nanny who assists the teachers and was preparing to exit, when her new class teacher caught me:
Teacher: Your daughter didn't come in yesterday. She missed the first day.
Me: Eeeehhhh, yes. I'm sorry.
Teacher: This is going to make it tougher for her to settle in.
Me: I'm sorry, we had an important family event which I didn't want her to miss. (I understand, bit I see plenty of kids crying today as well. Plus, yesterday was only half an hour, the same as today.)
Teacher: You don't want her falling behind, do you. Unless a child is sick, she shouldn't be missing classes.
Me: I will try to keep that in mind. (Well it's not like she's missing advanced math or physics. All these kids do is play, colour, dance, learn a few basic concepts and have a snack. I'm sure I can help her with whatever she's missed.)
Teacher: Didn't you also miss the orientation program for parents last week.
Me: Yes, I'm sorry. (What do you expect me to do since it was on a weekday at 12 pm. Plus I got all the material beforehand and was prepared in advance.)
A very subdued me, kissed her sniffling baby goodbye and walked out, thinking 'I'm with you sweetie, I liked your previous teacher better too'.
Am I really that bad a mother? In my defense I spent the whole summer travelling 20 extra kilometers, so that my baby could go to the best summer camp in the city. And my husband or me were always there to drop and pick her up. I also participated in all the parent child activities, even though it meant taking a half-day off on quite a few occasions.
What do other working mom's do? Can someone give me ideas on dealing with teachers who hate working moms.