Today was the second day that our eldest son attended orientation for kindergarten. My wife took him to preschool this morning, picked him up at 11am and then took him to his big school so he could do whatever it is they do in the classrooms in preparation for the start of his schooling life next January.
When my wife got home after dropping him back at preschool she came into my office and told me a story that she subsequently added to her Facebook page. This is what she wrote;
“My heart broke a little bit today. At big school a little boy came into the office and said he didn’t have a lunch order in his bag. The teacher asked him what he had for recess and he said tiny teddies but he didn’t like them so the teacher told him to tell his Mum he doesn’t like them to which he replied ‘I don’t have a Mum'”
Further to what she wrote on her status update she told me the next part of the story. The person in the office responded to the child;
“Then you need to tell your carer that you don’t like them…”
Say what? Your carer? If you don’t have a mother then you must only have a carer. Hmmmm. What about his dad? What happened to his father?
Okay, I will admit that before I became a parent myself and when I was doing my traineeship in retail management I might have gone up to a “little lost boy” in our store and asked where his mother was. That was well over 20 years ago I would have asked that. And that was well before I knew anyone with young kids other than my friends families but I wouldn’t have given it a second thought to think about family and parenting and such.
But now, now that I am a father myself, and maybe even well before that when I was older and more mature than my late teen years, I have definitely been conscious of including both mothers and fathers (or parents as I like to call them collectively) when addressing a child about their “guardian.”
But this person works within the school system. Surely there is training to suggest to such workers that kids could come from single parent families where the parent could be either the mother OR the father.
I feel like complaining about this. It got me pretty angry when my wife told me this.
Come on, fathers are parents too…
So do you think it would be unreasonable for me to make a complaint about this? Am I overstepping my boundaries? Or is it just a case of me making a mountain out of a molehill and I should build a bridge and get over it?