We had the first pre-school meeting today. Lots of responsibilities. Our kids have never had a baby sitter other than the grandparents. Only once in his 3.5 years has Big Brother ridden in a car not driven by mom or dad (and it was Papa).
Now, we're going to be dropping him off at the school for 3hrs a day 3 times a week. Without us. I think it's time, but it's still odd. But the first night at Montessori school for parents was weird. We were probably one of the few parents that weren't repeats. So I can take some solace that even though I didn't win the battle of only one year of preschool, at least there wasn't 3.
They covered all the standard things. Need slippers (watching Mr. Rogers maybe?). Need backpacks with extra clothes in case they have accidents (urinal or paint related). They also editorialized "We don't like commercial or cartoon things on the kids slippers or backpacks...but it's your choice. There is just so much commercialization around, we don't like to reinforce that here." One of the teaching assistants pointed out that "the transformers were pretty commercial 20 years ago."
I came away thinking the teachers really did care about kids. But it was also clear that these people had a very specific way of looking at the world. They passed out a magazine with their philosophy. I thought for a moment it was mormon, just by how propaganda-ish it was. It's the first time we're handing our child over to someone who may disagree with our choices.
Then they started talking about responsibilities. Call if this, don't call if that. Keep the kid home if he's 1.4 days past having a temperature of 1.8 degrees. I'm not sure what was said, it all sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher to me. Hopefully the responsible half of our marriage was listening.
There will be field trips. Bad. So the kids are going to carpool with other moms. Moms are going to have to move their car seats around and trust kids with semi-anonymous people. DW has a paranoia (ok, maybe it's justified, so it might not be paranoid), about putting the car seat in. Anytime it's moved between cars, she takes it to the fire station and have trained pros put it in. I guess having read the Freakonomics section on car seats didn't phase her.
And then they of course have the PC holidays. "Winter Celebration," "Spring Celebration," etc. I'm all for inclusion, but if you're really celebrating Christmas, then call it that. If you're celebrating Easter, call it that. I'm not sure that using a different name is really all that helpful.
I (apparently) have some experience with this. Allegedly, I was sent to a Montessori school as a child. I think this is ludicrous. It is obviously a ruse that my parents use to invent embarrassing stories about me.
So tomorrow is the big meeting. BigBrother meets his preschool teacher. I'm making the huge sacrifice of going in late to work to be there. We've been very careful of not building this up. I, in particular have a horrible habit of using the word scary when describing anything new. "The movie will be a little loud, so it might be scary." Things like that. But we've been very positive, and BigBrother is really looking forward to it, so my hopes are high. We'll see.