I’m Taking My Child Out Of Hogwarts. Here’s Why.

Good morning, fellow mommy bloggers!

My sincerest apologies for the late posting this week. It’s been a bit crazy in our household! As members of the Messy Mom Club, I know that you can more than understand. Between puberty-related meltdowns, homework stress, and little sleep, raising a thirteen-year-old girl is nothing short of climbing darn Everest!

 

We’ve been pondering how to reveal this bit of news to the world, but it’s high time somebody spoke up. We’re done fearing the stigma. Here’s some backstory, in case you haven’t been reading our Messy Mom newsletters every week!

 

I want the best for my little girl. She is our everything. When my husband, Roderick, and I awoke on the morning of sweet Pageant’s eleventh birthday, our whole world changed. And we were willing to change with it; to do what the universe was telling us was best for Pageant.

 

But we can only bend so far.

 

Being a stay-at-mom in our lovely Kettering suburb surrounded by an enclave of pristine, cardigan-wearing mothers provides a certain pressure. A need. To impress, to keep up, to fit in. So, when our precious angel started to play with her noodles at suppertime – never touching them with her hands as they danced in front of her wide-eyed face – we knew that we had a gifted child. We also knew that the pressure was on to send her to the very best school for children with her special talents.

 

Roderick and I are magical-typical. That is, we do not contain the ability to perform magic. The politically correct term that we insist on using in our household is indeed “magical-typical”, but the more common slang for people like us is “muggle”. We had heard of children born into “normal” (Ha! Whatever “normal” means these days! That’s basically a curse word in our house. ;]) families like ours who still contain extraordinary gifts of the magical world themselves, without any previous family history, but we could never prepare ourselves for the reality.

 

Jeanine and Charlotte, two fellow mothers of similar-aged children who live in our cul-de-sac, insisted upon my announcement of Pageant’s abilities that I set my sights on sending her to Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in France, as it is far and away the quintessential boarding program for a posh young woman with its status as an all-girls school and with not nearly the amount of dark baggage that Hogwarts retains. As magical-typical parents of magical-typical children, Jeanine and Charlotte simply only had rumors about the wizarding world to go on.

 

Roderick and I read every parenting book we could find on the matter, including the classic standards like Growing Up Wandless: The Struggle of the Muggle-Born Child Wizard and Dispatches From The Floo Network: How My Child Taught Me About The World That Wasn’t Mine, all of which assured us that the right school would pick the right child. Whilst the other mothers were scurrying about in a huff regarding application essays, exam marks, and alumni interviews for their magical-typical children’s middle school experiences, Roderick and I simply had to wait.  

 

On the spring morning that Pageant turned eleven, a black-and-grey spotted owl arrived on her windowsill, and our decision was thusly made. Pageant had been invited to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

 

As I write this, Pageant has just returned home for holiday from her second year.

 

I am taking my child out of Hogwarts.

 

Roderick and I are consulting with a child psychologist on the matter of next steps in Pageant’s education. As she has recently been inundated with visceral scenes of death, torture, animal abuse, and racially-charged rhetoric, we need to let an expert help us examine what is best for her at this juncture in her emotional development.

 

Why am I taking my brilliant child out of the highest-rated magical program on the continent? Here are 5 reasons. We should have seen the warning signs.

 

  1. Where Was The Paperwork?

 

When Jeanine and Charlotte sent their daughters and sons to pristine magical-typical boarding schools Dulwich and Woldingham, they often complained of the hours spent on the documentation and legal forms that were required of them as the student’s parent and/or guardian. I am not sure if I missed an envelope in the post, or if there was an email in which I was supposed to find some PDFs that perhaps filed away into my Spam folder, but I never once was approached or contacted to sign or read anything regarding my child’s entry into a seven-year boarding program at a haunted castle far away from home.

 

This concerns me. There was no liability paperwork whatsoever. In her first year, Pageant broke her arm falling off of a flying broomstick during a school-sponsored event called “Quidditch”, and not only was I not notified, but she was simply sent into a room in the castle and given an herbal elixir by a woman named Pomfrey who had no medical licensing whatsoever. Roderick and I scoured Google for her reviews as a pediatrician, but our efforts were fruitless. The woman has no legally sound medical degrees or credentials whatsoever.

