I attended my first preschool meeting this evening when Curtis felt too ill to go. This came as a surprise to both of us, since I’ve requested multiple times to be listed as a non-participating parent. However, it did not come as a surprise to any of the staff there, because despite theses requests I’m still listed as the primary parent.
I believe I’ve mentioned before how the preschool had repeatedly sent emails to me, but not Curtis, and wouldn’t even let us sign up without my contact info even though we told them repeatedly that I’d be working on those days and Curtis would be the only person participating in the duty days, meeting and so on. Sexism in action, folks. There comes a point where I just have to throw my hands up.

Anyway… they have a ridiculous policy in place where you can only miss three meetings before your child is kicked out of the preschool permanently. We’ve missed three due to illness, or not being home, and had no idea this policy existed until we were given our “final warning”. So… now we have to split the difference lest we be unceremoniously expelled.
These meetings are a product of the preschool being co-op, which means that it’s partially parent run. I don’t really understand what makes them that different other than handing out a few jobs and having government-mandated “parent education” nights where we talk about super important learning items like who will be the next year’s treasurer and why it’s important to show up to meetings.

Tonight’s topics boiled down to: I like to write things down and take pictures. Kids are nice.
Then we spent an hour talking about fundraising.

I offered to participate in upcoming fundraisers by offering a photo-a-thon. This idea went over really well, and the event is coming up in May. We have slots for up to 16 families to reserve 15 minute “mini sessions” and receive one digital file. 50% of those proceeds go to the school, with 25% of any additional purchase money going to them as well. I was really worried I was taking too much, as I’ve never done a fundraiser before and somehow I still have to cover my costs and time… but then the treasurer lady in charge of fundraisers went on (and on and on) about how generous and “well priced” it was so I’m going to assume that’s a positive sign.
I offered to do their school pictures as well, sending an email about it as far back as last September… but was snubbed in favour of some random guy that specializes in pictures of tubing on a white background. Not kidding.
So, I’m eager to see what the results of that will be.

I showed up at last night’s meeting about five minutes late due to arguing with Curtis just prior to leaving and doing that, “I’m walking out the door but I have ONE MORE THING I have to say” at least 23 times. When I walked in to the meeting everyone was seated in a circle on tiny wooden preschooler chairs. Everyone looked rather nervous when shifting in their 7 inches of seat. I immediately noticed two things about the caliber of parent: there were only three dads, and every mom was wearing track pants and oversized sweaters. I was the only person in heels and mascara.

This is one of the reasons I don’t hang out with any of these parents. I’m an attachment parent and a stickler for kid-friendly stuff, but there comes a point when it’s over the top… even for me. For instance: I love art from my kids, I have a huge folder in my filing cabinet where I file away particularly interesting or amazing works. But when I pick up my son from school and find a “art” in his mailbox that consists of a torn strip of blue construction paper with a smear of glue on it, I’m going to throw that shit away.
But I wait until I get home, because if I put it in the schools recycle bin just outside the pick up area all the moms look at me like I’m Godzilla.

The highlight of the evening was being approached by a balding, older gentleman in oversized accountant-from-the-1970s glasses while I was looking at collages on the wall.
He stood up next to me and said, “I haven’t seen you at the meetings before,” and my insides died a little. You have to be some kind of desperate to try and pick someone up at a preschool parenting meeting.

I stayed until the end because a bunch of people expressed interest in having a business card and I wanted the chance to promote my gig. I handed out about 10 cards and answered a few questions about what clothes were best and whether or not I could take pictures of someone’s dog in their timeslot or if they were bound to only having a family picture.
On the inside I was trying not to seem as desperate for results as Accountant Dad – because I really, really need the business. The layoff season has hit hard this year due to the biggest money sucking mistake that ever was Olympics.

I think today I’m going to plan another photo walkabout. The cobwebs on my business inbox leaves me a little discouraged to face the upcoming busy season.

Links of the Day:
Video and study results of the “Breast Crawl” – The results of a study done between groups of medicated and unmediated labours, as well as separation from mother, to see how it affected a baby’s natural reflex to crawl to the breast and achieve a good latch. Spoiler: natural birth is the healthiest and most effective way to go.
The great photobook roundup – A curious dad creates a digital scrapbook of his wife’s pregnancy and birth, then runs an experiment to see which of the popular consumer-level coffeetable book companies has the best result. He orders identical copies of his book from Blurb, Picaboo, Treasure-Book, Inkubook, Shutterfly, AdoramaPix, Kodak Gallery, MyPublisher, Snapfish, Artcow, Photobook Canada and Mpix – then blogs the results both in text review and on video. This is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to make their own photobook and finds themselves a little overwhelmed by all the choices.
Lesbian teen denied the right to go to prom with her girlfriend, then following a court case, is given a ‘fake’ prom to appease her – Seriously? Fuck people. All of them. Just… fuck them.




