To Mrs Northwick
Principal of Bizzy Beez pre-primary nursery school and early learning centre
Re: Saffron Burger’s report
Dear Mrs (let it be noted that we would have preferred Mz) Northwick,
Thank you for your detailed comments on Saffron’s first term report card. My wife and I were rather surprised that you, the principal, would have that much of a hands on approach, and expected to hear more from Megan and Ntombesile, Saffron’s class teachers, about her progress. They are always the ones to hold her when she screams as we leave her, and the ones that help us get her into the RV when we pick her up.
I hope you don’t mind, but I think we will tackle your points one by one.
1. “Saffron is generally bigger than her classmates, and can be boisterous and physical on the playground.” Thank you for making mention of her size to us, but please do not say this directly to her. Her psychologist has asked us to protect her self image by refraining from any discussion about her size, weight, or strength lest it manifest in another eating disorder.
2. “Instead of playing with others on the jungle gym, she lures them up and then throws them off.” My wife and I have discussed this and we are comfortable that ‘luring’ indicates a form of consent from the other 4 year olds. No problem here, we think.
3. “Saffron has not been able to make the transition to stainless steel eating utensils since she still uses her plastic knives, forks and spoons as weapons.” Thank you for bringing up Saffron’s creativity here. We are just concerned that you seem to have put a negative spin on this. We are quite proud that she has developed her motor skills enough to stab, prod, gouge and slice so effectively with mere plastic utensils.
4. “Saffron is very affectionate, a wonderful quality in any child, but she needs to learn the difference between hugging and squeezing.” Isn’t that your job? I mean, learning is what needs to happen at the school. My wife and I believe you are trying to bring up the squashed bunny episode even though it was settled out of court on condition it was never discussed again. She is only used to Denver our Pyrenean Mountain dog when it comes to animal affection, and she can’t get her arms fully around his neck. Obviously it is different with smaller animals.
5. “Saffron’s competitive spirit turns every singalong into a screaming session.” She has spoken to us about her classmates’ passivity and how she feels compelled to get them to sing louder. Go Saffron!
6. “Alan Higgins was brought to my office in tears after witnessing the de-limbing of all the dolls in the dress up section. Saffron told him she was doing to them what she would do to him if he didn’t agree to become her boyfriend forever and ever.” Alan Higgins? We will have to have a serious chat to her about that. My wife and I do not believe he is good boyfriend material at all.
7. “Colouring in is not a favourite activity for Saffron. Unfortunately, she does not appreciate that others might enjoy it.” Old news. Did we not replace all the crayons, crayon boxes and colouring in books when the incidents happened? And, “Hand prints in blood on the curtains are not, as Saffron declared, “works of art”.” My wife and I are deeply concerned here. Whose blood? Was Saffron allowed to touch someone else’s blood while in your care?
Which brings us to your last comment. “In conclusion, it is clear that Saffron has issues with boundaries, respecting the property of others, and sharing, making it impossible for her to retain her place at Bizzy Beez.” My wife and I get the feeling that once again you are declaring your incompetence at educating the young and impressionable of this world, but we have decided to give you another chance. We have decided that, against all our natural instincts to protect our child, she should remain at Bizzy Beez to turn around your track record and help you make a success of the place. So, when we arrive tomorrow, please do not hide in the building and pretend that nobody is there. We can see Ntombesile’s weave sticking up out the window, and we can hear the loud moaning of the other children. I know you said it was them crying in fear, the last time you tried this, but at this point I am sure you will say anything.
Thank you for your time. I am comfortable that we have the boundaries in place for a healthy relationship going forward.
Andrew and Sylvia Burger
PS. It has come to our attention that you refer to us as the Buggers, and not the Burgers. I am sure this is just a silly mistake.
This post is one of a weekly tandem blog post. There are three of us this time, writing on the same topic, and today’s is Boundaries. Please check out Dave’s and Brett’s take by following their links.