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Preschool scouting will drive me crazy

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It’s preschool enrollment time. If you’re like me, you probably found this out because some other mom casually mentioned it in conversation and you played it off like you totally knew all along.

Sike. I did NOT know this until almost too late and also, since when do kids start preschool at age three? They need two years of kindergarten prep? Just how intense IS kindergarten these days? That’s okay. It doesn't matter because we're doing it anyway. HJ is need of some regular socialization and needs someone other than me and her dad telling her what to do. Plus, I can’t be the mom with the crazy, bouncing-off-the-walls kid who didn’t go to preschool. We've already established that she'll still be in diapers by then (Just kidding. Potty training is a requirement of attending preschool. God help us).

Back to my first observation: Why is it important to enroll your kid in preschool in February/March when they don't start till the fall? Because waiting lists, people. Yeah. This is crazy. Classes can fill up before enrollment is even open to the general public. How’s that for nerve-racking and panic-inducing? Thankfully, this is Lawrence. I've heard that big city preschools get waiting lists for YEARS before a child can attend. As in, moms find out they're pregnant and put the fetus on the waiting list. I cannot even pretend to be that on the ball.

Before I started paying attention to how this all worked, I simply thought preschool is preschool. They learn shapes, colors, the alphabet, numbers and how to make friends who don’t eat glue. We’d simply pick the one closest to our house and be done with it.

WRONG. Guys, there’s about a billion factors in this process: Do we want full-time or part-time? Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays or Tuesday/Thursdays? Mornings or afternoons? Do we want it to cost around $150 a month or almost a full mortgage payment? And then there’s the style. Oh. Dear. God. The. Styles. Is our kid better suited for an arts-based preschool? A Montessori program? A high level of parent involvement co-op? Then there’s faith-based, highly-structured, daycare-housed, or in-home preschool. And once you figure all that out, you have to figure out the pick-up/drop-off routine and determine whether or not it will work while toting around your chubby one-year-old.

I was overwhelmed. Every time I tried to talk to my husband about it, he shrugged it off like, “It’s just preschool.” Whatever. Husbands are no help in my house.

My soon-to-be preschooler

My soon-to-be preschooler by Megan Spreer

So I narrowed down our “wants” and scheduled tours of three highly recommended (by friends on Facebook, of course) places in town. I was sure that after touring them I would be able to easily make a decision.

Nope. Not even close. The decision was now even more difficult. I loved all three. Like, wanted to hug the directors and be BFFs loved all three. What made it worse was that I had only a matter of days to make a decision. One of the schools was filling up quickly and already had a huge wait list for one of the classes.

What does one do in that situation? You throw your arms up, say “It’s just preschool,” and pick the one closest to your house.

How did you decide where your kid went to preschool (and am I the only one who thought it was incredibly overwhelming)?

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