Thursday, March 1, 2012

Campus Tour

Guess what we did this morning?

Shrike, Peeper and I toured the Mother's Day Out program at a local church, and - get this - it looks like, as of next Wednesday, Peeper's going to be going there one day a week.

Up until now, we've been sort of ignoring the preschool question, and giving it a "wait and see" because we're not really convinced that it's necessary for a three year old to go to school.

On the other hand, it's becoming more and more obvious that what is necessary, for our family, is to have some sort of consistent and reliable childcare readily available, so that Shrike and I can have some time together, for Dr T appointments or errands or just holding a conversation without interruption.

Shrike's parents have always been our primary babysitters, but they are pretty overwhelmed right now, helping to care for her grandmother, and while we do have friend who are happy to watch Peeper on occasion, we hate to impose on them over and over. (Especially when our kid has a habit of imposing hard toys onto their kids' skulls.)

We've been tossing around the idea of a once-a-week thing since before the holidays, but this week we learned that all the local preschools are now taking registrations for fall, so if we want her to do anything then, we have to make that decision now.

So, I made some calls yesterday, and today we toured the one that we figured was our first choice, because it's the only one that offers a once-a-week option. Several of our MOMS Club friends send their kids there and we've heard nothing but good things about it, including from one very-not-religious mom, who is comfortable with the level of fairly low-key indoctrination religious education that's involved.

Other than a few that are part of a whole big day care center, sll of the preschool options around here are run by churches, which is a concern to us on two fronts. First, there's just the part about what religious training they will be doing that we might not (probably don't) agree with, and of course, there's the even bigger concern about whether our family will be treated with respect.

We decided to be proactive about it, and during the tour, I asked the director if they have any other students who have two moms or two dads. She said that they don't currently, but have in the past.

When I asked how a teacher would respond if a child asked "Why does Peeper have two mommies?" she said, "Well, there are all kinds of families . . . " which, of course, would be exactly the kind of answer we'd want to hear.

Sales pitch or not, we liked what she had to say, and Peeper seemed to like it there.

First, we took a peek into the "young toddler" class, where we saw one of our MOMS Club kids. Peeper walked right into the room, into the playhouse and then onto the climbing structure.

Next, we checked out the "older toddler" class, where she'll be for the remainder of this school year. (They run September - May, so we're only looking at about 12 weeks right now, then a break for summer.) She marched right in there, too, and started playing with the doll house.

The director suggested that we let her stay and play for a few minutes while we looked around some more. She was cool with that, and when we came back from the preschool room (where she'll be in the Fall, if we decide to continue) she'd made a craft and a friend!

Then we went into the office to talk some more, and Peeper played with some hula hoops that were stacked neatly against the wall. While we were talking, "her" class walked by, headed to the gym, and the teacher said she needed the hoops.

She asked Peeper if she'd like to go down to the gym with them, and she fell right in line with the other little ducklings. We told her that we'd meet her down there and a few minutes, but ended up talking for a while, and she decided that she needed us before we got there, so one of the teachers brought her back up.

She definitely had her sad face on, and needed a little goody for reassurance, but I don't think any of her tears had actually fallen out of her eyes yet. (Although they were right there.)

So, all in all, it seems like a pretty good fit, and we're going to give it a try. I will call tomorrow and let the director know that we plan to start next Wednesday.

The day is a bit longer than we'd really like, 9 am - 2:15 pm, but the last hour is "cot cool down" (nap time) so I think we're just going to pick her up before that, because we really don't want her napping (if she actually would) and there's no sense in her just laying around, possibly disturbing the nappers, just waiting to go home.

She's wouldn't be the only kid being picked up at that time, so I'm pretty sure that's our plan.

Five (or even four) hours would be a long stay with Eena and Papa, let alone with strangers, so I think that the first week, we might show up before lunch or gym, whichever is the last thing before nap time, and stay for that with her, to sort of ease into it.

For that first day, I'm voting to spend our free time (which is likely to be more like two hours, after we do paperwork and such when we drop her off) on a "date" at the coffee shop that's practically next door to the church, just in case.

Unless we can possibly get an appointment with Dr T at just the right time, then we'll probably do that.

So, I guess we're decided on it.

We're still a bit ambivalent, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the cost (that's a vote in favor on the once-a-week arrangement for now), but it looks like we're going to give it a try and see how it goes.

In the meantime, though, we need to make a trip to Target, so Peeper can pick out a new backpack and lunchbox.

For our baaaaabeeeee.

1 comment:

  1. From her reaction to the visit, it sounds like she is ready for it. My prediction is that she will enjoy it. :)


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