A friend asked me where Maria would do Kindergarten next Fall.
I told her we are happy where she is, but that we would likely nose around some other schools just to see.
"The deadlines for private schools were all in early December,'' she said.
"What? Like now? For next year?'' I asked.
"Yes. You might still have time. They could put you on a waiting list,'' she said.
And then I learned that if you don't stick your kid in the private school where you may eventually want her to attend, you may not get in – ever – if you apply after Kindergarten.
So, my preschooler may never get into the "right'' school because I can't plan a year out. Not that I care too much about the "right'' school, but hell, how could I have known?
I can't plan that far ahead. I think I have some sort of Mommy Planning Deficit Disorder. If it ain't happening today, well, it may not be happening at all.
I try though. My Yahoo calendar sends me reminders, my Outlook reminds me what is coming up, and what is way late. My post-its are everywhere and I manage two dry-erase boards – one for family, one for business.
And still, when it comes to things like school deadlines and extra-curricular functions, I struggle.
I've called dance schools weeks after the current session has begun. (And then freaked when they told me I had to order costumes in January for a recital in May. We didn't take dance classes.) I have slipped Maria into swim lessons a week after the first class. I never know when the last day of gymnastics is. This past April, I opted out of even trying for community art classes when the clerk told me the Mommies line up at dawn for classes that begin six weeks later.
This quirk – and future irritation for my daughter – comes from a woman who never missed a deadline when she worked at a daily newspaper. Of course, for much of that life I had no child and more brain cells.
When you're in school, the teacher gives you a syllabus. When you're getting married, you buy a books and 7-pound magazines that tell you what to do when. And, of course, when you're pregnant you know what to do because every Mommy friend, your doctor, the web, magazines, and message boards tell you every single thing you must do and when.
But there is no guide that says: "When you daughter is 4, you must select the private school where she will be when she is 6.'' Or, "If you want to get into the summer theater program you must be in line when it still is dark out.'' You get the picture, right?
Of course, I rely on my mom friends to help me out. Some of them know everything. That's Everything with a capital E. They blow me away, and I am grateful they are willing to share their bounty of knowledge with me. (One just told me today what an appropriate teacher gift is!) I just wish they'd insert into their Outlook calendar a regular "Remind Carrie she needs to (fill in the blank.)"
I would pay for that.
My kid might even break open her piggy bank for that, in fact.