Ellie made us a Father’s Day card at daycare. The part that she made (little footprints) is actually really cute. The text of the card is truly barf worthy (some stuff about how her dad is the first man in her life), and the fact that we got a card at all is troublesome.
The text of the card bothers me because it calls to mind those creepy purity balls, “rules for dating my daughter,” promise rings, and other shining examples of American Patriarchal Society With A Dash Of Heteronormativity Just For Fun, circa 2014.
And I’m bummed that the daycare director approved this activity for the kids. Look, I’m not trying to be a giant killjoy and say kids shouldn’t be allowed to make Father’s Day cards. And I’m sure that when Mother’s Day rolls around again I’ll be thrilled to get a card for that occasion.
But would it be so hard for the daycare to modify the lesson plan to accommodate different kinds of families? We are not the only LGBT family in this day care center. And what about the single moms, or children being raised by people other than their parents?
It doesn’t matter so much now; Ellie has no idea what’s going on. But I don’t want her to feel strange, growing up, when a teacher asks her to make a card for someone who doesn’t exist.
So we have to bring this up with the daycare director. I’m totally confrontation averse, and I’ve already had to exchange emails with the director about draping blankets over the side of the crib while Ellie naps (!!) so I’m already “that parent.”
Wise people of the internet, advise me on how to do this in a low key, I’m-actually-totally-chill-no-really way, but still getting the point across that this is decidedly not cool.
It’s not unreasonable to not want your daycare to confuse your child. Also that purity/ownership crap is disturbing.
Well that just pisses me off.
But, in trying to be a big person (I would struggle with that!) I think you can kindly tell them that you appreciate the thought and that it’s nice that they help the kids celebrate their parents this way. but that you were kind of thrown by the receipt of a Father’s Day card because it indicated that they did not know Ellie or her family and it’s important that you feel like place you are entrusting with your child has your family’s best interest always at heart and that requires truly knowing you and being sensitive to who you are.
^^^Agreed. This is much nicer than everything I initially thought of.
Yes, the above seems like a great way to go. It’s ridiculous that the school would send home a fathers’ day card to your family. As you say, Ellie doesn’t know/care now, but she will down the line. And right now it suggests that the school doesn’t really know your family (even the basic fact of who is/isn’t a part of your family).
At my son’s school this year, the teacher handled the whole Fathers’ Day thing pretty well. Most of the kids made cards with some sort of cheezy poem, and my son sat with a girl in his class who is being raised by a single mom and they made cards for whichever man they wanted to. My son decided to send his to one of his granddads. The teacher had talked with us ahead of time about how this project was coming up and asked us how we would like to handle it. It didn’t take much time/energy from her, but it meant a lot to us that she was thinking about our family and how to make our kid comfortable and included.
Also, it’s totally reasonable to expect that your child’s daycare to a) not do something that your pediatrician would say is a Really Bad Idea (draping blankets over the crib) and b) know who your child’s parents are. Asking for these things doesn’t make you “that parent”.
Hoping they respond well when you bring this up.
Oh hello, I’m also one of “those” parents!
We got a similar Father’s Day “card” from daycare. My husband put in on Facebook, and I’m mortified that people think I may have made it for him. The footprints are adorable though.
I’d probably say something about how nice it was to get something Ellie made at daycare. Since I also dislike confrontation, I’d probably preface what I say next by something like “I’m not offended or anything but…” and just let them know you’re not just thinking of yourselves, but of other parents (or parent-figures) as well. Just to take some of the load off you. They probably haven’t stopped to think about it at all, so you’re really doing them a favor. That’s what I tell myself, at least, when I have to complain about something. 😉
So glad you are one of “those” parents—these things need to be said. It’s 2014, people! And I found that card text really creepy, too, btw.
Wow, I think what Maternal said was perfect!
There’s nothing wrong with being “those parents”. As a teacher, it shows me that your kid has parents that care, and is good feedback. Schools/day cares are always open to ways in which they can improve (at least that’s my experience).
The rules for dating my daughter always pissed me off. I recently saw a dad’s t-shirt that made me smile though. It had 3 rules. 1. You don’t make the rules. 2. I don’t make the rules. 3. Her body, her rules.
My son’s daycare class also made Father’s Day cards. Ours said “Happy Parent Appreciation Day!” I found this funny, but appreciated their effort–not perfect but way better than leaving us out or simply pretending that our kid has a father.
Hi, I’m now following your blog… Stumbled upon via some others. 🙂
I was blown away by our daycare when on mother’s day my daughter brought home two gifts and two cards (oh my, I was actually brought to tears I was so touched), and for father’s day they asked us whether we would like her to make one for her grandpa or any other sort of father figure in her life. There are several other LGBT parents in the day care (I think even in her group of 12 there are three kids with homo parents – DW and me, plus two other kids each with two dads. I’m very thankful they’re so considerate, because I’m certain it would not necessarily be the same elsewhere. Xx
And I totally agree with mamanetmaman… You can and should be whatever kind of parent that makes you feel comfortable, because even if you can’t change anything, at the end of it at least you’ll be glad you tried, and you never know if you might be helping out another parent down the road. After all… Unless you’re getting free child care, day care is another service *you* pay for. You’re the customer, and they should (and likely would) want to make sure you’re just as happy as your child is.