  • skyrose says:

    Just had to tell you that I just checked my Facebook a few minutes ago and was all excited to see a picture of you and newborn Xan!! (http://blog.ican-online.org/2010/04/12/cam-birth-story-17-victory-after-loss/) I had to look at the picture twice since I *knew* the picture πŸ™‚

  • alicianne3 says:

    lol co-op preschool. I was on the evecutive for vicpa for 2 years, and now my youngest doesnt go to a co-op. on behalf of all of those track pants wearing SAHM’s i will be honest, when someone like you walks into the room, feminine jealousy kicks up quite a few notches. youre hot and awesome and they likely knew it.

    what i hated most about co-op is the general idea that the people “in charge” have this very high self-importance, and it just seems useless and phony. we are talking about a PRESCHOOL people.
    the three years i was in the co-op we never actually kicked anyone out. there were circumstances that were pardonable…

    did you by any chance go see the nasty hunk of rotting whale flesh out here in east sooke? (lol)-i hope you know what i’m talking about, or that will sound incredibly strange)

    • admin says:

      I have also noticed the self-important thing. The second in command lady can be a total bitch and after a while I just completely avoided talking to her. She talks down to everyone in this really patronizing, “Sweetie, hon” way with that fake smile thing. Uggghhhhh. I avoid her at all costs. She got weird with me once I caught her lying TWICE about a payment mix up with our fees.

  • noelove says:

    we go to the exact same type of preschool, BUT every single parent there is an attachment parent. everyone breastfeed, everyone used slings, everyone was not shocked when I said I had a homebirth. Its RAD. I love everyone at our school.

    Track pants and sweaters. HAHAHAAHAH

  • Your journal entries just get better and better!

    The man at the meeting trying to pick you up reminds me of the movie Closer when the man asks Natalie Portman who is waiting tables, ” what are you waiting for?”, her response: ” I’m waiting, for a man to come in and fuck me sideways with a beautiful line like that”.

    I would sooo appreciate a post on baby slings, or at least hearing about your top three.

    I love you.

  • joleine says:

    the mini-session thing is great, we had one at Playgroup a couple of weeks ago and it was a lot of fun, especially since all of the babies in my playgroup are 9 months and younger.

    The lady that did our mini-session did it sort of how you’d do a tupperware/candle/pampered chef party, where the hostess gets a couple of freebee’s and also gets a percentage (I think it was 20%?) of the total purchases in free photos (so if the other guests order $500 in prints, she’d get $100 in free prints). I thought it was pretty cool and probably a good way for a photographer to make money? I could be wrong though πŸ™ It was fun either way! πŸ™‚

  • Lol… “Can you take a picture of me dog instead?” It makes me imagine one of those people who puts their animals in Halloween costumes and little sweaters.

    I’m ALWAYS overdressed for things because people in Australia are slobs, and I always think it’s better to dress up than dress down. I’m not sure what part of being an attachment parent means you go to the preschool meeting in a tracksuit though?

    • admin says:

      I don’t think it has a lick to do with their parenting style, and more to do with them being exclusive SAHMs. I felt like the only working mom there (which may not be true, but it sure felt like it) and the environment among the moms is very… competitive over who is more devoted. It’s just one of those atmospheres were WOHM or WAHM are a little shunned. I’ve been there quite a few times, but haven’t gone to the meetings yet, and it’s VERY much the vibe. I’ve had a few really negative run-ins with various in charges over working schedules that she has ZERO sympathy for…. as long as they’re mine.

  • _tzigane says:

    I’ve watched just about all the “breast crawl” videos on Youtube now (I had had one favorited long ago). It’s so fascinating to me and I tear up every time I watch one of those videos. Doesn’t help that every time I have a breast-feeding dream I wake up bordering on euphoric. I think I even prefer them to sex-dreams. There’s just something so comforting about breast-feeding dreams for me.

  • birthingway says:

    I have been a parent for >19 years now. From the first playgroup I ever attended with my two-month-old babe, to the current group of parents attending my youngest’s preschool (that is thankfully *not* a co-op), I have never failed to have been horrified by who is breeding out there.

    There are always a few cool parents, but the bulk of them actually *scare* me. (I have also been hit on at parent-teacher meetings. Sheesh.)

    Also, this is probably going to sound fangirlish, but whatevs: you already know I like your work, as I am the one who recommended you to my journalism-school friend way back when (yes, = “Dina from J school”). I am in the midst of graduating from school and beginning my new career, and finances suck rather royally right now. But booking you to shoot myself and my family (and ooooh, maybe my grad photos from midwifery school!) is on my list of Things to Save For. It’s hard to put into words how impressed I am with your work.

    That preschool has no fucking idea how lucky they are to have your contribution.

    • admin says:

      I would love to do a shoot with you! πŸ˜€ I love the freedom of doing it with people I already know.

      • birthingway says:

        I love the idea of a grad portrait. By the time I get my degree, it will have been >7 years since I started midwifery school. I would really like to commemorate that.

        It will happen (as long as you want me as a client)–it’s just a matter of when. I will start saving now.

  • I throw out batches of art as well, they send all of the previous week’s worth of schoolwork home at once in a massive folder. 99% hits the trash or I’m drowning in it otherwise.

    Devon is my best nurser out of the four, and he was my 100% drug/intervention free birth. That video was beautiful.

  • alathia says:

    I’m kind of cracking up at your preschool meeting experience. we’re in a co op as well, and it’s run way different (maybe because our school is bigger? we have 80 kids enrolled). anyway, I’m sorry you felt out of place and excluded, but hopefully the photo-a-thon goes great!

    I’m also cracking up because I’m always feeling like the slob mom at our preschool meetings, whereas everyone else is dressed up in kitten heels. this super-mom who had twins at the beginning of the year and an older kid in preschool always looks SO put together and in charge and in touch with her kids I just sit and stare at her during the meetings in awe. Did I mention twins? she would tandem nurse them at meetings while wearing them in slings. SUPER mom.

  • tastyanagram says:

    Oh, man, that story about throwing out the non-art and getting hit on by balding man was so funny I shared it with a friend of mine. I hope you drum up some business! You deserve it, seriously.

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