 

The lack of any sort of formal registration process is alarming. How do they know whether Pageant – or any other child – is up to date with her vaccinations? How do they know that my baby sometimes reacts poorly to amoxicillin and has a mild tree nut allergy?!

 

  1. She Was Bitten And Then Thrown Across The Room By A Creature During Class Time

 

A gripe that I have with any school program is the fact that my child is not allowed to choose subjects that interest her. She is unique! She likes to paint and draw! There was no outlet for her self-expression at Hogwarts. She was forced into a tough curriculum – the most alarming course of which was called “Defense Against The Dark Arts”. One would think that a parent would be required to perhaps sign a waiver of some kind before a child delves into such content! Charlotte’s little boy had to get a special permission slip signed by her before he handled a Bunsen burner for the first time in his magical-typical biology class at Woldingham.

 

During second term of her first year at Hogwarts, Pageant’s instructor released some creatures called Cornish Pixies into the classroom. These little shrill creatures have incredibly sharp teeth, which we now know due to a scar that remains on Pageant’s cheek. Two of them flew across the room, apparently untethered by any sort of regulated safety mechanism that one would hope the school had in place, and lifted up my baby girl by her ears, tossing her across the dungeon classroom. The moment that I heard of this news – which was A FULL DAY later – I wanted to speak to somebody at Hogwarts immediately. Which brings me to gripe #3.

 

  1. Lack Of Viable Communication Methods

 

Listen to this, fellow moms! They took my daughter’s iPhone away as soon as she stepped off of the train. She has no way to contact me via Facetime or Skype when she is away at school. And worse: THERE IS NO EMAIL ADDRESS OR PHONE NUMBER FOR THE SCHOOL. Nope! Nothing. Zero. Zilch. You can email “headmaster@hogwarts.edu” all you want, but you will get no response. I am simply outraged. The parenting books all said such wonderful things about Hogwarts. We were misled. As parents of magical children, I am stunned that our community is not more concerned. And perhaps most absurd of all: we were in fact expected to sign a permission form for one activity that the students partook in: to spend a day off-campus in a local town called Hogsmeade. With all of the terrible things that had already happened to Pageant at Hogwarts, I was practically begging for them to let her leave the campus! How about asking my and Roderick’s permission before my baby is forced as an assignment to practice a spell that literally makes her bones disappear?! Where was my slip to sign then?!?! Her foot is still not the same!

 

  1. She Witnessed A Human Boy Die

 

I once read a book called The Hunger Games that absolutely devastated me! I DO NOT recommend it! It features children trying to hurt each other in order to win some vague grand prize. Well, you should have seen my face this past fall when an owl flew onto my kitchen table (unsanitary!) with a letter from Pageant informing me that some older students were participating in horrific-sounding event called “The Triwizard Tournament”, wherein it was assumed that an underaged competitor could get brutally injured and in some cases actually die, per historic precedent. In this gladiatorial “Tournament”, a boy was made to publicly fight a dragon.

 

That’s right. You read that right, fellow mommy warriors!

 

Fight. A. Dragon.

 

At most, I had read some articles about Hogwarts having some possibly less-than-satisfactory security provisions in place in order to attempt to prevent co-ed mingling after hours, but this?!

 

As any reasonable adult would assume, the dragon was able to breathe fire, and therefore the boy died during this “stage” of the competition. You know, since an impossibly powerful mystical creature chased him in flight and breathed real fire onto him.

 

My baby girl and hundreds of other teens and preteens witnessed this human boy die. I had just shown her Beaches the previous summer in order to introduce the concept of death into our safe household. Well, all bets are off now. She is impossibly traumatized. We are paying three professionals for multiple sessions per week.

 

I am absolutely tongue-tied at the prospect of how the school is still open. We have a perfectly functional legal system in England, and the idea that a parent has yet to sue astonishes me.

 

  1. My Child Is Too Unique To Be “Sorted”

 

We understand how rare it is to find a boarding school that is totally and completely free, but there is a limit to how much we can take. This barbaric “sorting” process was a huge deal-breaker for Roderick and I. Hogwarts forces the children – yes, even my extraordinary child – into very limiting social boxes by “sorting” them into one of four “houses”.

