This morning was Miss H’s day to visit the preschool. She liked that they had a school bus out front. She was a little shy at first and very concerned about what exactly we were doing there. One of the teachers met with us and showed us to the music room where she had some items spread out for Miss H to play with. There was a large mat that had a landscape painting that showed water, land and sky. Miss H immediately noticed the large mat and the little bowl of animals next to it. The teacher asked her to put the animals in the place where they live. She was really good about putting the birds in the sky, the tiger, snake and rabbit on the land and the shark, sea star, turtle (with the flippers) and fish in the sea. However, she insisted that the giraffe could fly. Even when questioned about it, she said that ‘giraffes fly at my house.’ Okay, I guess she gets points for imagination.
We then moved onto the classroom to check out the other kids and the activities they were doing. She was immediately impressed that snack was strawberries and goldfish. She politely got a plate, scooped herself some and sat down with a few kids at a table. I almost fell over when she followed their lead and washed her plate.
She played with many different objects, the puzzles and the arts table. The teacher kept commenting about her social skills and her genuine interest in the things around her. Plus, the teacher thought that she had ‘exceptional fine motor skills.’ Those little fingers are capable of opening most things these days!
When it was time to leave, Miss H was pretty adamant about wanting to stay. She even politely held my hand and led me towards the door saying, ‘you go to work, I will stay here.’ I guess that was a good sign considering I was not sure how she was going to react this morning. I convinced her that it would be fun to visit the playground before we headed home so she said bye to her new friends and the teacher and we headed out to play.
She did not want to leave there either.
We won’t hear about admission until late March so keep your fingers crossed for us!
I am lucky that I have close friends that have children older than Miss H because they have prepped me for the things to come. When I was stressing about childcare when I was on maternity leave, they told me it would work out. Also, at this time they warned me that while finding childcare was hard, finding a preschool was worse. Remember, I had a 5 week old baby and I did not really care about their preschool problems. I mean, preschool was YEARS away. Well, we now officially have preschool problems and I totally see how this is worse than finding childcare.
There seem to be three distinct buckets of preschools in this area. Half-day programs all week, half day programs a few days a week and full-day programs all week. After hearing stories of co-workers about working alternative schedules, hiring drivers and/or nannies to deal with pick-up and drop-off and other craziness to accommodate the three-hour window of half-day preschool- we immediately removed those from our list. Half-day programs tend to have lottery systems or if you are a member of a church that has a preschool, you get in. The full-day preschools are limited in number and the most competitive because if you are a two working parent household, this is really the best option. But this option comes with open houses, parent tours, essays, parent interviews and if we make if through all those steps- the classroom visit for Miss H.
Originally, we had three preschools on our list but knocked one off because of the uniform requirement. Why you ask? I have a hard enough time convincing Miss H to wear something that matches so I knew trying to convince her to wear the same thing, day in and day out, that did not include accessories like tutus, necklaces, rain hats or any other thing she deems to be pretty would be a daily battle. Now, the list has two schools and we have submitted one application packet and Kerry and I will be interviewing soon. We have another open house to attend this month and then we will start working on the application packet for that school.
On the plus side, the first school is super cute and nice! All the classrooms open onto outdoor space and they have a great garden. The teachers were really friendly, the kids seemed normal and they have a worm bin as part of their gardening project. I think the worm bin will be a highlight for Miss H, too. So, keep your fingers crossed for us.
So, this is the official preschool derby. I can’t imagine what college is going to be like!