Preschool Admissions Insanity
The only drop-off preschool that my husband and I considered for our son meets at a huge park in our city and provides tons of outdoor time and one-on-one with nature. It is affordable, intimate, well staffed and play-based, all of which we liked.
We learned that applications would be accepted at 8:30 AM one morning on a first-come, first-served basis. We also learned that last year people started queuing up to drop off applications at 4:30—in the morning. "Think of it as lining up to buy concert tickets!" chirped the teacher. Feeling a little obsessive, we decided to try to get a space for our son. My husband arrived at 4 AM with a folding chair, our checkbook and the registration paperwork.
At 4 AM, he was the 20th person in line.
People were lying in sleeping bags in front of the door, camping out to secure a preschool spot. When my husband called me, I told him to come on home. With 10 spots open for next year, the wait list was not likely to move much—not with so many die-hards in front of us.
I felt like I had just stepped back from the vortex of parent craziness. This isn't college, it's preschool! Preschool is all about learning how to play with other kids and follow rules. Should we really start the insane process of getting into the "right" schools when a kid is only 3?