Uh oh, I get the wanting to shelter your kids thing now

Can't look!
Can’t lookLearning to let you

A kiddo joining the real world can suck.

I didn’t experience postpartum depression. I was bummed that it would no longer be just her and me anymore, but it wasn’t comparable to anything those who suffer from post-partum have to endure. The first time I took a nap while my baby played with her grandmother, I “napped” for less than five minutes. That separation anxiety didn’t last long and I appreciate and continue to embrace the help of others in caring for this little one. As the years passed and I entered my second year of college, I signed her up for pre-school (Which happened to be built in the spot where the house my baby’s father and I met over ten years prior). The workers were great. They loved my daughter and kept me up-to-date with everything. It was a wonderful experience.

Then school happened.

When she started Junior Kindergarten, my daughter attended a school that was hastily put together, combining several soon-to-be-closed elementary schools, and it showed. The teachers and administration were clearly stressed and hurried. I felt for them. But still, her teacher was kind of a jerk. My daughter’s lunch of veggies, yogurt, and cheese were taken away and replaced with a bagel and an angry note home saying I didn’t pack a healthy enough lunch. I kept involved with the classroom and realized I really did not like how these kids were being looked after. But, you can’t like everyone, so I left it at that. My daughter was happy, and enjoyed her first year of school. In Senior Kindergarten we lived in a new city and she started at a new school. The new teacher was wonderful, and her after school daycare was, and still is, lovely.

Then Grade 1 happened.

Grade 1 teachers are super exhausted at this school. I looked into the school and it receives pretty low ratings and seems to be overcrowded, so I don’t expect the teachers operate with decent working conditions. Still, they are pissing me off and getting me panicked about who is looking after my daughter. Also, kids are horrible influences, my friends! My. Goodness. Every parent thinks their child is the best, I know this. And my daughter needs to socialize. This, and my zero time to provide an approved curriculum based education, is why I do not home school. But if I could … We think our kids are the best because we raised them. With our ideals and our values. So, when my child’s teacher reprimands her for hugging an upset classmate when it is silent reading time, I disagree because my values include compassion above all else. This also applies to friendships. I don’t need other kids bullying mine because she believes there is no such thing as girls or boys things. And I don’t need them teaching her gross rhymes about butts and stuff. Or introducing her to Katy Perry and all her cultural appropriation.

This all sounds pretty petty. This all sounds, “Um, ya. That’s called life. The universe does not revolve around you.” This is all correct.

This is life. It is uncomfortable and gross feeling. My daughter is an individual who is going to make friends. Maybe they will be friends who try to, I don’t know; try to get her to sneak outside unsupervised. But I know she’ll come home and tell me. She’ll laugh while reciting dirty rhymes and I’ll roll my eyes and bare it. It makes me anxious, thinking about her, without me, in a world in need of repair. But she will make mistakes. She will learn. She’ll learn more than I ever will. I’ll have to rest assured that I’m doing my best to equip her. I’m allowed to cringe while doing so.

I write other stuff too! HillaryDiMenna.com

“Sex ed” – and scream

protestHere in the land of Ontario, we don’t want our children to know what a vagina or penis is.

They must remain confused and urinate without question. For that is all that is done with these daisies and pee pees. Also, sexual harassment and consent – why do our kids need to know about that? Sexual health, healthy relationships, gender identity, sexuality, Sexually-transmitted Infections (STIs), stereotypes, puberty : the worst. The revised Health and Physical Education curriculum, the one that hadn’t been revised for almost 20 years, uses the word sex 282 times! I Command F’d it! The horror! Not in Ontario! What has changed in 20 years anyway? Just in case I need to mention this, I’ve been sarcastic up until now. BAM! Minds blown, I know.

It isn’t like sex ed was all that great before. You know who taught me about periods? Blossom. My Home Ec teacher didn’t even wear a hat. She did, however, draw a peanut on the board to show me what a woman’s body (is socially scripted to) looks like, and a pizza slice to show what a (scripted) man’s body looks like (picture the slice standing on the pointy part. The crust is dude’s shoulders or some bullshit). Maybe that was a BC thing. From what friends have told me, Ontario schools weren’t any more helpful.

Thanks, B.
Thanks, B.

I don’t actually know why people are protesting the new curriculum. Recently our premier Kathleen Wynne has said she believes these protests are politically motivated, as The Star reports, “I think the federal Conservatives are going to use this issue in certain communities in the federal election, which I think is despicable.”

I wasn’t sure what all these protests were about. It seems that six-year-olds knowing the clinical terms – the words, the names, you know, the language that we teach them to speak in every other circumstance – for their genitalia is having getting some people super freaked out. However, being freaked out over saying vagina instead of flower may be is worth the peace of mind in knowing that children will be better equipped to report sexual abuse if it happens. Audrey Rastin, a manager at Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention in Toronto tells The Globe and Mail in a March 9 article, “Using proper terminology is protective. Kids who are comfortable talking about their bodies are more likely to be able to disclose when something worrisome or uncomfortable is happening to them.” She continues to say that when kids do not use the proper terminology they can be misunderstood when trying to communicate abuse.

Another cause for freak out has been the inclusion of same-sex parents when discussing relationships. In 1998, same-sex marriage was still illegal in Canada, the sex ed curriculum was a reflection of this. Now, the curriculum is aligned with Ontario law. Of course groups like Campaign Life Coalition and columnists like Joe Warmington are scared, because the gays. Homophobic rant here. Transphobic rant there. Wynne and her gay agenda. Blah blah blah.

Fuck these righteous lame-os.

As for teaching consent, who would be against that? Why would parents not want their children to learn this. I keep seeing complaints that kids are learning about sex before they are the age of consent, as if sex just cannot physically happen before a certain age. I am happy to know that my daughter will learn about consent in a formal setting in addition to what we teach at home. It is important to me that the curriculum will reflect real things pertaining to her and her generation’s life such as sexting (if that is still a thing by the time she has a phone). I’ve never understood the hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil philosophy. I don’t even know if I got those in the right order.

All in all, it isn’t the end of the world. Parents, it’ll be OK. Our children are more than peanuts and pizza to be.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com