Wednesday, December 8, 2010
What's Your School Uniform?
School/daycare in Rio de Janeiro took some getting used to. Not the system or teachers but the bathing.
I really didn't know how to handle it when I found out that the daycare my 1 year old was in was giving him a bath every day. I was like, say what?!
It went something like this:
Rants "Why do you need to bath him?"
School "It's hot and they are sweaty."
Rants "So, I'll bath him when he gets home. It's weird"
School "Why is it weird?"
Rants "How do I know someone isn't doing something they shouldn't"
School "What are you talking about"
Rants "I'm talking about with my child! In a bath!"
School "What's wrong with you, you sick bastard?!"
The weirdest part of the whole conversation was that it all happened inside my head. I never actually confronted the school. They bathed each and every child after lunch and before nap. Everyone under the sun, including the parking guy if anyone asked, considered it a given.
Crazy American Mom not bathing her child 3 times a day, especially before nap and bedtime... and after the park, after eating a messy meal, and we can't forget before seeing Grandma.
Now this boy is older and in a proper school. Guess what, they run around in their underwear when it starts getting hot here. That or their speedo which is basically the same thing. The littler girls also run around in underwear and the bigger ones in bikinis. This goes up through 1st and 2nd grade. Maybe a little higher.
And you know what, I think it rocks. It is hotter than hell. Why shouldn't my kid be able to play outside in as little as possible, all bits covered of course. My youngest, in the infant 1 class, does get a bath on particularly messy or sweaty days. They also let the kids up to 4 years old spend 30 min in the "aquatic park" aka 2 blow up pools and a hose.
It took some getting used, I must say. Initially, the idea of my kid running around his school in his underwear or in just his shorts (no shirt) seemed wrong. Why are you taking off his clothes!
But that's the thing, they aren't taking off their clothes to take off their clothes. They are letting the kids be more comfortable. That and Brazilians have a HUGE obsession with bathing, especially in the summer. Any good school would help the younger ones stay clean and feel more comfortable. The older kids can fend for themselves.
Plus kids, especially small ones, are treated like Deities. I really wouldn't be that surprised if I found my youngest's class of 1 year olds sitting on grape leaves being spoon fed jello. And of course there would be someone fanning them. Duh.
You melt here. It literally gets uncomfortable to just be. It would be a crime of Brazilian nature to let a child feel that way. And heaven forbid one stays dirty.