So good and responsible, it hurts

A couple of weeks ago we got back from vacation and I went to report to Moomin’s school that I had forgotten to pick up the Independent Study packet. He only missed one, maybe 2 days of school. But I’d forgotten to call in and formally report that we’d be gone. The front office ladies rolled their eyes disdainfully at me. Then they said that they appreciated my being a Responsible Mom.

Well, last week it happened again. This time I reported beforehand! We were only going to miss one day of school! But then our flight was cancelled, and I had bronchitis and was lying around on the floor in various airports, and then the next day it was cancelled and delayed again and so we were two days late.

Scene in front office of school:

“So… our flight was delayed…”

“For TWO DAYS?” (Disbelief from both Office Ladies.)

“Yes… first it was delayed, then cancelled, then the next day it was delayed again so that we missed our connection…”

“Surely not for TWO days. I’m sure that… So what was the “reason” that so many flights were messed up?”

“Horrible thunderstorms, all over the Midwest.”

“Well. Good thing you let us know AFTERWARD. Why didn’t you call?”

“I was in airports… I was sick… it was all kind of horrible…”

“Thanks for letting us know now.”

“You’re welcome. Glad it’s possible to straighten it out.”

“You’re such a good, responsible mom!” (condescendingly, but not with sarcasm)

OMG, it was so nasty. It was clear that they said I was a responsible mom because they were trying to use a Technique to make me be more of one. Like praising your bratty kid for the one minute that they behave.

I feel sure that they don’t treat Rook this way when he deals with them. No, it is criticism reserved for women, to socialize them into behaving a certain way. If I’m not doing that job properly, they see it as their job to fix me. But if Rook’s not doing that job properly, it is also my failure, and it’s their job to tell me either to fix him or to do it myself. Blah.

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