If you are at all passionate about breastfeeding and/or easily irritated by total jerks…start your deep, calming breaths now!
Key background information: I am an elementary teacher. In my district, teachers typically give up part of their already short lunchtime to supervise students. I have not been doing a duty since I came back from maternity leave last February b/c I need that time to pump. I can pump no other time during the day b/c my principal has refused to allow me time out of my classroom during the long morning. And now, this morning, the following transpired:
My classroom phone rings while I am teaching a reading lesson, so I let it ring. It rings again a few minutes later…again, ignored. If it’s important, they will leave a message. Immediately after the second set of rings, I am paged over the to call the office immediately. Ok. I interupt my teaching to call the office and I am transfered to my principal, Mr. H.
Mr.H: Why didn’t you answer your phone?
Me: I was in the middle of a reading lesson.
Mr. H: When your phone rings, you are to answer it. That is your job. (Really??…’cause I thought my job was to TEACH!) I need to put you back on the lunch duty schedule.
Me: I am still pumping during lunch, so I am not available.
Mr. H: Isn’t your son (that would be DAUGHTER) almost a year old? I asked my daughter and she said that if someone even bothers to nurse, a year would be the absolute longest anyway. (Oh, really? Hmmm…)
Me (probably with steam escaping through my ears): That’s not the decision I have made. I plan to pump until she is 18 months old, just as I did with my son (and nurse her until she decides to wean).
Mr. H: I will have to look into whether you are allowed to do that. There has to be a reasonable time limit for these things.
Me (so pissed off I can barely talk): I am in the middle of a lesson. My class is getting fidgety. I will stop in to your office to finish our discussion later, when my students are not with me (and after I call my union to see what they have to say about this).
Mr. H: Ok. Come see me at lunch. (Are you SERIOUS? Was the conversation about my lunchtime availability only in my head or something?)
Me: I will stop in when I can. Click.
I have a feeling this is going to get ugly. I don’t even know what else to say about this. Oh, wait. I do. I am being “written up” for not answering my phone during my teaching. Nice.