Monday, September 12, 2011

preschool, shmeeschool: a call to help an indecisive, overly-analytical mother

Picture this. You walk through a shabbily painted, bright red gate with the hand of your son in yours. Mary Poppins songs are being blared in Italian from a little boom box sitting next to a bubble producing machine, and kids are dancing around inside a tennis court turned playground closed in completely by what looks like a large fishing net. There are two bounce castles that look like they've been around the block more than a few times, and some plastic bowling pins are set up in one of the corners. Young, Italian women are dressed in Mini-Mouse costumes and welcoming you and your son to the party. They simply say, "Ciao," and tell your kid to go mingle with the others. The leader of the operation greets you with her died black hair, bright pink lipstick, chunky jewelry, and sparkling tee-shirt. She tells you this is how they like to do their first day of school at this facility, so the kids can just play and get to know each other. You suddenly remember that you are here because you wanted to check out the preschool that is right down the road from your house, not because you wanted to attend a child's birthday party. You want so badly to like the school, because the price is good, it is so easy to get to, and your son would really learn Italian if he went here, but you just can't at the moment, so you leave and tell the nice lady that you need to think about it.

Now, picture this: You drive a horrendous 15-20 minute drive where you fear for you life with each passing second. Then, you pull up to a nice home with flags from all nations represented on the front porch where you've been taking your son for the past few months. You say hello to the kind, down-to-earth, young women in charge of watching the children and hug your son as he bounds off into the playroom that is full of toys, games, educational tools, and art supplies. You become sad as you drive away, because you realize you love this preschool setting, but that it is literally triple the cost of the one just down the road from your house.

All of a sudden, it's Monday morning. Your kid neeeeeeeds to go to preschool so that you both don't go crazy. Where do you take him? You take him to the comfortable, expensive, homeschool-type setting preschool, because that is where he asks to go.

Then, you implore your friends and family to give you advice on where to take your kid to preschool.

That's you, people. You are my friends and family.

What should I do? Things are just so incredibly different here when it comes to school. I know the one down the street is not always a party and that they do actually teach the children a thing or two, and that Graham would most definitely like it and survive there. Plus, once the baby comes, it will be much, much easier to get him there. Buuuut, the other preschool/daycare where I took him during the winter when I had Italian class is just incredible. There is a small number of kids and they all play nicely together. The teachers and the director are kind and warm and loving, and Graham is exposed to many languages. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get to and it costs too much. I can afford to take him there one or two days a week, but he needs more. He has so much energy and he is so eager to learn. I like to teach him at home, but he'll sometimes go days without seeing other kids, which is not good for either of us!

What should I do??

Please leave any and all advice in the "comments" section below.

I really can't wait to hear what you have to say on the matter! I know you're just dyyying to help me and guide me, right?



  1. I say give the other, closer one another chance to change your mind. If you feel the same way about it, keep him in the current one you have. But I have a feeling, as you start to become more pregnant, you'll want the one that is closer to home more and more. This coming from a highly analyitical, non-mother :) Hope this helps,


  2. Katherine, it is only preschool. Send him to the one that is cheaper and closer and supplement what it lacks at home.


  3. I love this. It makes me miss you very much.
    So here is my opinion, as a mom, as your friend and as someone who always has an opinion. :-)
    Like Libbey said, it's preschool. It's optional. It is supposed to be used to give kids and moms a taste of what having a kid in school is like. It is good for kids to go so that when Kindergarden starts they are used to being away from their moms and they know how to interact with kids and listen. Of course they learn there too but again it's preschool not 7th grade.
    And you know where ever Graham goes he is going to love playing with the kids and being exposed to new things. It will be an adventure either way and he will do well.
    My vote is for the closer cheaper one. It sounds like it will make your life easier. Plus it sounds very Italian.
    You are an amazing Mom. I wish we could meet up and discuss the many stressful points of being a parent and share some laughs.
    And I have been meaning to tell you that I love Graham's hair cut. It makes him look so grown up. He is a handsome little guy.
    Hugs to all of you,