M-L has her year end concert coming up, and the theme this year is “Disney at the movies”. Her class is focussing on the movie Frozen, which I’m flipping ecstatic for, seeing as I love the movie, and M-L and I know all of the words to all of the songs, as the husband bought her the cd a few months ago, and we listen to it non-stop!
Now when the theme was decided, and each class told what Disney movie they’d be focussing on, M-L was given the part of Olaf the snowman. She LOVES Olaf, we all do. He makes the movie as far as I’m concerned, apart from the “Let It Go” song, which we sing at full pelt in the car! Even without a car, we have been practicing Olaf’s song, as she is singing the whole thing all by herself. We have so much fun singing it, and she is so animated when she does so.
On Saturday, M-L told the husband that she wasn’t Olaf anymore, when he put the Frozen cd into the car. We both looked at her and asked her why. She said that it was because she just wasn’t, and that now she was singing a duet with one of the boys, “Love is an Open Door”. She seemed a bit down about it, but then started singing and we thought nothing of it. The husband then came to me last night, and told me that M-L had said (when he asked her again yesterday why she wasn’t Olaf anymore) that she was told “well shall we just find someone else to do it then” or something along those lines. M-L then told me in the car this morning, that she had made a mistake with some of the lines of the song during practice, and now she didn’t want to be Olaf anymore. Now if she was told “well shall we just find someone else to do it then” that is quite a grown up thing to say, so I doubt that she’s lying about that, and I did believe her when she said that she’d made some mistakes with her lines, but come on, she’s 5 years old! Anyway, I asked her then if she wanted to be Olaf, and she said no mommy, she’s happy being the princess singing with the little boy in the other song. Something just wasn’t sitting right with me; call it mother’s instinct, I don’t know, but I decided to speak to the principal this morning, just to get some clarity on the situation.
Please understand something about me; I can be very hard on M-L as I don’t want to be seen as one of those parents who allows their children to walk all over them, and I don’t believe in helicopter parenting. I am also the first to reprimand or discipline her when she has done something wrong, but don’t mess with my child’s confidence or psyche. She is 5 years old; this is a challenging time in her life and she needs all of the confidence boosting that she can possibly get. I felt it right that I speak to the principal this morning, my motherly duty to find out what had actually happened. Ok, I’m also not one of those parents who freaks out because her child didn’t get the lead role in the play, but honestly, to go from having a full on solo (Olaf’s song) to a 20 second duet is pretty crap. Just saying.
Anyway, the principal and I had a very enlightening discussion; she wasn’t actually even aware that M-L had been changed from Olaf to Princess Anna until Friday last week, and she herself wasn’t happy about it, as she had made the final decisions regarding who was playing whom in the concert, plus all of the costumes had already been ordered, and M-L is quite petite compared to the other children, and she now didn’t know if the costume would fit the child playing Olaf. I explained to her my feelings, and that I felt like there was an underlying issue. She agreed, as she told me that M-L had been so good in practice, and that she suited the role so perfectly! She was loud and animated, and that is exactly the type of child that she wanted playing Olaf. She told me that she would speak to M-L privately, and asked that I speak to M-L’s teacher to try and find out what had happened. So off I went and had a chat to her teacher. Well I don’t know what the issue was, but I was met with pretty much instantaneous attitude, not bad attitude but it made me feel like I was wasting her time. She then told me that she had changed the roles around 2 WEEKS AGO, not last week. I asked why, and was told that it was because M-L had become uncooperative during practice and sulky, and just didn’t want to be Olaf anymore. This annoyed me, as if we had been informed of an issue 2 WEEKS AGO, we could have nipped it in the bud there and then. What also annoyed me, is that earlier this year L went to the first parent-teacher meeting alone as I was at lectures, and had a discussion with M-L’s teacher, and she promised that she would inform him IMMEDIATELY of any issues, whether they be behavioural, emotional etc. L has been fetching M-L since I had to give back the loan car, which is pretty much a month, and not once has her teacher mentioned anything to him about the sulkiness etc, and in layman’s terms has lied to L, because when he has asked her in the afternoons how M-L’s day had been and how she was, he was always told that there were no issues, and that she was fine. The teacher then told me that she had to ‘coax’ another girl to be Olaf, as M-L wanted her part as Princess Ana in the duet. Surely this should have rung warning bells in the teacher’s mind? Anyway, I left the conversation at a bit of a stale mate, and went outside to leave.
I then bumped into the principal and told her how my meeting had gone, and told her that I actually didn’t appreciate the attitude that I was given, and that I now, more than ever believe that there was an underlying issue regarding M-L not wanting to be Olaf anymore. She agreed, and said that she would be having a meeting with M-L and with her teacher (separately) to try and determine what had happened. Well, as it turns out, there WAS an underlying issue; M-L didn’t think that she was going to be pretty as Olaf the snowman; the teacher had told the other girls how pretty they would be as the princesses, and M-L didn’t feel pretty, because she was just the snowman. I was flabbergasted when the principal told me this, and she just couldn’t stop apologising. She then asked M-L if she wanted to see Olaf’s costume, and M-L said yes, and apparently her blue eyes sparkled when she saw it; it’s apparently big and poofy and layered and very girly, and ultimately, pretty. The way the costume was designed was for a girl snowman, so even through she’s “Olaf”, she’s going to be a pretty Olaf. Well, as soon as M-L realised that she was going to be pretty in the concert, she was over the moon to be Olaf again. When the teacher was asked why this wasn’t discussed and dealt with 2 weeks ago, she told the principal that she didn’t think it was such a big deal. I’m sorry, but my child’s mental well being is a HUGE deal. My beautiful, innocent 5 year old, didn’t think she was going to be pretty, and no one, NO ONE reassured her that she was. The husband is fuming after I told him what had happened; he said that if he could take her out of the school for the remaining 2 months he would, but right now we don’t have anymore to watch her full time for us at home.
Yes, M-L can be loud, she can be animated, but is so so sensitive and very emotional, and she does take things personally. I mean which 5 year old doesn’t, but she does tend to cry very easily, which I also did as a child, and I’m not saying that I molly-coddle her, but this has to be taken into consideration. And it’s not like she’s in a huge class; there are 8 or 9 of them, so I do feel that it would be easy(ish) for her teacher to learn each child’s demeanor and to always boost them up, surely that should be of the utmost importance?
Anyway, as much as I don’t like causing issues and I don’t like confrontation, I am glad and relieved that I queried what the hell was going on this morning, and I can’t wait to put Olaf’s song on in the car this afternoon, and sing it at the top of my lungs with my princess when I fetch her later.