Aug 14, 2008

Frenetic first day

Today is the first day of school! Hooray! The house was full of excitement this morning as we all anticipated the adventures ahead.

Since I still haven't found a walk-to-school crowd for Zachary, I set out on foot with him at 8:00. This was a few minutes later than planned, but I thought we still had plenty of time.

However, during the mile-long walk, we didn't see anyone else walking to school. The streets were deserted, and I started to panic a little. Sure enough, by the time we got to school, all the kids were already inside. We had to have a teacher unlock the door by Zach's classroom to let us in! I checked the time and thought we still had ten minutes...but apparently school starts at 8:20, not 8:30, like I thought. I helped Zach find his seat while his class got started. Strike one for mom!

Garry picked me up at the elementary school so we could all drive to Tyler's preschool together. I didn't want to miss his first day. His drop-off was very uneventful; we met the teacher and he ran off to play. I was so happy!

Gavin and I had a quiet morning. Well, he screamed in his bed and took a short nap while I attended to some house work and phone calls. Then we set off for the fabric store so I could check out patterns and fabric for the curtains I plan to make soon! That was a fun outing, even if Gavin was grumpy.

I arrived at Tyler's school at 12:20 to pick him up. Since I was a few minutes early, I finished up some paperwork and signed him out first. The director struck up a conversation, then asked how I'd like to pay for his first two days of school, since payments are done weekly. I was surprised at that, but offered my credit card. She swiped it and said, "So the two-day total is $91.00." I couldn't imagine that I had heard her correctly, so I asked her to repeat herself. And she did, using the very same, scary words.

After a flurry of conversation, the problem was clear: the school's 3-day pre-k rate is $119.00 per WEEK, not $119.00 per MONTH! I just about fainted on the spot. And then I almost threw up. And then I started to cry. My mind was too full of thoughts, and disappointing Tyler was the biggest one. Never mind that $500 a month is waaaay out of our league. Never mind that he had no other preschool to attend. Never mind that I'd turned down a spot at another school. Never mind that I'd paid a big, non-refundable registration fee and jumped through complicated hoops to get him registered. I knew Tyler would be devastated not to return...and he was.

Tyler had so much fun at school today. He played and learned and ate and made friends...never to see them again. So we made chocolate chip cookies this afternoon, just the two of us. And I called the preschool where he's been on a waiting list since May and found out they were just about to call me -- there's a spot in an afternoon Tuesday/Thursday class that now belongs to Tyler.

All in all, this wasn't the first day of school I had planned, and my scholastic year "Mommy time" just got cut by 2/3, but I guess things will all work out. At least Tyler is still smiling!
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