Allura drinking milkshakes…having an active role in paladin missions…voicing her concerns and being heard…kicking ass…saving the entire team + the rebels + the entire universe (lets be honest) through her magical powers? Season 4 had lots of flaws but it provided some of That Good Allura Content and I can appreciate that. It definitely did her less dirty than Season 3.
AHEM. *leans on doorway* I would like to know about that time you led a strike in preschool.
Okay, storytime. Both of my parents worked full time, and the woman who ran the family daycare across the street “went away for her health”- a charming euphemism for her family having her institutionalised because they couldn’t cope with her schizophrenia, but that’s another story for another time- so I went to preschool for two years. The preschool I went to was a good one. Still is, actually. My brother and his wife have their little sprout on the waiting list already, and he’s not two yet. It’s built onto the side of an ex-church, and it has great play areas, a sandpit, ducks, the works. Nice. We did all the usual preschool stuff; craft activities, storytime, naptime, playing with toys. To help us learn to be responsible and cooperative human beings, we were expected to clean up after ourselves, and put things away when we were done with them. Being small children, this had mixed results, so at the end of every day, there’d be a big group cleanup, where we went through and picked all the toys and books up off the floor of the main room and put everything in order.
All very nice, right? Trouble was, about half of the kids got picked up at 5, 5:30ish, and the other half, whose parents worked later hours, would be there till 6 or 6:30. The cleanup usually happened around 6, so the kids whose parents could pick them up early never had to clean up, and I noticed pretty quickly that the kids who never had to clean up at the end of the day didn’t seem to pick up after themselves during the day, either. They knew they wouldn’t have to deal with it, so they didn’t care.
I feel I should mention that my mother was, at the time, the secretary of a large public sector union. She’d been a unionist for some time (we’ve got a great picture somewhere of baby me on her lap at a Women In Leadership conference) and sometimes she had people over for dinner, and they’d talk about union business. I knew what was going on, here. This was a discriminatory practice. It targeted kids whose parents couldn’t afford for one of them to stay home with the kids. It encouraged unfair behaviour in the kids who didn’t have to clean up. This had to stop.
I went to the staff first. Mostly they laughed at me- in their defense, please picture a tiny blonde four-year-old in a princess dress squaring up to you about “dithcriminatory practitheth”- and told me I should set an example for the other kids by being tidy. Well. That wasn’t going to change anything. Having been knocked back by the administration, I took the struggle to the people. While we were cleaning up, I talked to the other kids who had to stay late, and we came to a consensus that things had to change. Look, to be honest, I don’t remember this happening with any kind of clarity. I was very small. Mum has told this story with great pride for some years, though, and most of the details come from her retelling. I don’t know if it was me who first suggested strike action, but I know it was me who led the sit-in protests; I’m told it was me who made an inspiring speech about fairness and division of labour, and it was definitely me whose parents got called.
Upshot was, we went over to a system of shorter clean-up sessions throughout the day- one before lunch, one after naptime, and one at the end of the day- and my mother has never let me forget that four-year-old me was a rabble-rousing monster child.