Saturday, March 6, 2010

No Baggage Fees

The Reaction Upon Learning She's Been Accepted Into Pre-School

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is the girls got into the pre-school of our choice (that being the only pre-school we applied to). I saw a big, fat envelope in the mail addressed to moi from the church and figured the same rules still apply that applied with college applications over two decades ago:

Big envelope = Welcome aboard!
Slim envelope = You suck!

Well, apparently we don't suck. I'd like to report this acceptance is directly related to my children's intelligence and good manners. But I think it has more to do with the $20 bill my husband sticks in an envelop every other Sunday. (Twice per month isn't bad for someone who hasn't been to church since 1998.)

I happened to drive by the church the other day and was wondering when we'd hear. It was then I noticed a large banner waving in the wind attached to the side of the building:

"Going on a life journey? Come fly with us. No baggage fees."

Really? I mean, really? Is this the national Catholic recruitment campaign or just a misguided local one? But while going on a life journey with them has no baggage fees, attending the school does. So here comes the bad news. They need a deposit by the end of the month of $1000, $400 of which is non-refundable. And, frankly, I don't think the girls will be ready by August.

So here are my choices:

a) Send in the deposit and hope the girls are potty-trained, off the bottle and generally less mentally insane by the time school starts. And if not we've lost $400. (And let's face it, in my wilder days I probably spent that much out carousing on a weekend.)

b) Decide to defer until the next school year when they will be going on 4. They will still have two full years of pre-school before kindergarten, but may be behind other children who started formal schooling in the womb.

c) One of the above and make sure either way I am appointed to the church marketing committee to lead the charge on a new campaign slogan.

Do we need that extra year of pre-school (they will be three in November)? Keep in mind my kids are "quirky" if we are being polite and "psychopaths" if we are being honest. As of now, they have a strong dislike of people, freak if I leave the house without them and think dropping to all fours and acting like a dog in public is completely normal.



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  2. Tough call! I don't know exactly what I'd do, and the thought of either losing the deposit, or of having to reapply in a year, would make me a little crazy.

    I'm sure someone is going to call Social Services on me now, but my son (in first grade) didn't go to preschool, and we're not planning it for my 4-year-old or my 2-year-old. Granted, I do day care, so they get lots of exposure to other kids and have learned to socialize and share and generally not be jerks as well as can be expected. But I was also just a little upset by the notion that my kids' formal schooling is now supposed to start, as you pointed out, in the womb. And apparently "necessarily" doesn't mean "publicly funded" anymore, since there aren't public preschools around here. So they learn to control their jerkiness, we talk about letters and color and practice writing them (again, I do day care, so they're in a bit of a preschool environment anyway), but they also get to drop down on all fours and act like a dog when the mood strikes them. I ought to admit that one of them has a bit of a biting problem and the other is on Sunday school probation, so maybe it's not perfect, but it's okay if they don't get that extra year!

  3. Go ahead and pay. they will be ready. Elby is a November b-day and I started her at 2.10 and she did great. At 2.4 she was insane and I never would have thought she could do it. I have a deposit down on the twins and they have not once peed in the potty yet. Do it.

  4. i taught kindergarten at a private school before having my twins and always recommended, if there was concern by the parent, to wait a year. my girls were born just before the cut off and i'll probably give them an extra year before starting. there is not a disadvantage to waiting a year. the more independent and self-assured they are (and you are about their readiness) the easier the transition. i've never heard someone regretting giving their child that extra year. but, who knows, maybe great strides will be made over the summer and you'll feel like they're ready. good luck either way.

  5. My baby, R, has an October b-day. I went ahead and sent her early, which would be like your girls going in the fall. I actually sent her for a 2 year old year when she was technically just one, but you know I suck like that and she is my third and I've already made it through the insanity of twins and well, I just needed the 2 hour break 2ce a week! There, now that I justified myself. She was fine. She loves it. She also has an older brother and sister who she is always trying to mimic. Yes, I do realize that I am not being helpful at all. Only you really know if they are ready. Trust your gut. Get your 2 hours. You deserve it. Think of all the online crap you could do with those few extra hours. :)

  6. I say keep them at home with you as long as you can - BUT find a mother's day out twice a week so you don't become as insane as they are. We redshirted our kids - best decision ever.

  7. I would say stick them in preschool asap. Mommy needs her happy hour without watching endless reruns of Caillou and Kipper the Dog. Goodnites look almost like underwear if you squint and tilt your head sideways so even if they DONT get potty trained they would be fine. Bottle? What bottle? Its called a boTELL, imported from France. Theres plenty more where that came from so just ask me if you need help coming up with explanations *couEXCUSESgh*. You need your sanity. Keep us posted!


  8. I say send the deposit, this will motivate you to get them on the potty and off the bottle.

    My DS1 is in first grade and we were told that even Kindergarten is harder than it used to be. So the more prepared they are for Elementary the better.

    DS2 is in a pre-preK program and he wasn't potty trained when we signed up. But that day I started and he was ready for school. It was about 2 months.

    You can do it!

  9. Could you send them to a daycare instead of a preschool? My son learned the same things preschool, but they weren't as crazy about the potty training at daycare as they are at preschool. Plus, they help teach the kids, and sometimes it just helps if they see other kids doing it.