Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Preschool Blues

I have gone to three preschool open houses this week. The first one was thoroughly mediocre and had me a little scared that it would be hard to find a good one. The people were all very nice, but they kind of did a hard sell for a cooperative preschool which just seems to be the wrong way to go, to me.

Then on Tuesday, I visited a wonderful preschool in Fairfax. I wanted to start going there myself. They had a huge room with different activities and the theme this week is dinosaurs, so there were dinosaurs everywhere. Very cool. The only problem? It's in Fairfax, and I don't really want to be here next year.

Today I went to visit another cooperative preschool in Silver Spring, around where we would like to buy a house. It was a mixed bag. The kids seemed to be having a great time, and the rooms and teachers seemed cool, but the parents... They were nice, but I have never felt so underdressed and overdressed at the same time before. I was wearing a cherry red sweater set, small gold earrings, and jeans. I also had a tan, plain purse and a black and white ginko print jacket. I felt I had adopted a fairly conservative look that would be at home in a place where I do have to apply to get in, but where I also might get tempra paint on me while there. I should also mention that I was wearing make-up, which is relevant because nobody seemed to even have as much as chapstick on. Also, their clothes were all various shades of mud. Now, I happen to like shades of mud and think they can even look chic, but these all looked shapeless and drab and severe. I felt very out of place, and when I was telling C about it, he said "You felt very Dallas, huh?" And he was right, I felt that they were looking at me and seeing Texas big hair, pageant make-up, and flash. I felt like I was wearing sequins, when I thought I was projecting pearls. And that is a feeling I don't think I have ever had before.

Admittedly, I don't know if all the moms are like that, but really, there was shockingly little make-up around, especially considering the women all seemed like they were in their late thirties or early forties. You need make-up in order to look decent when you start aging; if I don't wear make-up it looks like I just got out of bed, all day. Or that I just finished a not-so-short stay in the hospital. Believe me, mascara and lipstick are with me before I check to see if I have extra diapers. After all, I can always pick up extra diapers, or even borrow one if I have to, but I can't just pick up a new lipstick on the fly.

I have another preschool open house to go to next week, but we may have to wait another year until we're settled to snag a spot at someplace we want. In the meantime, he could really go anywhere, I know I'm a good mom, and he's getting what he needs at home, he just needs some extra socialization, especially some without me there, so most places will do the trick, if it comes to that.


  1. Register him in the one you like best. You can always cancel and try to find another one. Unless it has changed over the years, preschool is not always easy to get into, and the best ones fill up quickly. Good luck in whatever choice you make.

  2. I'm sitting here smiling, reading this. A few years ago, when I was working at Children's in Dallas, one of the nurses who was close to my age went to the northeast for her sister's wedding. "Oh honey!" she said to me when she got back, "If you want to get married again, you need to go THERE!" "Why so?" I asked. "Because the women don't wear makeup," she said, in a very matter-of-fact voice, "and we look like movie stars by comparison!" LOL! I've never forgotten that. I'm with you on the make up. Not LOTS of it, mind you, but mascara (or in my case, my new, recent alternative)...heck YES. I remember the advice I read years ago from a very old (but happy) woman who said: if you have leave the house with either panties or mascara, not both, choose one will know if you're not wearing panties! She was right...

  3. Awww, we co-op and love it! It might be nice to be in a more academically rigorous drop off, but for now it works for us. I think the best advice is to just go with your gut-- you know your child and you know what they need.

    I was LOLing at your mom descriptions. I haven't found our cooperative preschool moms to be too bad, but every now and then I do wonder why certain moms seem to stop trying...

  4. Trisha,

    Thanks for the comment! I love the idea of a co-op too; so far I've only been looking at co-ops, and the one I love is one too.

    I went to your blog too, and I love the concept and the writing. I look forward to seeing the rest of your resolutions!