This past week I officially entered what is apparently the cut-throat, competitive, nuts-o and expensive world of...wait for it...Getting Into Preschool. Yes, you read that right. And this isn't even fancy, private preschool. Heck, it's not even really preschool, it's "early preschool" or "Mother's Day Out" as they call it down here. It literally consists of 2 half-days a week and all of the churches around here run them. Apparently if you live in a cave like me then you mistakenly think you can just call up the program of your choice, pay the deposit, and start your kid the next week. (You can stop laughing now). Instead, here is how it really goes:
- First you talk about all of the different schools with the other moms at the gym who always know way more about these things than you do.
- Then you do a lot of online research and make Excel spreadsheets comparing the different schools if you're just a wee bit control-freakish and type-A (who me?). You try to discuss the pros and cons of each with your husband over dinner every night but oops, he doesn't give a crap and is watching the game.
- Next you go to "open houses" where preschool reps sit at tables and watch as your kid runs wild around the room and sends peoples' laptops crashing to the floor and suddenly those people say, "oops, sorry, we're coincidentally out of info packets and registration forms." And as you're getting embarrassed the Baptish Church folks come over and tell you their preschool will teach your kid about Jesus and Spanish - apparently the two most important survival skills in Texas - and you remember the last time you were in church and your kid swiped the altar candle, flashed the congregation, and was sent to the 'crying room' for the rest of mass. And that was her own baptism. Hmmm.
But seriously? Can't we just do some finger-painting and call it a day? I think I have a school picked out for Audrey but now I have to go meet the teachers, tour the classroom, and then get up at the crack of dawn on dreaded Registration Day to stand in line outside the school and fight for a spot. Because we're new we'll most likely end up on the waiting list (which we will have to pay for...) and spend the summer waiting to hear if we get in. Maybe boring her to death at home with me all day isn't such a bad idea after all.
Note to parents-to-be: this is the kind of crap they don't tell you about in the hospital when they hand you the baby and send you home. If anyone's going to eff this process up it's me, so take notes. You can thank me later.