Preschool: A gut check.

Not long after I wrote this post in praise of Sydney's future preschool, I received a group email that indicated there were openings at the Fancypants Private Presbyterian Preschool where I was once interested in sending our daughter. I'm not going to lie … my heart skipped a beat. I can't explain it. Maybe it was because this type of preschool was where I always envisioned sending my kids. Maybe it was because my mom and my mother-in-law both were teachers at private church-run preschools of this type. Maybe it's because I went to this type of preschool as a kid. Maybe it's because I never knew about preschool co-ops until I started looking into preschool for my own child.

I hesitated for a looong moment. I wondered if I should jump at the chance. I wondered if it would be smarter to just "send her off" to preschool where the program never asked me for anything more than my money. "After all," I thought to myself, "I could use the break!" And I could! Working twice a month at Syd's preschool co-op will be challenging: if I can't find a babysitter and/or Grandma to hang out with Elijah on my work days then I'll have to bring him along … which will be the workout of the century. 

That night I lay awake in bed, wrestling with whether or not to call and inquire about the openings at the traditional preschool. For whatever reason, I didn't talk it over much with John. But it occupied my thoughts. The next morning we were scheduled for a "stay and play" session at our preschool co-op (a two-hour block where the parents and kids all hang out at the preschool and meet everyone). We – all four of us – showed up and got down to the business of playing (John and Syd) and meeting the other parents (me and Elijah). As I chatted with a new parent and our teachers it just kept washing over me "This is right. We belong here." And it was the truth.

Everyone is SO friendly there. If you've ever been to Los Angeles you know … people aren't super-friendly here as a rule. But everyone was walking around WANTING to meet and talk to each other. Kids were getting messy making a sand pit on the playground and having a blast. Sydney painted four paintings and trashed her clothes and loved every minute. Elijah scooted all over the "blocks room" and just loved being there. I had to nudge my husband out of the sand pit to meet other parents … he was having so much fun (if you know my John, he makes friends EVERYWHERE. He loves to talk. So for me to have to say "Hey Bud! Might want to come and meet some other parents!" is kind of a big deal. And let me just say for the record that there were a group of moms standing on the side watching him play with the kids saying things like "OMG that Dad is SO CUTE. I wish MY husband would do that with our kids!" And it's true. And he's all mine!!).

After we got in the car to head home John turned to me and said "It's such a relief to know THAT is her school. It's so, so awesome." And it suddenly occurred to me that I could totally see us being a part of that community for the next 4 years (or maybe more!). It's a great environment for our kids. It's a great environment for us as their parents. And after talking to some of my other friends who have kids in preschool and have complaints about "Bitchy Preschool Pickup Cliques"… I'm more than sold. I'm ready to make friends at this preschool … maybe just as much as my daughter is. We head out to our first parent meeting today and I'm stoked.

Tuesday here we come!

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4 thoughts on “Preschool: A gut check.

  1. Sarah in Ottawa says:

    We have a similar situation going on here. Our neighbourhood preschool, about which everyone raves, is a coop one. Today was a stay-and-play day and it was GREAT. Teddy already knows some of the children going, and they have a toddler program in which we could enroll Veronica next year. I’m so glad that you’ve found somewhere for Sydney that you love. Hooray!

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