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Preschool Angst

So, I have a little confession. I have not signed my kid up for preschool. He will be three in May. I understand this is prime preschool registration time - actually, I think I've missed the boat. I seem to recall a flurry of Preschool Angst around February, now that I think of it. Oops. And it gets worse: I might not sign him up for preschool at ALL. QUELLE HORREUR!

I feel like I've got some valid reasons for the Total Fail in the preschool department. First of all, we decided to sell our house in February. Kind of a big deal, right? Something that might take precedent over everything else? It's well documented here that I am strung higher than the average person, but even I have a limit to how many extremely stressful situations in which I can purposefully place myself. I opted to put preschool on the back burner by which I mean, I ignored all the flyers and emails and conversations and general communal fretting in the playgroup circle. SIGH.

And not only was it a stressful process, moving meant, you know, MOVING, and I was loathe to sign my kid up for preschool in Neighborhood A if we were just going to end up moving across town to Neighborhood B. Not that our acceptable moving radius was all that huge, but I am a city girl and I do not want to spend more than five minutes in my car. I know, I know, but maybe I was sort of hoping that there'd be a cute little preschool at the end of the block. Is it so wrong to choose your child's first entry into Education based solely on location? HMM?

The one thing I HAVE bothered to investigate is price and DUDE, you'd think your kid would be coming home reading Proust at these rates. A lot of the schools require three days a week or more. It's competitive, and every website screams about deadlines and waiting lists and call NOW and oh dear God my kid isn't even three yet.

FOR SHAME, you are saying to yourselves. She doesn't even appear to CARE! And, well, I'm not going to argue with you. This city is loaded with fantastic preschools full of college-bound four-year-olds and I have not spent a single minute attempting to learn anything about them, let alone get my kid into them. Oh, I listen to my friends talk about their co-ops and their parent nights and their waiting lists, but seriously? The grandma-run preschool in somebody's basement would be fine with me.

Because this is what I want from preschool: a fun place to play with nice-but-firm people in charge. An oh-so-slow slide into a few hours away from Mommy twice a week, no more. Other kids to play with and not too many of them. Books. Numbers. Colors. Art projects. Songs. And yes, I'll say it, A BREAK FOR ME!

We've been in our new house for a week. Most of the boxes are broken down and in the garage. I hung a few pictures on Jack's wall today and I'm starting to feel like yes, we actually really live here. And maybe I can get back to the rest of my life. Which means (dramatic sigh) figuring out this preschool nonsense. Is it something Jack would like? How would we benefit? Can we afford it? And will we be forever labeled The Slackers for waiting so long to decide?

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