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The Obligatory Pre-Preschool Freak Out

I opened today's mail and saw a nice letter from Jack's new Pre-K teacher AND a long, detailed, "no substitutions please" supply list. And then my head exploded. 

Actually, it already exploded LAST week, when I got the letter from MOLLY's preschool. It was long, overly chatty, and described a complicated orientation day I wasn't fully expecting. After that were a list of changes the preschool teacher has made to her typical day, a sample schedule, "additional opportunities for fellowship" (this is a church preschool), and then a whole separate page to discuss finances. I read this letter about three times, folded it back up, put it back the envelope and decided to homeschool. 

Okay not REALLY. We all know I would last MAYBE five minutes at homeschooling. And homeschooling a preschooler? What does that even MEAN? Wouldn't we just be doing, ah, the same things we're already doing? 

Anyway, all that to say, I thought I was anxious about preschool LAST year. Nope, this year, with two entirely new preschools on different schedules with different fees and different expectations is about to do me in. I suspect it will eventually be fine and we'll figure everything out, but that does not make for a good blog post, now, does it? 

See, Jack was going to the Most Perfect Preschool Ever, and then we moved. Far. And because of various logistical factors, if I signed both kids up for a Monday, Wednesday, Friday preschool schedule for this year, there'd be a 20 minute lag time in between drop offs. So I'd drive twenty minutes, drop off one kid, sit another twenty minutes, punt the other child out of the car, and drive home another 20 minutes. And do it all over again when it was time to pick them up. WITH A NEW BABY. Um, no thanks. 

So I set to work finding a new preschool closer to our new house and that was more work than I expected. My options were: 

  • Incredibly fancypants brand-name preschool with payments so large I COULD be leasing an incredibly fancypants vehicle instead of sending my kids off to play with blocks. 
  • Local co-op where I would have to teach, help with clean up and set up and snacks, and possibly babysit other people's babies because I would need them to babysit mine on my worker days. For a very low price, of course, but I fear the co-op people have missed the entire POINT of preschool, that being: I don't have to be there. 
  • Daycares that slap "preschool" on their storefronts. 
  • Church and smaller independent preschools, all around the same price, all with similar "curriculums" and schedules. 

I was obviously going with the last choice, but I could NOT find a school where both my four- and three-year-old would attend on the same days. Which was a Crucial! Point! for me. Did you hear the part about how I'm having a new baby in sevenish weeks? I NEED THE SAME DAYS. 

Eons later I finally settled on sending Jack to the Pre-K program at the church 2 blocks from our house. Partly in an experiment to see if we want to send the kids there for elementary school, partly because I could pick any days I wanted. Molly is attending another church preschool fairly close to us on two of Jack's three days away. Their start and end times are off, and Molly will be packing lunches while Jack will be eating at home, but this was the best I could do. And the schools are so close that it shouldn't be a huge deal. 

BUT YOU GUYS. All of that was so stressful in and of itself, and now we're just a few weeks away and I still don't really know what's going on. I have a supply list for Jack's class, but not a concrete start date. I have a start date and orientation schedule for the first day of Molly's class, but I think I'll have to cut short the meeting with her teachers in order to pick up Jack. I have to go buy the supplies and the lunchbox and pants with elastic waistbands, I have to be nervous about Molly because she's reverting back to Clingy Mommy-Only Molly lately, and after a summer of asking about preschool, Jack has informed me that he loves ME and wants to stay home with ME because he would MISS ME TOO MUCH. 

My one saving grace in all of this is that the baby is not due until October, so I have all of September to 1) work out the preschool drop off/pick up rythym and 2) enjoy preschool mornings sans ANY children. At this point I cannot even imagine the luxury! 

Please tell me you're as neurotic as I am on these points. Or lie. That will work too.