Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Friday, May 4, 2012


There are a lot of Australian terms which I can't use here. 
If I ask where the 'lift' ('elevator') is, people thing I'm a nutter. Not to mention if I talk about a friend's 'pram' instead of 'stroller'. Insert Canadian giggles here, bless.

image via here

But this week's special word is 'poop'. 
We say 'poo' in Australia, but the Canadians make it sound cuter.
Unfortunately, the reason 'poop' is our special word this week isn't particularly cute. Turns out, it is school policy that all children must be accompanied by another child if they want to go to the toilet (washroom? bathroom?). They are also 'discouraged' from visiting them during class hours as it 'disrupts' the class. 
What the?! 
This has eventuated in Poppet regularly asking up to three friends in the playground ('schoolyard') to accompany her and quite often being refused by all of them. Of course, she then feels deflated and decides she can just hold on til she gets home. Awesome. The teacher has discussed this with the class twice over the past few weeks, but they still seem to find it very difficult to stop their play and help another kid out. There's nothing like a selfish 7 year old to make your blood boil! And it's not just been happening to my kid. The doctor we saw today (more about that in a minute) said her daughter is in Grade 5 and still has to deal with this issue.
So, the school seems happy to put a policy in place to 'protect' the children from nasty strangers lurking in the hallways but leaves it up to the children themselves to decide how to enforce it. They have to debase themselves by going around the school yard begging for someone to accompany them.
This week was the final straw. On Wednesday, Poppet was again refused by her 'friends' in the yard (see, I'm starting to use the local terminology automatically) and by the time she found a toilet ally she had sort of soiled herself (I feel I can write about this as she's not reading it, if she discovers it when she's 18 she can throttle me then). Rather than confront the humiliation of this issue with a duty teacher she isn't familiar with, she simply 'forgot' about the whole thing until she got home. You can imagine our reaction; that stupid school and those selfish nasty little blighters! The teacher is always telling me that my child doesn't speak up enough, either to her friends or to the teachers. She is a little shy and submissive, and is still feeling a little like the new kid in town. In such an inflexible system I'm not surprised that she doesn't want to fess up to problems of this nature. And guess what? She's only seven years old!
Thursday at school seemed to move more smoothly, all the kids cooperated after another reminder from the teacher. The day had, apparently, gone well.
But at night it was another story. Around 9pm Poppet woke screaming. She had extreme abdominal pain, and vomited. I assumed it was a virus at first, but she didn't have any other symptoms. The rest of the night was spent moaning and napping, mostly the former. We both passed out around 6am.
The pain continued so we visited the Dr down the road. And yes, she confirmed that it was most likely to be constipation. But very severe to cause so much pain. She recommended a water bottle on her school desk (no, they don't do that in Canada like they do at home) to increase her water intake and another conversation with the teacher to make sure she understands the gravity of the situation. I will draft a letter tomorrow when I've calmed down and caught up on some sleep.
This whole things makes me so mad, as it's so preventable. If the kids all had water at their tables, and had a partner assigned to them for toilet visits to avoid refusal there would be no issue. Children also need to be encouraged to visit the toilet whenever they need to, even though some kids will obviously do it to get out of class. Surely the school doesn't want to create an aura of anxiety around a simple bodily function.
Constipation was an enormous issue for Poppet in her early school days and it took a huge effort on our parts to overcome it. Her diet is pretty good, she is fairly active and has always drunk lots of water. Until she wasn't allowed to have a drink bottle at her desk, that is. And she had become fairly regular until she was told that being a human being made her a disruption in class. Nice.
We'll see how things go, I'm annoyed that it's an issue again but I guess things could always be worse. And 'things' are moving along a little better now thanks to a crazy laxative jelly and some Metamucil biscuits ('cookies'), who knew they existed?! Heat pack is being applied and a day on the couch ('sofa') is in order.
They don't tell you about any of this when you get pregnant, do they now?

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