I had an interesting thing happen today which caused my baser instinct to come roaring through my otherwise gentile personality. Ahem. What?
My daughter, Avery, is in the first grade and attends public school. Every morning I pick out her clothes because if her daily ensemble were up to her she’d probably wear her ripped jeans and skip the shirt altogether. That child is one Busch Light away from full-on Redneck. To Avery, a shirt is strictly something you should only have to wear whenin public. Otherwise, it’s just in the way. This theory works for you when your chest indents. However, about two minutes after puberty sets in it’s not such aneasy look to pull off. Realistically, I see full-time shirts in her not-so distantfuture.
This morning I woke Avery up and set outa jean skirt anda white long sleeveshirt to layer under her redschool t-shirt. Now, my girl does like to, what she considers “dress up”, in a jean skirt. She struts her stuff around the house, kicking up her heels like a rodeo princess. This morning was no exception. She looked very ‘schoolgirl’ with her white tennis shoes and bobby socks.
I sent her off to school without a second thought and began my day of singularly saving Jack’s life a bare minimum of 40 different times. That kid is some kind of crazy. His trick du’jour this morning was to launch himself off the coffee table a’la Evil Knievel but without the fancy pantsuit and helmet.
Right after lunch (a nutritious Nutella and Goldfish cracker sandwich – Jack’s concoction, not mine) I got a phone call.
“Hello?” I answered.
“Mindy? Hi, it’s *so and so* from the school. Avery is wearing an adorable little mini skirt at school today and we’re a bit concerned that it’s a little too short. Might you be able to drop by something new for her to wear?”
What?!? Okay, I distinctly remember dressing that child and I’m pretty sure she was not wearing a tiny little mini skirt. In fact, if my memory serves, she was wearing a jean skirt which fell approximately 1 1/2 inches above her knee.
Folks, some internal force came growling out of me.
So, I respond, “Hmm. That’s interesting. Her skirt looked perfectly fine this morning. I’m not sure what changed, but I’ll be right there.” Click.
Okay, so here’s the part where I prove how mature I am…
“JEREMY!!!” I scream as I go stomping down the hallway toward Avery’s bedroom.
“What?” he yells back.
“The school thinks Avery dresses like a whore.” Well, that got his attention.
“What are you talking about?” he asks as he charges out of our bedroom.
“They just called and want me to bring Avery something new to wear. Apparently her skirt is way too short so I need to bring her some pants or something,” I growl as I start tossing things out of her drawers.
“I don’t get it. Why would you dress her in such a short skirt?”
“Um, I didn’t Jer. It was absolutely fine. Obviously, unbeknownst to us,Avery has been transferred from public school to Quaker school.”
“Well, that’s just great,” he adds.
I drove to the school ina fury and approached the office doors willing myself to settle down a little bit and deal with the situation in a calm and collected manner. I’m pretty sure my look said it all as I walked through the doors. The school secretary smiled at me, immediately sensing that I was in no mood to talk andcalled Avery down from her classroom.As she walked towards me I recognized, as I already had that morning, that her skirtwas absolutely fine. She could have practically fit in as a member of the Duggar clan with that skirt. She looked properly innocent and young. Not a harlot in sight.
We switched out her skirt for a (long) pair of bootcut pants and I sent her off to class, me still bristling a bit and her completely oblivious to there ever having been a problem. Like it’s absolutely common for a kid to switch outfits halfway through the day. That’s so Avery.
I learned something about myself today. I learned that I really don’t appreciate having my judgment questioned. I learned that sometimes saying nothing speaks volumes. I learned that when it comes to my kids I have a very low tolerance for nonsense and Ilearned that Avery’s school has a ridiculously low tolerance for jean skirts. (I also learned thatanger triggers for me an insatiable craving for Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. Thank you cookie dough fundraisers for accomodating me.)
But most importantly, I’ve learned that my ‘Mama Bear’ instinct is alive and kicking. And although, ultimately, today was not that day, when I do choose to unleash the beast she will be ready and willing.
Keepin’ it real on Friday,
a. I love your blog…so fun and it helps me know that my kids aren’t the only ones with death wishes!
b. The “one Busch Light from full-on redneck” comment made me spit coffee all over my computer monitor (which is okay since it’s my computer at work…therefore not my issue to fix!).
