I’ve lost count of the times that I have come home from preschool and cried.
We were told that we should stay for 5 minutes longer in the morning because leaving had upset E for the rest of the day – the next morning we met another teacher who told us off for staying and said it was better we left straight away.
One morning I arrived at 7.58 (my kitchen clock was fast and I didn’t realise I had set off too early). The teacher came in at 8.02 and said “We don’t open until 8” I replied, “Sorry, my clock was a little fast” to which she said “Yes, we don’t open until 8!”. That was me told. I felt so embarrassed.
They told me her hands were cold and she needed gloves, I told them there were mittens attached to her coat. The next day, they tell me her hands are too cold, and that I need to buy her gloves. I say, “what about the mittens?” and they reply “She won’t keep them on”. I go home in despair, I can’t afford to keep buying new things all of the time, and who’s to say she will keep gloves on?
I went around 5 shops, bought the smallest gloves I could find, get home and realise they are so big that her whole hand just fits in the bit where the palm goes. Terrified of turning up to school empty handed and being made to feel like a terrible mother I went back out, to the expensive Swedish children’s shop. I asked for help. I found some mittens that although were too big, had a velcro attatchment which meant she couldn’t take them off. It would have to do. I asked the price. £30. I couldn’t believe I was about to spend so much on a pair of mittens.
“We didn’t give her milk today, we think she eats better without it” they say, so I ask “So I shouldn’t bring it on monday?” they reply “no”.
Monday comes and we get to nursery without the milk. E starts looking for her bottle and her teacher says “you should have brought the bottle with water instead of taking everything away straight away”. So I went home and felt guilty all day.
An email goes out about lice in the school, I check E every evening and nothing. After a couple of weeks as I’m dropping her off, the principal walks in to the entrance area and says to me “We still have lice” I replied “Oh dear” to which she responded “so you know, someone must have them”.
That evening I picked her up and as I passed the principal in the older children’s classroom she loudly tells me in front of everyone “We think your daughter has lice”. I enter the classroom and the teachers both say “We think she has lice, we’ve seen one and you can see eggs here. Are you working tomorrow?” I said “Yes I’m working… I will have to tell them I can’t” she replied “If you buy the special shampoo she can come back.”
So off I went to the pharmacy. £18. Nothing is cheap here in Sweden. Got home, spent two hours combing her hair and didn’t find anything. The “eggs” were her cradle cap which she has had since she was born. Nevertheless we all treated ourselves with the potion and washed our hair.
It’s a few days later and they are still asking us “have you combed her hair?”. Today when I picked her up, I was told “She was cold today because she didn’t have a waterproof coat. Only the blue coat which is not waterproof” I said “where is her pink coat?” they replied “it is not here”.
I said it definitely was because it wasn’t at home, we use the blue one to take her home and bring her back in and always leave the pink one there. After being told another 5 times I must check at home, and me insisting I knew it wasn’t there, they went to check the drying cupboard and found it. I didn’t get an apology. She then told me that E needed rain trousers for crawling and that her wellies didn’t fit.
I had bought her wellies which were indeed a little loose, so my friend lent me smaller wellies, they’ve just decided to tell me these are also too big and that I need to buy smaller ones.
She suggested I used a website that sold them, when I looked it up, raincoats were around £100. We clearly belong to a different social class because I can’t afford to keep on buying all of these clothes. So I’ve just ordered rain trousers and more wellies, but from somewhere else. I have a very strong feeling these won’t be good enough either.
I really can’t put up with this for much longer, they make me feel like I am the worst mother and that they know my child better than I do.