Sunday, March 1, 2009
Translation: Children's garden.
Doesn't it conjure sweet images of kids playing in the sunshine?
Don't you see a set of eager little faces smiling at the teacher whilst learning their times table?
Why is then, that registration for Kindergarten was one of the most painful experiences of parenthood I've had so far?
I am prone to exaggeration but truly this process made me lose my mind.
I toured the schools that were an option with great hope and expectation.
I gathered all the info. Made notes on the calendar for application deadlines. Made appointments for a medical and dental check up and then checked into crazytown.
The enormity of the decision kept me up at night. What if I chose the wrong school? What if the five year old doesn't like it?
If we go private how do we pay for it? What if the teacher isn't nice?
Ok, so these are normal worries, but If you ask complete strangers in the supermarket their opinion you might be going off track.
I worried about the shade in the play yard. The cleanliness of the bathrooms. The number of books in the library.
I fretted that this decision would affect her for her entire life. I cried. I bored my friends to tears. My friends without children stop taking my calls.
In case you were wondering, I had my child in a pre-pre school at age two for a couple of mornings a week and in pre school from age three for 18 hours a week. I am not new to this process.
I felt foolish, neurotic and scared. I felt ashamed of my mental state.
Then at a party with a few glasses of wine tucked safely in my system - I blurted my trauma.
In an instant I had a crowd of mothers around me sharing their mania.
Apparently, I was not alone in crazytown. It was such a relief.
I am a normal, if slightly hysterical, parent after all.
The five year old loves the kindergarten we chose. The teacher is fabulous and the bathrooms are clean.
As I drive through town I see banners advertising it's registration time again.
So, if you are in this process and losing your mind, just know you are not alone and as the time tested mantra says - everything will be ok.
Time to start looking at summer camps........