My 21-month-old son, Holt, MAY get into pre-school by the time he’s a teenager. I learned this, after calling a specific pre-school I wanted him to attend, and was told, “All full for next year. And the next year. And the year after that. But we can put you on the waiting list for 2017/2018.” Say what? I actually thought I needed a hearing aid.
But, yes, my 21-month-old son may get into pre-school when he’s six (and should be in Grade One) and that’s only a “maybe.” Why? Because he’s still NINTH on the waiting list for the year 2017/2018.
I couldn’t help but laugh when I found out that not only would I have to wait years, but also I was still on a waiting list. Then I cried, because I felt this was a parenting FAIL!
The administrator on the phone was very friendly, but didn’t seem like the type who I could, you know, slip a hundred bucks to or get her so drunk that I could convince her to get Holt in earlier.
She actually told me that, “I can’t even fill out most of the forms for the kids who have spots because half of them aren’t even born yet.” Then I laughed, because, how the heck was I supposed to know that I was supposed to sign him up for pre-school, not only when he was in the womb, or knowing now, that he’d have a greater chance to get into a pre-school of my choice, before I even decided to get pregnant again.
Was I really supposed to, after trying to conceive him, race to the phone and call the pre-school to sign him up? Would it go something like this? “I just had sex. I may have conceived a baby. Please sign him/her up for pre-school now so when he’s a toddler he’ll have a spot. Here’s my deposit.”
The answer is, “Yes, I totally should have!” Nothing says romance more than having sex and then signing up the baby you may or may not have conceived right after! But this is what I should have done.
One of my friends told me she received a call, six months ago, telling her that her son got in, finally, to the pre-school of her choice. Too bad her kid is now six and a half years old! (Which makes me wonder about the administration? Did they not look at when my friend’s child was born?)
In any case, I learned that a lot of parents do sign their still-in-the-womb-peach-size-future babies up immediately, it seems, when they learn they are pregnant. In fact, I bet some mothers, after they see the positive sign on the pregnancy test, must do this too.
Yes, of course there are other schools, but this one was so close to home, and I only had heard amazing things about it. First world problem? Absolutely! I mean, I’m not homeschooling my son. It’s hard enough to teach him to stop pulling the dog’s tail, let alone teaching him the alphabet. So, yes, homeschooling my child would be a first world problem.
Plus, I don’t have patience for teaching my son anything, except maybe not to use a fork to stab his sister in the eye.
I told the program director at the school I so wanted Holt to get into that, “Well, maybe someone will move? Maybe someone will change their minds?” Her response, and I’m paraphrasing, was, “NO CHANCE IN HELL!”
Which kind of makes sense, since I’m ninth on the waiting list…in three years. The chances he’ll get in next year are ZERO.
I still demanded to be put on the waiting list, but I’m number 21 on the list for next year, which means, yes, there’s NO CHANCE IN HELL that he’ll be going to that pre-school next year, unless there is some sort of miracle, for me, and the 20 other people who want their toddlers, and are on the waiting list before me, to attend that school as well.
Pretty much, I felt like a sucky mother, because people had warned me to sign him up for this school, right after his birth. I remember one of the moms at my daughter’s school who asked if Holt was sleeping through the night when he was three months old. Then she told me that I better sign him up for this school.
I left thinking, “Well, she’s either crazy or super organized.” Turns out, I am the crazy one for NOT listening to her.
But I wasn’t thinking about pre-school when I brought Holt home from the hospital. I was thinking, “Holy Shit! Taking off my clothes after this C-section and taking a shower is going to take me about 12 hours at the rate I’m moving.”
I also was thinking, “I have a new baby! Yay!” I certainly wasn’t thinking about signing him up for school.
One woman I knew dropped off a box of chocolates every Monday morning to the school she wanted her son to get into. It worked out for her!
Another mother I know told me, because she’s so anxious about parenting stuff, that she did sign her baby up for pre-school while he was still in her womb. I told her I hated her (in a joking way!) because I’m anxious too, but never did I think getting my 21 month old into a pre-school would be as difficult as getting into Julliard or Harvard.
I just want a nice place where my kid can paint out of the lines, have snack time and come home with art work that I can throw in the garbage. Really, is that too much to ask? I will say this: If you are even thinking of having a baby, call a pre-school right now, even if you don’t have a mate, or don’t want a baby for another five years.
If you know you want a baby, just put down that deposit now, even if your baby is just a “one-day” thought.
My son will be attending another pre-school, obviously, but I can’t wait for the phone call saying, “We have a place for Holt,” to which I’ll probably end up responding, “That’s great! But he’s actually heading off to College in three months.”