We are in the throes of applications, interviews, and
tours. It seems absurd; the Bees is not quite 20 months and we are wringing our
hands over what school she will be attending next fall.
It seems that The Bees might be outgrowing our daily
ritual of getting Mummy’s coffee, dry cleaners, book store, a zip through the
zoo, a whirl around the playground, swinging legs at a café table lunch, charging
through Safeway, tromping through the woods with the dog. Throughout the
week we have sprinkled some classes: Spanish, Music, and Blue Igloo Playgroup.
Even so, I find her calling out when we drive by groups of children, shrieking
when we pass a playground, and as I’ve mentioned before, she loses her heart to
a new nanny every week.
And she is ready. She needs to be around other children,
to be under the tutelage of other grownups, to have a facility with plants,
puzzles, play doh, a toy kitchen, bubbles and what have you.
Now, whether I’m ready to part company remains to be seen. What
will I do with my 2-1/2 hours of free time? I have dreams of grandeur: a part-time marketing job,
volunteering at a shelter, storming the capital to campaign on important issues. Even if I
end up just sitting here at home alone, drinking too much coffee, typing away
at my blog, I forge on, knowing this is a good thing for both of us.
The issues with preschool are proximity, facilities,
financial and, frankly, cache. There are several schools nearby. Two of them
are close but only offers a 2-day program for 2 year olds. 2 days is simply not
enough for either of us. One school that I really liked in Georgetown disqualified us as
The Bees was 14 hours too young. She would have to have been born by March 31st,
but she was born on April 1st. I pleaded and cajoled, to no avail. They were polite but firm and encouraged us to apply for the following year.
There is one school that is twice the price of the others. Twice! Is a 2 year
old really getting double the value at School B over school A? Who knows. I agonize over
minor things like windows, fluorescent lighting, whether there is a pet animal
in the classroom. They don’t have a foreign language class? Mon Dieu!
And the tours and interviews are "sans bebe". So you have to get a sitter, or beg your parents, so that you can go, tour the school and then sit down to hear what makes their 2-year old program better than any other.
My father commented that where she goes doesn’t really
matter, that at this age she is really focused on things that are within three
feet of her. Simple things like paper, water, trees, dolls, things that snap, zip, button
In the end of course, the choice is not mine to make. There are so
many families with sibling priority, families with famous last names, families
with connections (of all the DC people we know we are the least politically or
socially connected I believe).
No matter where she goes there is one important thing these preschool teach that will apply to me: “You get what
you get and you don’t get upset”.