So its January, what does that mean in the life of a suburban working Mom? Summer camp and preschool hell! So, in January I am supposed to figure out where to send the girls every week during the summer, if I am lucky I can hook up with some of PDQs friends so that they can be together. They give you a huge grid and you try to piece together fun and excitement for the summer, which also means that the vacation must be coordinated with the parents and sister as well as the summer visit to Grandma and Grandma. Its January and they expect me to plan AND PAY FOR things that happen in June, July and August. I am lucky to keep my act together from week to week, planning six months in advance and putting down cold hard cash with a penalty if I change my mind causes palpitations. Who knows if they will even still like the same kids 6 months from now. How do I get the amazing Miss Lois to commit to her week of vacation now so I don't end up paying more weeks of double than possible? Why do I let the people around me (and okay, I'll admit it me too!) drive me nuts, really the girls could go to daycare all summer but when there are 50 fun camp options and everyone else is doing it I feel like I must follow. Is this the beginning of entitlement? Are my girls going to end up on My Super Sweet Sixteen (read about it here from Dad Gone Mad) because I plan for a fun and exciting summer of camp, six months in advance?
Actually, compared to the hell of figuring out what to do with Boobah next year, the camp thing is a big, huge piece of cheesecake (oops, sorry that's Sugar Mama talking). I have been torurtured about Boobah's school experiences pretty much since the day I learned my due date--September 13. In MD the age to start school used to be December 31, but slowly they have brought it back to September 1 beginning this year, when she entered preschool and it trickles all the way down there. I had a planned c-section with Boobah and couldn't convince my doctor to schedule it until after Labor Day, at least if she was born in August I'd have choices, she could go or not go to school when she was 5, we could wait and see. But no, her birthday is September stinking 3rd. The school system does have a testing program to determine whether they will allow early entrance, we'll probably give it a try but from what I've heard they basically need to be ready for 1st grade to be allowed the privilege. I do not want to push her into something she is not ready for, but I also know that not enough structure is a dangerous thing for her! She gets in trouble because she is smart enough to figure out how to get in and out of almost anything. So, that leaves us looking for what will probably be a very expensive solution. And do I get what I pay for?
This year she couldn't go to the preschool we loved because she missed the freaking cut off date by 3 days and they would make no exceptions. We were thrilled to get her into a class for 2.5 year olds at a school that friends raved about--she loves it. Me not so much, at least, I don't like what it does to my life. With PDQ G-man and I shared transportation duty and the preschool was practically within spitting distance of the office and home, it was slightly inconvenient but not a huge deal. Now, its a 10-15 minute drive at lunch time to pick her up, drive back through traffic, drop her off at daycare and then back to the office. I don't get anything done and its a real trial to schedule around. I have great friends who've been happy to help me out in a bind but I hate to ask too often.
So, I've decided that next year, I will officially surrender my "I'm a working mom but I can do the cool half-day preschool badge by making my life miserable" badge and find an all day option two or three days a week (because I want the amazing Miss Lois to continue to work her laid back magic at least some of the time). There is a Montessori school right near our house that I'd heard good things about, I got the information and was all ready to go visit and plunk down my deposit--for NINE months from now! Then I talked to her current preschool teacher--she very nervously tells me she wouldn't send her child there, she's worked there and its just not good. So, in my effort to continue collecting advice I ask PDQs Kindergarten teacher about it today, her words "Oh God, as her potential Kindergarten teacher PLEASE don't do that to me!" Her perspective was that in Montessori they teach kids that they are in charge. If there is one thing Boobah DOES-NOT-NEED it is to think she is more in charge that she already does. So, back to the preschool drawing board...the first open house is Saturday and they are pretty much over February 3. Please let it not be the hell I've created in my mind. Please?