Remember last year when I declared that we were going to Paris this year? Yeah, ok. That dream is
dead postponed. That Paris fund, which I admit never got its own separate account like I had planned, has now turned into the Claudine preschool fund. Or at least a small percentage because I’m not telling you how much her preschool is going to cost next year for 4 almost full days a week. It’s an embarrassing amount of money, an unthinkable amount of money for 1 year of preschool. Think of an outrageous figure and double that (if you’re not in the NYC metro area, than triple or quadruple it).
So is it worth it? I’m not normally the type of parent who gets caught up in the hype of “only the best for my kids”. We still use the same beat up MacLaren stroller, recall and all, that we’ve used for the past 5 and half years. Hand me downs are fine and welcome, and despite Mia’s insistence that everyone has an American Girl doll, I’m not about to fork over $100 bucks for a doll, especially one from a company that rolled out a homeless doll called Gwen.
In a city like the one in which we live, it’s not hard to become sucked into the competitive and cut throat vortex of preschool madness, where you have some camps who firmly believe that acceptance into an Ivy League college starts with the crucial selection of the “right” preschool. Even if you don’t buy into that crap (and most of my friends don’t, but I know it exists), getting into your preschool of choice sometimes involves getting up at pre-dawn early hours and lining up to get an application, just as you may have done in another life to get tickets to a concert (or a free couch, in the case of the grand IKEA Brooklyn opening). There are school tours, essay questions that make you delve into the psyche and habits of your 2 or 3 year old, and then the interviews. Yes, interviews. With your child. Before you start thinking that anybody in the city is crazy to put up with this (well, we are), it’s really a (mostly) simple explanation of supply and demand.
Now, I must admit, I didn’t go through any of that since the parent/child classes that we started going to way back with one particular new program in the neighborhood when Mia was a toddler organically morphed into a preschool. Mia was just in. And so is Claudine. It just so happens to be an excellent program and one I believe in – the kind where your kid might come home to tell you that they studied Andy Goldsworthy that day or mention in passing, stuff like “DNA is the puzzle inside your body”.
So yeah, I guess I am thinking that it’s worth it. 1 year of preschool at a premium price before Claudine gets thrown into the jungles of public school Kindergarten. We will sacrifice vacations and big purchases and give up many many things this year and next. Sacrifices. Now I’m talking like a real parent, huh?
So Paris Paris Paris, it will be a few more years till you and I meet again. You will always be there I suppose. The kid will only be in preschool once, after all.