Friday, February 22, 2013

Validation and acceptance

We have been accepted. We received our validation as parents in the form of acceptance to a preschool for our daughter. The school informed us that we have been accepted to pay thousands of dollars to allow our child the privilege of going to a preschool space for two mornings a week to play/learn. We have been selected to send our two year old (well she isn't yet, but she will be by September) to a magnificent school facility for six hours a week for approximately three times what normal childcare costs. And somehow, according to everyone we know that has gone through the preschool process in New York City, this is something we should be excited about.

To be honest, I am excited. I am very excited. This is the quickest way to feel like a superstar parent, short of becoming a famous mommy blogger and diving head first into the world of parental/peer validation. We have been accepted. Out of a lot of people (I assume). And we were the best (or among those chosen). And now we get to give them a sh!tload of money (Fact). Joy!

In all honesty, I started this process not at all concerned about what we would do, because I genuinely never thought we had a shot of getting accepted. Applying to preschool in New York City is the subject of an entertaining, if slightly concerning, documentary as well as many an urban legend. We applied to four schools. Two of them wouldn't even accept our application. Seriously. One sent back our check, the other never even gave us an application to submit. So my introduction to the process was that it was exclusive, elusive and highly competitive. The remaining two preschools we actually got to visit and see just how amazing they are. And they are amazing. And then we got the good news.

Except I didn't think we would get in and had mentally planned accordingly. Maybe I was managing my own expectations, maybe I was expecting the worst while hoping for the best. Maybe I just didn't think we were unique, alternative or cool enough to be selected. But I figured we would get some experience under our belts and next year we would know exactly how the strange process works and how best to select the most amazing place for our little lovely to spend these spongey, formative years.

Now we are faced with a decision and I wish we had something concrete pulling us one way or another, not just the reality of spending money for preschool education versus not. Somehow I had compartmentalized it in my head that I was not fazed spending that type of money once she turns three. But it just seems like a lot for when she's two. Not sure how I make these distinctions. Basically the act of not sh!tting her pants somehow makes her more worthy of thousands of dollars towards "education." Because who am I kidding, I know it's all really just play time to her anyway.

I love everything about both schools we applied to and yet they couldn't be more different from each other. I love the programs, the facilities, the staff and the positive effect it will ultimately have on not only our daughter, but on us, I am sure. My indecision makes me think we may just have to defer until next year and pray that they don't put a black mark next to our name for when we apply again. I don't fully understand the process. And if it is as horrible as some people say, I may be totally screwing us. But we have to make a decision that we will be comfortable living with no matter where we end up.

Oh, and did I mention we only have three days to make our decision? It's a pretty big thing to only have 72 hours to debate. Of course it wouldn't be the first time I have regretted a decision that seemed like such a great idea at the time.

Wow! Just look at all those pieces!
I was sold on this particular set of play food because it was such a great value. 125 pieces for under $20. Amazing! And then we opened it. I immediately realized my mistake. In case you can't make out the specifics in the picture above, there are eight hot dogs. Eight! And 12 french fries. In addition to the two packets of "fries" there are 12 individual crinkle cut french fries. The reason I am aware of these specific quantities is because when you are picking up 125 pieces of play food every single night, you get to know the items pretty well.

Wow... Just look at all those pieces.
But back to the kid and the school... should we or shouldn't we? I think I may just get suckered into it off the back of everyone else telling us we should. If everyone else that has more experience in this whole process is saying it's a good idea to just suck it up and do it, isn't it? Yes, in case you're wondering, I would jump off a bridge if there were enough people doing it. I actually have done this, and in certain instances it's kind of fun. Unless my daughter is one day reading this, in which case it's a stupid thing to do and don't even think about it. There are better ways to find acceptance... remember preschool?


  1. i'll jump off a bridge with you! whoops, i already have

  2. Ah, good times. Unless the kids are reading this too... in which case, the bridge was proverbial, representing our leap into adulthood. And we definitely weren't drunk on Wild Irish Rose or PBR at the time.


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