 

Nope. Not happening. My child is her own person. She loves to laugh. She hates pineapple. She sings along to daddy’s rock music in the car. She blows bubbles. She cannot possibly be described by one lone “house”, and I frankly start to tear up with anger at the prospect of a school system being so ignorant to the needs of my very special, unique, and perfectly imperfect child. Do NOT tell my daughter that she has limits. She is more than some “badger” or “snake”.
hog

 

I don’t know about you, fellow moms, but all of this was just too much for my and Roderick’s hearts to handle. Some of you brave mommas out there might like the “tough love” that it encourages in your little ones! They certainly learn some crucial survival skills through rigorous hands-on experience, like that one third year student who almost died because he used the wrong faucet in the boy’s restroom and a giant venomous demon snake came out of the wall.

 

I do not think that it is for everyone. Ultimately, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is not the right choice for our family. Our baby may be growing up, but she is still our baby, and that means that we want her to be able to get a good education and not need life-saving emergency medical care literally three times per month. We’re looking at some charter schools now! There is one in Yorkshire where the grades are animal symbols, and we really like that.
Until next week, Messy Moms! Get ready for a fun new DIY guacamole recipe!

Vague Quotes From Beat Generation Authors To Make Straight Cisgendered White Men Feel Good About Their Choices

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” – Allen Ginsberg

  • I’m going to send this girl I met once at a party a picture of my penis on Facebook Messenger!
  • I definitely need to point out that this person got a fact about Buddhism wrong in her tweet. I’m feeling a little trepidation about it, since it’s a person I don’t know and I’m calling her an “idiot bitch,” but you know what? Follow your inner moonlight!!!

“I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones…” – Jack Kerouac

  • I will hit on this girl with cool tattoos who already has a boyfriend and has expressed to me multiple times that she’s not interested!
  • Even though my buds from high school wear too much cologne and catcall women when we go out on the weekends, I gotta stick with ’em! MY BUDS!!! Oh, they’re wacky. We have fun.

“There is no line between the ‘real world’ and ‘world of myth and symbol.’ Objects, sensations, hit with the impact of hallucination.” – William Burroughs

  • Running this stop sign won’t be a big deal. I’m white and male and straight and cisgendered, remember?
  • Grades don’t matter, dude. Just, like, have your thing and do it. Letters on a piece of paper are meaningless. Dad’s paying for rent next year and already has me hooked up with his buddy at Universal McCann.
  • #NeverHillary

“I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I’ll never be sane.” – Allen Ginsberg

  • My unique take on movie reviews are worth everyone’s time.

5 Cute Ways To Thank Him For Telling You How You Should Have Handled Your Rape

How sweet! A person who is a stranger and who also happens to be a straight white man has reached out to you ON THE INTERNET! And he’s here to tell you how you should have handled your rape. You should really thank him. Here are 5 cute ways that you can show how grateful you are. Faith in humanity = restored!

 

  1. An animated, singing e-card. He said that you were dumb not to go to the police before telling your close friends and family about the horrific, life-changing event that happened to you, and you realize now that you ARE so dumb! Like, everything in the news the past year or so has told you that police are perfect paragons of the American justice system, and you were such an idiot for thinking anything otherwise. So, send that charming fella who pointed that out to you while calling you “bitch” and “hen” a cute dancing animal of some kind!
  2. Concert tickets! He mentioned on his profile (that you briefly glanced at as he was berating you for reporting your rape to a person in your community who you trusted) that he loves Poison, Jack Johnson, and Blake Shelton.
  3. A free MENSA test prep book. This dude is REALLY smart. I mean, he knows way better than you do about your own trauma and how you should deal with it. He’s SO smart, in fact, that he should be in MENSA, the official high IQ society!
  4. A selfie stick. His profile page is all gym mirror selfies! That’s so 2009! He deserves a selfie stick. You respect that he’s given in to the farce of modern masculinity by bulking up and needing to tell the world about it, but you want him to have a better angle in those gym pics. After all, his knowledge of masculinity and manhood is the solid, immovable foundation for his lecture that he gave you, a woman, about your own body and how you should speak about it after a significant and terrifying trauma.
  5. The book Missoula, by Jon Krakauer. Because it is incredibly informative about rape, how women are villainized and tormented for coming forward about it, and how the justice system has never, ever, ever, been on the side of women. And then tell him to go fuck himself.

