I've been out busily investigating our (well I guess Ellie's) preschool options for next year as I wrote about here. I found a place I really like, they have two schools and they were both quite nice. One is between the house and the office, the staff is nice, the school building is cheery and welcoming, all the kids seem to be having fun. My gut says, this is a great place, she'll meet lots of kids. I am having a slight panic attack over signing Ellie up.
I (and I think I can safely say we) have tried hard not to bend to the pressure to push the girls. They've been in home daycare, they've done half day preschool that was more socialization than academic. I don't know if it is working mommy guilt or what but I've always had some bias against daycare centers. With the preschools they've been in I've had a lot of control, been in the classroom, made special trips for pick-up and drop off--was I doing that just to make me feel like I was involved and not bad mommy for working? Was I just trying to prove I could have it all or was I just being cheap?
This year I've learned, I can't have it all, I don't think I really want it all. Leaving early, coming in late, and leaving at lunch to run between school and daycare has made me a little nuts. G-man used to work a bizarre schedule that had him home a few days each week and he could share the limo service--this year he does one drop-off, for which I'm grateful, but all the mid-day running still falls to me.
I've also seen the downside of her home day care, I am forever indebted to the Lovely Miss Lois, World's Most Laid Back Daycare Provider. One or both of my girls have been there since June 2001. Ellie, with her early September birthday and precociousness needs a bit more direction than Lois provides. Let's say--channel her powers for good not evil. In wanting to have it all (or pocketbook preservation or not wanting to let such an important person in our lives go) mode I was considering leaving her at Lois' a couple of days a week and at the school the other days. G-man and I talked it through and I am convinced the right thing (is there really one?) to do is to put her at the school everyday. She thrives on consistency and routine. It will make my life easier. It will cost more than my first year of college.
Well, at least I think I am convinced. I can't quite seem to make myself write that check.