Thanks for making my Friday even better 🙂
Alison – thank you so much for your kind comments! And no…your kids are definitely not alone. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading blogs it’s that my kids are no exception. Thank God. =)
The Lumberjack's Wife says
Oh, I would have felt the same way! P.S.-I have a daughter in 1st grade, too! Weird! 🙂
Oh, good. I was starting to think maybe I overreacted. But, we’ve got to protect these little first-graders, don’t we? =)
One Busch Light from a full on redneck…hilarious! That is just crazy that they her change clothes….how about the REAL mini skirts in high school, maybe they need to send the elem. principal there! Yeah, I’m sure all the first grade boys couldn’t concentrate because of her attire…those people are just plain crazy. I commend you for not letting them have it, don’t know if I could have left without saying something not so nice!
Yes, it’s typically within my personality to “let em have it” so to speak, yesterday was a major test of my willpower! But, sometimes it’s worth stepping back and saying “whatever.” That’s funny that you mention the first-grade boys. That’s what my husband and I were saying last night…geez, Avery. Way to tease the boys you little minx! And she’s like, “huh?” =)
Oooohh….that one would have had me growling, too.
I have a related story, but without the satisfaction of justified indignation.
We lived in England when my son started school. He was five. In England, they change for PE, even in 1st grade. Also, they all wear uniforms, so labels were a must. (No locker rooms, kids just all stripped to their skivvies in the classroom and put their gym clothes on and off).
At our start-of-term parent meeting, we were reminded to put labels in all the clothes to avoid mix-ups during PE. She said, “We had an incident this week where one little boy laid claim to two pairs of trousers while another was sitting there in nothing but his pants.” (Pants in England = underwear.)
My brain said, “Uh oh..”
And as the meeting wrapped up, the teacher said, “Oh, Mrs. O’Hara, could you stay a moment?”
I knew it.
Apparently my son had decided that all pairs of pants would be his, leaving some poor little soul sitting shivering in his undies.
He did actually have labels sewn into his clothes, he just didn’t realize it. I educated him so he would not develop a reputation as a trouser tyrant.
I suppose in retrospect, I could be a little relieved that he was one with pants as opposed to without, but all in all it a was a little awkward. And I didn’t get to get mad at anyone.
Oh, geesh! The ‘getting mad’ is the fun part! Your poor little guy was just making sure he was all covered! Can’t say as I blame him. If it were between me and the chick sitting next to me…I’d be the one wearing the pants. =)
Okay, I work with first graders and I have just one thought: Maybe, when they are sitting cross legged on the floor, her panties are showing. Or at recess or P.E. or something. Maybe it’s not so much that the skirt is too short as it is that she has not developed “I am wearing a skirt awareness” yet. Throw a pair of leggings underneath next time she wears it and you’re good to go.
I thought of that too and then remembered when I saw her that her skirt had built-in shorts so no visible panties! I actually talked to her teacher who said she had absolutely no issue with Avery’s skirt and in fact didn’t even know that Avery had been sent to the office. The lunch Aide was the one who made the decision. We’re thinking that Avery had hitched it up after going to the bathroom and probably should have just been reminded to pull it back down again. Oh, well. Next time she’ll definitely be wearing leggings. (Maybe thigh-high ones with lace?)
Yep, you have to go toilet paper that lady’s house now. It’s your duty.
Hahahaha. I could channel my 15 year-old self and get’rdone. =)
My niece had this skirt that was completely cute and adorable, it was just above the knee. Apparently she was bouncing all over the place and still hadn’t learned the art of discression. Sister was forced to bring her something else to wear and yeah she was mad about it at the time, till she learnt the reason why.
Sorry you had to go through that.
When I went to school all skirts had to be below or just at the knee. Funny how times have changed.
Avery’s skirt has built-in shorts so I’m pretty sure she could do any amount of bouncing around and still be fine. But, I will definitely be sending her in leggings next time to avoid this issue altogether! =)
My frist thought was she had rolled up the waist band and paraded around like a singer on stage. Gettin’ her DIVA on! (not sure where she’d get that from)
That’s too bad your judgment was questioned. Usually schools are more aware of things like that from different families. Sounds like communication broke down.
