Preschool mania begins

The stress from the holiday season is supposed to subside come Jan. 1. Everyone takes a rest and puts up her feet, or my case, gets running on the treadmill to burn off the holiday calories. But there's nothing like letting the stress of the holiday season roll right into preschool registration mania. How is it that we're here again so soon? I feel like I just got the kids settled into school, and now it's time to start the process of looking, second-guessing, registering, bribing, hoping, praying, losing sleep for two months.

I thought it would be easy since my kids are both in a preschool now--just sign the paper, give your deposit and be given priority as a returning student.

But with a potential move this summer to a different area of Northern Virginia, this process could be more stressful than the last. It means attending open houses in a different location, deciding whether we're going to go the Montessori route for my son and then what to do with my daughter. Keep her where she is, send her to a different school from her brother, look for someplace new or just throw my hands in the air and let the cards fall where they may.

Talk of lotteries, waiting lists, deadlines, deposits and so forth just makes my stomach turn. I know it's not as bad as it could be. My girlfriend actually knows people who have slept in their cars the night before application day or seen local law enforcement called to help facilitate preschool registration. What ever happened to just good ole' fashion bribery?

My husband asks me about once a week if I've researched or called schools. Fortunately my answer for the past month has been, "Preschools? I'm getting ready for Christmas." But Christmas is over and I will either need to think up another excuse or actually start the research and calling.

You think it's not a big deal. Hey, my son is only soon-to-be four, what is preschool but learning to be social and "keep his hands to himself." Apparently that's what we're working on this year in school. But there is still pressure to make sure I've scoped out all the options, visited several schools, talk to enough teachers and stressed about it all before I make the final decision. Then it's left up to the preschool lottery gods.

No comments: