Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Mom's Perspective on February

The month of February has commenced. Some people think of February as the month of love. Others associate this February with the winter olympics. For mothers of preschoolers, February is the month for preschool registrations. Once the Christmas season is over, mothers of preschoolers immediatley center all their time and efforts into preparing for the all important preschool registration. January is spent visting preschools, consulting other moms about their preschool decisions and making numerous pros and cons lists for all of the prospective preschools. Of couse, most mothers mull over their decisions with their husbands. But let me say from personal experience, husbands don't really give that much thought to where their children go to preschool. (Unless you bring up the cost of preschool!) You see, while you're busy talking to them about preschools they are thinking about football because men basically associate the month of February with the Super Bowl.

Although we're only two days into the month of February, I have already spent a chunk of the last two days agonizing over my preschool decisions. It some how feels like I making a decision impacting the rest of his life. Questions race through my head: Does this preschool have computer time, because what if he is the next Bill Gates? Do they do enough art projects, what if he's got the artistic talents of Van Gogh? If he only goes half day does this mean the difference between a degree from Harvard versus beauty school? Should we really be encouraging play, or should he be aspiring to read Moby-Dick by the age of four?

Once you've decided on a preschool, the question becomes whether you can actually get into the program. Preschools have a hierarchy for admissions: current students and siblings, church members (if associated with a church) and then the rest. This year we're in the "rest" category which adds an extra layer of urgency. Being in the "rest" category means you may be up at an ungodly hour waiting in line in frigid temperatures outside of a preschool office just to get your child that coveted preschool spot. It could also mean standing by your computer and logging in at the exact moment registration begins. For example, an 8:00 a.m. registration means you start logging in no later than 7:59. Don't even think about making breakfast at that moment, preschool registration is first priority!

After much consideration, we finally decided to base our preschool decisions not on academic curriculum or artistic capabilities, rather we based our decision on what time works best for our family. We also decided to put our one year old into the "Breaktime" (gets to the point, right?) program. We've never put a child into a mother's morning out program at that young of age. I bet the class is full of third and fourth born children. With our first we wouldn't dream of missing an ounce of time together. By the time our fourth son has arrived I'm counting the days until I can actually arrive at the groccery store sans kids! Maybe I'll have time to linger a little bit in the frozen foods, or actually check the expiration dates on the dairy products.

It feels nice to finally make a decision on preschool. Now we're just waiting to see if we actually got in!

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