We have very strict uniform rules at Sydney’s school. I was mad one day that a shirt I bought had an emlbem 1/4 inch too big to wear on the shirt. They measured it. Come on people!!!
The Redneck reference was too funny!!!
I’m all for a little structure in elementary schools but I’m thinking they went a little far this time around.
And the redneck reference is absolutely true! =)
I dont blame you one freakin bit Mindy. This is just the kinda thing that annoys the crap out of me. The schools totally overreact on something like this, in the meantime something really bad goes ignored. What a crock.
Yep. Totally agree. What a crock. =)
Well, unfortunately, I do not dress my children. Not for years now. And they’re only 8&9. I just don’t want to argue about it. Also, my youngest frequently wore clothes that would have been way too short on an older kid, but I figured, oh well, she’s 5. Nobody ever said a word at our public school. Not that I recommend my hands of clothing stance with all parents. She has been known to wear a purple shirt, pink skirt and mismatched socks just because she likes it. Before that phase she wore the same color head to toe…blue shirt, pants, socks, etc. Now, thankfully, she is dressing normal…
Oh, and I loved the whole anger reaction. That totally would have been me!
My niece sounds a lot like your youngest. That girl is a certifiable throw-back to the days of the ‘hippie’. We love it! I’m fully acknowledging that one of these days Avery is going to start having an opinion at which time I’m completely screwed. =)
Egads … The Bitch would have definitely come out in full force with me. I would have demanded to know exactly who thought it was too short, AND I probably would have shown someone the shorts underneath! I don’t hold my temper too well when it comes to my kids. You’re a better woman than me!
(Oh, wrong religion: Quaker. 😉 My step-family are all Quaker, and would have allowed normal clothing. It’s the Amish or Mennonites that make them wear ankle length skirts.)
Thanks for the clarification…is your family more of a Modern Day Quaker or am I completely offbase? Which is an absolute possibility. =)
I’ve never heard the term “Modern Day Quaker”. To the best of my knowledge, things haven’t changed all that much in the religion. My step-grandparents still say “thee”, “thy” and “thou” in normal every day speech! I’ve even caught my step-mother doing it, too. It’s creepy, until you get used to it. Then it’s still creepy, but at least you know what to expect. 😀
Well you know my stance. Schools are ridiculous. The principal at the kid’s last school and myself were mortal enemies. Lu once got suspended for a whole day because she refused to remover her tiny little nose piercing. Luckily even mad, I can behave civilly and deliver scathing remarks with a smile. I learned never to send Hubby to deal with a problem the hard way.
Yeah, I’m kind of the ‘heavy’ in the family with the most butt-kicking potential. I did compose myself in this situation but that will not necessarily always be the case. I’m sure you’re shocked about this fact. =)
Wow, I could have wrote that. This is one of the reasons I homeschool.
Understandably so. There are certainly a lot of ridiculous issues being focused on in schools when there are so many more important issues deserving attention. Drives me nuts. Obviously. =)
Look, I am the first one to shout from the housetops that schools should be more strict about their dress codes, but this sounds so utterly bizarre. My daughter comes home from school telling about girls wearing super short shorts. Then I read your post about a girl in an appropriate jean-skirt with built-in shorts. Let me tell you, Mindy, I probably would have made them tell me how this outfit did not confirm to school rules. Ooh, now I’m mad for you. Eat another one of those cookies for me, will ya?
You know, I did ask for an explanation and what I heard was, “We typically adhere to the ‘fingertip’ rule. No skirts above the fingers.” Well, this kid’s skirt fell nowhere near her fingertips. She’s got short legs like her mother and even a mini-skirt would look knee-length on her. Ridiculous.
Cookie eaten. =)
Mindy, I would have gone off on them. But, I’m the one who yelled at the principle when she told me I had to either pick up my son from school earlier or they were going to call CPS. So I’m 15 minutes late every day. So what? There’s still kids sitting outside waiting for their parents to pick them up. Not my fault I don’t get off work until the same time he gets out and it takes me 15-20 minutes to get there. Don’t think I didn’t belittle her and make her feel horrible. And he’s only in kindgergarten. 🙂