I decided go to my daughter’s class. It’s true, as Sephardilady suggested in the comments, that I could meet the teacher another time, but I would like to see how the teacher and the school present themselves to the parents. So far they seem to have been doing a wonderful job and my daughter continues to be thrilled in her 7th grade class. As for gan, I see the teacher every day, and I heard from a mother whose opinion I trust that this ganenet doesn’t go overboard with the requests. Last year there was a discussion about collecting more money at the end of the year for something and the ganenet wouldn’t let the parents do it.
I spoke to the ganenet and asked her what the plans were for birthday parties. She said that three children have a party together, without the parents. The parents buy a gift for the child, and she recommends a towel embroidered with the child’s name on it for NIS 35 (about $8.50). I told her that I would probably not order one. She was genuinely concerned that my son would be terribly disappointed, and I tried to tell her that I would take care of it. She asked me if I would buy him something else. I have been thinking about why this whole thing bothers me so much and here is what I have come up with.
1. I don’t need another towel in the house.
2. If I did I wouldn’t buy one with the child’s name on it because I could get two for that price (and it happens that he still uses one he got as a gift when he was born, but that is beside the point).
3. I object, on principle, to being told what gift I should buy for my child, as if somehow he is missing something very special if he doesn’t get a particular item that he never even knew he needed.
4. I don’t like the idea of every child getting the same present; this will probably sound extreme but it smacks of socialism to me.
I don’t think I want to get into an argument with the ganenet about my feelings on the subject.
I have asked not to buy such a gift in the past and my children didn’t even notice that they didn’t get it. If I thought he would really care, I would buy it, but if he notices and is disappointed I will offer to go to the store with him and let him pick out a small gift. I guarantee he will prefer it to a towel.
His birthday is at the end of the year so if I’m still blogging then, I’ll let you know his reaction.
Wow, my husband just came home from the gan meeting and he is really annoyed. Stay tuned.