At least, Audrey's preschool is. I have to do a little preschool venting here because I don't know if this is normal and a glimpse into what lies ahead with elementary school...or if we have just stumbled into some weirdly high maintenance preschool. I feel like I have my real part-time job and then my preschool mom part-time job.
Let me start by saying that Audrey attends a church-based preschool 2 days a week from 9:00 - 2:00 so we're not talking full-time or private. When we signed her up we were told that we needed to take on a few responsibilities throughout the year. Namely, throwing one holiday party for the class (i.e. bringing a class snack, plates/napkins, and goody bags for each kid), bringing the teachers lunch one day out of the year, and contributing $50 for teacher and staff gifts throughout the year (birthdays, holidays, etc.)
Except it's actually way more crap than that. And they don't tell you that if you're in a class full of slacker parents, you will need to pick up that slack and step in when they bail or the kids will be the ones who suffer by not having a party, etc. Which of course makes you feel badly when all the other classes are participating so you suck it up and do it.
So there are 10 kids in Audrey's class, which in theory would mean 20 parents to help out with various things. Not that I'm keeping score (never!) but just in the past 2 1/2 months I have:
1) made the teachers lunch
2) bought and assembled gift baskets for the teacher Christmas gifts
3) babysat the class during the teacher appreciation lunch (we all remember how well that went and the fact that the other mom who was supposed to help me bailed that same morning - thanks!)
4) made cupcakes for one teacher's birthday
Next week I have to throw the Valentine's Day party b/c no one else agreed to do it (I'm already throwing the Easter party). I also have to bring Valentines for every kid in the class, plus separate Valentine's Day teacher gifts, plus little gifts for the other school staff if I "feel so inclined" (I don't).
Oh, and the last week in February is "official" Teacher Appreciation Week which means making the teachers a dessert they can share with their families, more gifts, and more staff gifts. Originally we were supposed to make them dinner to go with the dessert but enough people freaked out so that part was eliminated.
I mean, WTF, right???
It's not like this preschool is free. Or that we didn't fork over $50 at the beginning of the year for these supposed "gifts."
The real kicker is that I've accidentally been over-paying tuition each month, without even realizing it. Yes, I'm a moron. But do you think the school bothered to inform me? Oh no, they just kept cashing those checks for 6 months until I realized my mistake. So whatever they did with that extra cash is gift enough as far as I'm concerned and I might just lose it on the next person that tells me I need to do X, Y and Z for this school.
Okay, done venting.
Phew, I feel better now.
Time to make more cupcakes...