Tuesday, May 17, 2005

HELP! I am that kind of parent...

Originally uploaded by jonimcgary.
The kind that agonizes over what %^#!-ing preschool is right for their blessed offspring! Okay people, I have been through the college process - in Fairfield County, no less- and the preschool process. And, I am here to tell you that the latter has given me more anxiety than the former by a long run. (Yep, I am one of THOSE idiots.)

Helping Kate choose the right school, supporting her in her prep for the SATs, going over and over her college essay...that was nothing compared to deciding where to put Jack for preschool next year. Should we keep him where he is and encourage a free-form, more spirited, independent development? (Or, depending on your point of view, encourage a wild west, ill-mannered, YOU CAN'T MAKE ME! development? For the record, I don't really think that.) Or, should we enroll him at the Montessori school where there are rules and quietude...in effect, a different ball-game altogether. I admit that I have lost lots and lots of sleep over this decision for my FOUR YEAR OLD! and I am ashamed! It's rediculous!!!

I mean, look at this kid in the photo. He is FOUR. Does he look like an intellectual powerhouse? Does he look like he gives a shit what style of "education" he will have in his early learning years? C'mon, does he? Nope. Just a regular four year-old boy who loves to open his mouth and show you what he is chewing, fart as much as possible and crack up about it and sing songs about poop. It does beg the question, why are we so concerned about the style of his pre-school experience?

Can you remember how your own parents agonized over your pre-school education? Of course you can't...because they DIDN'T. Preschool? I don't think so. Kickball, tag, hide & seek..THOSE THINGS were preschool, right? Oh, AND don't forget lots and lots of TV, sugar-laden stuff to eat and just about no supervision. Then, when you were five, off you went to the only public school in town where you had a half-day session complete with a snack of milk and a "nap" on your "rug". Did I suffer? Did I fail to thrive? Nope. (I don't think my neurotic tendency is from a lack of pre-school.)

Speaking of snacks, I didn't go hungry having just milk. But, of course, I am actually worried that Jack might not have enough to eat in the new school we selected for him. And this is for a half-day program. They serve the snacks and, well, they just don't seem ample enough for me. Oops. I mean for Jack. See where this is going? Do you see how nuts I have become?

The bottom line is that Jack will be switching schools next year and I will spare you the details of all the pros and cons weighed and tears (mine of course) shed over this dramatic change. Suffice it to say that I have a long way to go to be a well adjusted parent.

Well, that is all I can write. I am going to apply more killer chemicals to the still huge ZIT on my chin, brush my fangs and get into bed with some sort of trashy best-selling paperback to get my mind off my illusional problems.

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