I had planned another post for today. Indeed, I already had it written, however, something happened today that I think is of more importance to talk about, and since it occupied most of my afternoon and I am still a bit het up about it, I'm going to write about that instead.
Today I went to pick B up from school, and one of the class aides said that B had said something weird at school, so they phoned her Mental Health office and reported it. She said none of the people felt angry about it, and they had just followed the direction of the vice-principal about it. They understood that B had just been joking around and that they knew B does not have violence issues, so I should not consider it a big deal. The thing that B said, jokingly to her pregnant teacher, was:
"Why don't you go home and eat your baby?"
Admittedly, it's a weird thing to say. But B gets it from us, it's something Andrew says jokingly. (He now will stop saying it). "Gonna eat da, baby!" about a friend's kid that he watches. I used to say it to B all the time, along with chasing B around going, "I'm going to nummy your tummy/ribs/bum!" as she ran around giggling and laughing. Really, is that so incredibly odd? The numming never happens, just the chasing and silliness.
But it upset me that they phoned someone about it. It isn't something she should say at school, but I would've thought addressing that with her and then telling me about it would suffice. Also, I didn't like that they told me in front of B, remembering that her anxiety started with a teacher who would list all her mostly minor complaints about B in front of her. It isn't good for B.
I brought B home after school, but then realised that I needed to address it right away, so I parked her with Andrew, who had a movie going, and went back to the school. First, I got all the workers and her teacher together and had a talk with them about:
a) B is weird. She says weird things. She's weird because Andrew and I are weird. We're weird people. In our house, weirdness is a virtue, and if they phoned mental health every time B said something weird, well, they might as well move the class there.
b) B says inappropriate things, all the time, because she doesn't understand social situations. I definitely expect them to tell her when she says something inappropriate, but do they phone when any other kid says something weird?
c) The answer is yes, they do. News to me.
d) That no matter their good intentions or policy, and I accept that they did have good intentions, it doesn't feel good to hear, "We called the _______ about your child today," it felt nerve wracking and I felt unsettled about it.
e) Let's set up a better system. A new counsellor will take over B's case soon, because the old counsellor moved to Newfoundland in August. When he gets set up, I will ensure the school has access, so keep a log instead. Because I don't want to worry every day that the school might phone the mental health unit about my weird kid.
f) Since her birth, she has seen doctors, speech/occupational/physio therapists, psychiatrists, specialists, psychologists, and for the last year and a half has had regular therapy appointments, by herself, with confidentiality even from me. If she had any violent or aggressive tendencies or had experienced any abuse from me or anyone else, this would have already become apparent to somebody. There exists no secrets about my parenting of B, she has had more investigative intervention than any kid I know.
g) Did I mention she is weird? Because I'm weird? I don't want to "normal" her. I adore her odd sense of humour. It matches mine.
I think they listened to me and they agreed to my suggestions, and then I went and told the vice-principal. The vp said she had them report it to ensure B got services because she had worried that B didn't have them now and had been put on a wait list. So I explained that no, the old therapist had just moved. B will still have therapy.
Anyways, hopefully I've altered the situation so that I don't have to worry and they feel they can address concerns with me and the counsellor, and that I don't ever have to experience that again. I might add more later.