Good Schools and Christmas Roulette

Today all three of my kids had a dentist appointment in the morning, and like always, I forgot to call the schools and tell them they were going to be late.

So when I was dropping the two older kids at the high school, I went inside with them to sign them in, so they wouldn’t get a skipped class marked on their record.

We went into the office and the school secretary was at the desk and greeted me warmly. I have been in the school office probably three times total since the Captain started there three years ago. I’ve probably exchanged 20 words with this woman, tops. The Captain and Gal Smiley probably have never been in the office for anything other than arriving late from dentist appointments. They’ve never been in trouble or had to go home ill or anything.

My point here is that the school secretary KNEW US. I came in and said that they were late because of the dentist, and without giving ANY names or any other identification, she quickly printed out late slips and signed in my two older kids BY NAME. WITHOUT ASKING.

This seems like such a minor thing, but I almost fell over in astonishment.

That’s because all three of my kids went to the same elementary school for years and the office staff there NEVER, EVER knew who any of them were.

We have had at least one kid there, continuously, since 2007. And never once have I gone into the office and been recognized, or had any of my three kids recognized. I always have to tell them our name, and usually spell it out for them, and indicate which of the three was standing beside me. Every time!

This despite a) having MULTIPLE kids in the school for YEARS, and b) having two allergy kids that require their photos to be POSTED IN THE OFFICE every single year, and c) volunteering on the parent committee for years.

I just figured since my kids were not troublemakers and they had several hundred students at the school, that that’s the way it went. The head secretary has been the same all this time but we have been through at least three helper secretaries and not one of them appears to know who we are, as a family or individually.

And yet, at the high school, which is bigger, and where my kids have been for only a couple of years, and where I have barely ever been inside, we are KNOWN.

I have to say, it was pretty awesome.

I realize I am freaking out about something very small. But I doubt I will stop marveling at this amazing incident for quite some time.


In other news, my birthday was yesterday and you know what that means – open season on Christmas! When I was growing up, my mother had the rule that no one was allowed to talk about Christmas until after my birthday on November 18. We’ve instituted the same rule here, purely for Sir Monkeypants, who can only stretch his Christmas enthusiasm so far (read: NOT VERY FAR) and so needed some kind of boundary.

But it is past my birthday now, so bring on the Christmas tunes! I have already queued up my Christmas Spotify playlist and there’s a local radio station playing carols 24/7 already so we’re good.

However, I am sad to say I am already out for the Last Christmas Roulette. Someone on Facebook started a game last year where you were “out” as soon as you heard Last Christmas somewhere, be it in your car or at a store or, as has happened in my case, being sung at top volume by a tweenage boy in the parking lot of the yoga studio the other day. I guess with my personal bombardment of Christmas music, I shouldn’t expect to last long, but seriously? This was even pre-birthday, people. PRE-BIRTHDAY. What up, young man?

I told Sir Monkeypants about this and he’s convinced he will easily be the last man standing, as he does not care for Christmas music (UNDERSTATEMENT) and avoids it at all costs. But he greatly underestimates the pervasiveness of Christmas tunes in the general public, and of the constant playing of Last Christmas in general. I’m guessing he has no more than a week before we hear it at the Superstore, or being sung by a boy in a parking lot, or in my car. Not to mention that there is a movie out right now CALLED Last Christmas, after the song, featuring the song, and being advertised all over. His days are numbered.

Think you can outlast him? We’ll see, my lovelies, we’ll see.

5 thoughts on “Good Schools and Christmas Roulette

  1. KristaR

    Knowing students names in a busy office at the highschool level – especially for kids and parents who don’t appear in the office too often is very impressive. At the school I work in we have just under 300 students and I try so hard to learn everybody’s names. (Although differentiating between 50 cute new JK students is a challenge!) Greeting students by name (and the parents) makes everyone feel welcome and included and shows that all staff, not just the teachers, are caring and involved in their school experience. Just for the record, the office staff titles in the OCDSB are office administrator and office assistant. 🙂

  2. Smothermother

    Sir Monkeypants and the hubby are kindered spirits. Nothing Christmas before December 1. And that was pushing it with him!

    And with the Last Christmas movie, the group I belong to on FB decided not to play LC roulette this year, since most of us were already out since the trailer started in October!!

  3. nicoleboyhouse

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I am not on social media much these days so I totally missed it. I hope you had a wonderful day. I would never play Last Christmas Roulette because it is one of the songs I purposely listen to. A woman I know made a Spotify list of all different versions and I listen to it often. But I’m not listening to Christmas music YET…that will happen this weekend when we put up the tree.

  4. I have had exactly the same experience as you. The office staff in my boys’ elementary school were unwaveringly rude. Almost like it was a badge of honour. I felt it took real effort not to look up when I would enter the office in the middle of the morning and there was nobody else there, and they could hear the door opening, yet they would actively avoid eye contact. And they would, without fail, continue gossipy, personal conversations amongst one-another while parents were in the room AND would actively complain about the difficulties parents caused them with all the sign-ins / sign-outs they had to do.

    Fast forward to high school and the staff are lovely, and helpful, and cheerful, and don’t ask for my kids’ names – they just know them. Just yesterday I went in to ask about buying tickets to the school’s Children’s Theatre production, which is not in any way the responsibility of the office staff – and one woman voluntarily picked up her phone and called the teacher in charge to see if a ticket table was being set up. I. Love. High. School.

    And Happy Birthday!

  5. bibliomama2

    I don’t think Last Christmas roulette starts until December first, so you’re still good. Until December 1st, probably. I keep saying I’m going to decorate for Christmas early this year, but I still haven’t gotten my shit together enough to actually do it, so we’ll see. Eve has gone ahead and decked the halls in her room. I’ve been trying to clean up a bit first, but all that’s done is pull a muscle in my chest that keeps making me think I’m having a heart attack, so CLEARLY I should have just left the mess.
    Oh, and we’ve been lucky with school staff, but I have heard of absolutely horrible ones that no one seems to be able to do anything about. I’m glad you’re having a good experience now.

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