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Sunday, February 27, 2011

When and Where To Send Your Child to Kindergarten

Almost since the day they were born, I have looked forward to sending them to kindergarten. Why? No daycare bills! A learning environment! A chance to make more friends. And, admittedly, a chance for me to get off the hamster wheel that has become my life.

The problem? Now that we’re reaching this “nirvana,” I'm not sure what year to send them. The local public schools are pushing back the age that children are eligible to start. Mine qualify to start this fall and the next. But just barely.

Since my mom decided to boot me out of the house at age 4, I was the youngest in the class. It sucked. I was the shortest, the youngest, the target of bullying for years. Hell describes my grade school years. In high school, I was the last to drive (not counting one kid who got his license pulled after he drove his truck into a cow).

Academically, I was somewhere in the middle, and excelled only in English, History and Art. It’s kind of hard to focus on your school work when you’re starved all afternoon because someone steals your sack lunch and plays kickball with it on the walk to the lunch room.

Simon is short for his age, and even in pre-school, he’s been targeted by bullies twice.

To top it all off, there’s a triage of three bitch moms who tortured me in grade school, whose kids will be in the upcoming small kindy class. It’d be like reliving my childhood, having those moms snub me 25 years later—and my son would be all, “Why won’t anyone be our friend?” based solely on the fact that the Bitch Mom Club wouldn’t allow their kids to play with mine.

On to Plan B:


“Brilliant Solution”

When I found out who was in the class, I had a talk with my mom, who knows how hard it is to have a child be the bully target. She came up with a brilliant idea! Send them to kindy for one year each only at the local Catholic school instead, where I spent a couple of years prior to high school. Then, they’d repeat kindy at the local public school next years.

Yay! Full time kindergarten at a private school is actually less than the cost of daycare. 
The problem? I heard from my mom friend (don’t faint—I actually do have a Mom Friend) that her friend sends her kids there and has to pay quite a bit. There’s also the fact it’s further away than the public school, with no bus pick up near our home.

But, better than paying for another year of preschool and daycare, right?


My Disastrous Phone Call To The School
Principal

This went horribly. I expected to reach a secretary and ask two questions—the tuition rate and the Kindergarten Roundup date. Instead I felt subject to the Inquisition, and below I shall avail my readers of the entire convo.

Note: Okay, so it wasn’t exactly like I’m saying below. Yet it was. Because although we both laced our words with barely-civil euphemisms that bordered on the polite, there was a wholelotta tension clinging to the surface. Just as I can sniff out an arrogant SOB alpha male a mile away, so too could he surmise a Non Catholic by the same weird intuition.

In short, he was a total dick to me.

Probably my first “mistake” in his eyes was that a mere woman was calling instead of my husband. Because, every mom leaves these things to her husband.

(beginning of transcript)


Me: Hi! I was wondering if you could tell me the date of the kindergarten roundup and the tuition cost for two kids starting kindergarten, one this year, one next.

Dickhead: Seriously? Are they baptized?

Me: Um....

Dickhead: What parish?

Me: Saint Whatever.

Dickhead: What are their names.

Me: I stupidly told him.

Dickhead: It’s $xxxx per year and $xxxx for fundraising.

Me: In other words, it’s $xxxxx. I’m not making my kids sell $2 candy bars and expensive wrapping paper door to door if I’m already subjecting them to your Lord Fauntleroy dress code.

Dickhead: Look, bitch. If you can’t add, that’s your problem. They must fundraise. AND, THAT PRICE is 25% of their tuition cost. You can only get that privilege if you’re going to Mass each week. Are you?”

Me: Um....
Dickhead: Are you tithing?

Me: None of your f’ing beeswax!

Dickhead: I can find out.
Me: He’s an asshole so don’t bother.

Dickhead: We do offer a discount if you have 3 children or more. How many other children do you have?

Me: Other children! Hell, no!

Dickhead: Well. We encourage procreation to ensure the strength in numbers of the Catholic species.

Me: When is the roundup?

Dickhead: Whatever Date. And bring the whole family.

Me: Will do. Thanks. (starting to hang up but hear something and put phone back to ear)

Dickhead: What is your last name?

Me: Smith.

Dickhead: Do your kids have the same last name as you, or are they bastards?

Me: Huh?  
Dickhead: We don't allow bastards conceived out of wedlock. Just making sure. And your husband should be making this phone call.

(End of transcript)


So.

I guess it’s on to Plan C, whatever that will be…

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