Romantic Comedies Starring Blonde Women Or Generic Colloquial Sayings?

1. That Over There

2. If It Is

3. Rumor Has It

4. Love Happens

5. Ah-Ha!

6. Sorta Like That

7. Huh?

8. Just Go With It

9. That’s That!

10. Life As We Know It

11. One For The Money

12. That Over There

13. Lucky You

14. It’s A Thing

15. Everybody’s Fine

Answers:
Romantic Comedies Starring Blonde Women: 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15
Generic Colloquial Sayings: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14

Common Stages Of A Young Affluent White Person’s First Year In New York City

 

  • You buy your first hammer to put together a shelf for your Blu-rays.
  • You are impressed with the ethnic cuisine that was delivered to your start-up for lunch.
  • You make a joke on social media about how your life resembles one of the following fictional characters: Carrie Bradshaw, Jamie Conway, Hannah Horvath, Andy Sachs, Holden Caulfield, Millie Dillmount, Sal Paradise, Ruth Sherwood, Eileen Sherwood, Nick Carraway, Holly Golightly, all of the above.
  • A person who has lived in New York City exactly three months longer than you condescends to you about all the big city offer and how much learning is in store for you.
  • Heavy sighs produced from the current WiFi availability situations increase 400%.
  • A person you hate gets on a house team at an improv theatre.
  • You discuss Serial in an attempt to bond with a new co-worker.
  • You give money to a homeless person singing on the subway and post on social media about how it contributed to your “perfect day exploring!!!!”
  • You pretend that college was far more meaningful an experience for you than it was.
  • You carefully conclude that it will be a good idea to wear a shirt that has a classic book cover image on it.
  • FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL!!!!!!!!!!
  • You make a joke about how you hate Times Square even though being there secretly fills you with raw childhood glee.
  • You write about it.

Other Aspects of Her Life That Sarah Palin Blames Barack Obama For

Goddammit. My phone battery shows 15% and then just DIES? I swear, it happens every time. It’s no coincidence, ladies and gentlemen. My handy iPhone 6S right here arrived to my doorstep already damaged. Damaged not by the folks at Apple – no, no. This goes all the way to the top. The phones are being boxed up and shipped to us by workers in foreign countries. These people don’t know American values and they don’t know how our high-end technology needs to be treated. Our current liberal government has done quite the piss-poor job of keeping industries in America. If my phone had been made right here on our home soil, it would have a chance a better battery life. But Barack didn’t give it that chance.

I guess I have to address the elephant in the room. I won’t shy away from the fact that my flight here was delayed today. Those extra 45 minutes on the ground were really necessary, huh, JetBlue? I think we need to address the real problem. Healthcare reform has given medical attention to lower-middle class families everywhere. Now they’re well and free to be out and about, traveling all over the place, and weighing down our planes! I can’t help but believe to my core that planes would have less problems if the poor weren’t joining us on our flights. I would have been here on time today if it weren’t for the man in the White House right now.

I always get an everything bagel with butter in the morning. I get it toasted. This morning, it was a soggy, floppy, buttery mess. Not toasted. I could tell the new employee behind the counter had barely listened to my order. Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen. This is the product of a Congress divided. If the young man behind the counter hadn’t been inundated with that hope-y change-y stuff over the past 8 years, we would have a very different situation right now. This young man would not have delusionally believed in himself and majored in art history at Vassar, and he would not be bitterly doing his post-college part-time survival job so poorly. I would have a correctly toasted bagel in my stomach right now if it weren’t for this current administration!

Is it just me, or did it take far too long for winter to come this time around?! Now, let’s not forget that the man at the top is from Hawaii. Yeah, that’s right. He probably loves this topsy-turvy nature hullabaloo. Let’s just say that things would be a little different if a Republican was in the White House, and if I didn’t ruin John McCain’s entire political credibility eight years ago. Drill, baby, drill!

New Nobel Peace Prize Categories

That I deserve to win.

