Friday, November 16, 2007

Mind your Peas and Qs

This is not my story to tell, but I LOVE it so I'm going to tell it anyway. It's actually my friend Mandy's story, and she told me over a month ago, and I immediately said two things: 1) This is exactly why I love you, and 2) This is SO going on my blog. Here it is:

As you might recall, Mandy, David, and their 3 children have recently moved to NW Arkansas. They enrolled their 4 year old daughter, Katie, in a local pre-school program. The school goes past pre-school but Katie will only attend there for her pre-K year. At any rate, Mandy had some issues with the school right off the bat. Apparently the school "rules" parents to death, meaning there are rules about every little thing. If a problem crops up--say, there's a traffic problem at peak drop off and pick up times-- rather than just send a letter home asking parents to be more aware, they make an announcement that there's a new rule that parents can't arrive before this time or after this time, or park here or here, or blah blah blah. They have a rule that parents must have Internet access at home, and must check email frequently for school communication. Mandy said she gets more than 1 email per week. Seriously? What could the school possibly have to say that often? And whatever happened to asking nicely?

Here's where it gets good. The school does not provide lunches for the children, so everyone must bring their own. One of the school's multitude of rules is that every child's lunch must include a vegetable and a fruit, every day. Even if they will not eat them and they will get thrown away, they MUST be there, every day. Mandy seems to think that this is something they are required to do to keep their license. Trying to be a thorough blogger, I just spent half an hour trying to determine if parents are responsible for such things, but if there is such a regulation it's buried deeper in some state website than I care to dig. It seems absurd, though, to force parents to waste food.

Being the good sport, Mandy obliged and sent the required foods daily. One day, though, she forgot to include a vegetable in Katie's lunch. It was the first time this had happened. That day, Katie was sent home with a stern note reprimanding Mandy for not following school policy.

This is the part that makes me love my friend. Understandably, this ticked her off. Aside from the absurdity of the policy, there are about a million more appropriate ways to have handled it. So Mandy decided to let the school know what she thought about their policy without saying a word. Since the day of the mean note, Katie's lunch has met the vegetable requirement by the inclusion of 3 raw frozen green peas. As Mandy pointed out, there's nothing in the rule about the vegetable being in edible form. Clever girl! I LOVE it. I suggested she branch out--maybe send a raw potato or squash, or a huge thing of cauliflower. She's not heard a word since from the school. Way to show them, Mandy--I aspire to this level of moxie!


Anonymous said...

That is awesome! I might have pushed the envelope a little more and sent only one raw, frozen green pea. Way to show them Mandy!

Anonymous said...

I love it! Way to go Mandy! I say next time you put something whole in her lunch box, like a whole head of lettuce or an onion...maybe just one green onion would be easier ;)


Alice said...

Nancy, when you told us this story in Baltimore, I loved it. I still laughted in reading it again. I think it is fantastic, something I won't forget incase I need to use it later when Mili starts preschool. Go Mandy!!!!

Outnumbered said...

That's my wife!! >:-)