Sunday, March 27, 2011
Overprotective or right on the mark?
Cate's class went to the London Zoo last week but I wouldn't let her go with them. I'm trying desperately not to be a hover mother, but I couldn't help myself this time.
My child enjoys her school and the school is great. She's learning a lot and I'm very, very happy with the education she's receiving. But they are not really overly protective of her which annoys me. For instance, I see photos of Cate playing in the playground, in the dead of winter, without her coat buttoned up. They don't oversee her bathroom breaks (no need to elaborate), she doesn't eat much for lunch and often comes home ravenous, they rarely wipe her nose, and with her ear infection two weeks ago, she would have leaks that came out of her ear, into her hair and then down her cheek and neck. I've complained about attention to detail but it falls on deaf ears (oh, the irony).
When they said they were going to the zoo I signed her up and paid the fee and volunteered to go with them as a chaperone. But I was turned down. I had no sitter for X and siblings were not welcome. Therefore I was not welcome.
The rule was to drop my daughter off at the zoo and then pick her up five hours later as they weren't hiring a bus or taking public transportation.
This made me very, very nervous. Cate likes to run ahead, sneak behind things, play hide and seek (when no one else even knows the game is on!) and is basically....just a three year old. She's not shy and does like to speak up but under pressure she clams up. She knows her first and last name and our names but is too young for phone numbers, etc. I was not comfortable, at all, letting her go without Fen or me there to keep an eye on her.
Now, I don't want to knock the teachers or the other parents, but with 35 kids going - it would be easy for my little one to slip away. I thought long and hard about it and decided she was not going. It only takes a second for a life changing accident to happen and if anything went wrong - even if Cate went missing for 10 minutes I would completely lose it. I'd turn into that lion!
According to the Guardian, in 2009 over 500 children were abducted in the UK. Granted the majority are taken by a divorcing parent - but still! She's a cute kid and I want her safe here with me.
This is not to knock the school or it's supervisors - it's all about me and my child. She's too young to go to a huge place like the zoo without a parent. Maybe when she's older she can go on a field trip without one of her parents but for now - no.
Think I was right on this one?
Whatever the case, she had to go to the doctor about her ear anyway, so I took her in the morning and then we went to her favourite fairy store for treats, had ice cream, went out to lunch, went to the playground, had movie night with popcorn and then had a friend over the following evening for late night movies (although all they did was run around the flat and play -which was fine). We took her to the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial playground in Kensington Gardens on Saturday afternoon as well. She was spoiled rotten. And deservingly so. we'll go to the zoo when the weather gets better as well.
Regardless of what anyone thinks - I'm comfortable with my decision and I'd do it again tomorrow.