Giving Guys The Out On Cancelling Plans

Enjoying Guy’s American Kitchen And Not Being Ironic About It

Uncrossing My Legs On The Subway When My Foot Is In People’s Way

Fake Laughing At Harmless Yet Impossibly Stupid Bros Quoting Parks & Recreation

Not Screaming At Rich People

Letting The Gchat Sit There For A While

Keeping Thought Pieces In My “Draft” Folder

“Liking” Your Embarrassing Headshot

Not Mentioning The Mutual Friends’ Hookup Even Though It’s All Anybody Can Think About

Nodding And Smiling At Old Racist People Who Mean Well

Not Burning Down The Laundromat At Sunday At 1PM

Remaining In Contact With You Even Though You Once Used The Word “Flippant” In Earnest

Not Blowing Guys When They’re Vulnerable To Make Them Confused About Our Friendship

Seamless Meal Additions

Qty – 1 – Grilled American Cheese Sandwich

Meal Additions (*Optional – Select as many as you like)

* _ Another pair of hands. Ones who won’t text him eight times in a row.

* _ 2 Liter Pepsi

* _ The Pet Edition of Resolve carpet cleaner. It’s the only kind that will get vomit out of the carpet next to your bed.

* _ The capability to feel shame or embarrassment at work functions involving alcohol.

* _ Mozzarella Sticks

Qty – 1 – Chicken Caesar Wrap

Meal Additions (*Optional – Select as many as you like)

* _ Garlic Knots

* _ The sensation of male approval.

* _ Gatorade (Call the restaurant for flavor options!)

Qty – 1 – Martha’s Panini

Meal Additions (*Optional – Select as many as you like)

* _ New York Cheesecake

* _ Getting invited to those things that you see people doing on Instagram.

* _ A depressant that doesn’t make you send sexually aggressive Facebook messages.

* _ Mozzarella Sticks

* _ A guy to cuddle and play video games with. (Call the restaurant for flavor options!)

I’m Not Here For My Daughter. I’m Here To Watch Melinda Fucking Destroy This Jazz Recital

I am a 44-year-old woman, and not much excites me anymore. I like it when they get into fights on The View and I have re-read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy six times. My day is taking the girls to school, then Lindsey to dance practice, and making food for the household. I get it, I chose this life.

But this is the winter jazz dance recital. It comes once a year. So if you could get your camcorder out of my view, Janice, I would really appreciate it. Because this is my inspiration. I’m ready to be floored.

No, I’m not here for my daughter. I’m here to watch Melinda fucking destroy this jazz recital.

Melinda D. is a nine-year-old dance powerhouse and veritable force in the entertainment industry of Overland Park, Kansas. Her confidence gets me through my worst days. The days when I can’t bring myself to write another diary entry (that will hopefully turn into my memoir! Or a blog maybe.), or when Idina’s ballads just aren’t doing it for me anymore (she, like, got divorced! We can all fall.), Melinda’s kick-twirl -touch combo from the Spring ’12 recital flashes before me, and I feel like a woman again. A strong woman. Who can do things. Who can change things. I have power.

Melinda is my Oprah.

When I took my nine-year-old daughter, Lindsey, to Sue’s Dance Studio in the strip mall for her first modern jazz dance lessons, I had no idea what sort of wake-up call that I was in store for.

My life is fine. It’s normal. It’s better than living alone. But Jesus Christ, I just need some inspiration to get through the day! I’ve never felt so empowered as a female creature than when Melinda steps out in her Capezios onto the stage to that song from Hairspray. She performs as if she’s been through some shit.

Melinda is my Beyonce.

Yes, my daughter, Lindsey, is in the mix up there somewhere on stage, but Melinda has something. The “it” factor. An unexplainable confidence that reminds me that feminism is alive and well. I bet she goes home and fucking writes. I bet she shows the other girls at school who the fuck she is and that they better follow or die. Did you see her unitard after practice last week? IT WAS YELLOW. No one can pull off yellow. She walked around like she didn’t give a shit. I want that.

Lindsey is kind of good at math.

Mr. Clark, if you could please move one seat or two over, so that your head does not obstruct my view of Melinda’s solo finale number in the cafetorium, I would REALLY appreciate it. No, that’s not mine up there. But look at that hair. Look at that essence. Just let her fucking destroy “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” with her jazz leaps and then you can move back in front of me.

I’m not here for my daughter. Tell her I’ll be outside warming up the car. I am fulfilled.

I’m good.