Update: We got in!
For the past six months or so I've been struggling with the idea of enrolling Joshua in playschool next Fall. There's a great program run by the big Presbyterian church here in town that people just rave about. All of the staff have at least a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education, and there's almost no turnover among the teachers. And best of all, it's reasonably priced.
I'm not concerned about his cognitive progress. Dr. Vati takes care of that at home. What I really want is for him to be exposed to other kids and to learn to take direction from adults other than Jay and me. He relates really well to adults, but just isn't quite sure what to do around other kids (except his friend Olivia, whom he hugs, sometimes kisses, and generally just adores).
So I talked myself into pursuing this playschool. He would go on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 until 12, leaving Clare and I time to hang out together. If the Tuesday/Thursday slot wasn't available, I decided that I might consider letting him go on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, but that seems like an awful lot of time away.
Joshua and I went to visit last week. We went to the room that he would be in and talked to the teacher. Although Joshua didn't interact with the kids, he did make himself comfortable in the play kitchen (big surprise, right?). I was very impressed with what I saw. There was only one incident of pushing the whole time we were there and I loved the way the staff managed it. I asked one of the teachers if she thought that such socialization was necessary at this age. She answered very honestly that, as an educator and a mother, she didn't find it necessary but also believed that it couldn't hurt. Joshua and I also talked to the director, who was so wonderful and friendly and genuinely concerned for all the children. I left the visit thinking that playschool might be a good choice, and Joshua left asking when he could go to school again.
This past Wednesday was the "lottery." Church members get first dibs, legacies get second dibs, and the rest of the riffraff--like me--participate in a lottery. We gathered in the church dining hall, wrote our names on slips of paper, and dropped them in a big box. The director pointed out three piles of paper sitting on the table in front of her. Yellow forms were for the Tuesday/Thursday two-year-old class (my first choice). Purple forms were for the Monday/Wednesday/Friday two-year-old class (my second choice). And green forms were for the Tuesday/Thursday three-and-four-year-old class (not even an option). The names slowly came out of the box and the yellow forms slowly disappeared. My heart sank. Then the purple forms disappeared. And I got mad. It didn't help that both kids were up all night the night before and I was operating on about three hours of sleep. And it didn't help that the woman sitting across from me, who had picked up one of the coveted yellow forms, hadn't even bothered to visit the school yet. In fact, after she registered, she went over to see the school for the first time!
The upside is that we're first on the waiting list. The director wasn't ready to promise anything, but most wait-list kids have gotten in in the past. Now we just wait for a phone call.
And the funny thing is that I still haven't completely decided to send him. I'm just a little chapped that the choice was taken away from me. Bah.