Yes, we have seen the movies and TV Shows ('Modern Family' most recently) that make fun of families that would give their right arm to be able to get their baby into a certain preschool. It is always a comedy because it is the most ridiculous concept. But I had no idea it existed so dramatically in real life until I attended a few Preschool Open Houses recently. Apparently this waiting list is supposed to happen while In Utero.
Camping out overnight to get your child into a Preschool?? Are you kidding me? Sounds like some sort of Black Friday event. Oh yes, this really exists in my city. And this is not a shopping excursion, this is our child's education we are talking about. Personally, I would not want to send my child to a school where they allow this kind of drama.
BUT- then I attended one area Preschool Tour where they thankfully do not allow this, but after hearing the Director speak, I was wishing I could get in line yesterday. She had me at "Gary Landreth once said..." (Gary is the king of play therapy up at the Play Therapy Institute at the University of North Texas). A preschool that uses Play Therapy discipline and limit setting techniques? I wanted to push to the front of the line and hand her my waiting card and act just like the 3 year olds she manages. Well, not really but believe me I was willing to do anything. But instead I waited patiently, handed her my card and was told that last year's waiting lists had 2 openings! Yes, you heard me correctly, 2 openings. I walked away and decided that if all of the area schools are like this then I better start home-schooling!
I was kicking myself over the fact that I did not get on this list when I was pregnant. What was I thinking? Probably that it did not matter and who plans on these things In Utero? I assumed that there would be plenty of good ones to choose from. So far I have not been super impressed with the ones I have seen: paint chipping off the walls, the toys look like Circa 1975, no structure in the programs, "we are a Mom's Day Out 5 days a week" ( Then you are officially a day care, not a MDO), staff without a degree, no parent involvement, etc. Maybe I am being picky here but I guess I just expect the best for my little one.
If all the area schools are like this, short waiting lists and camping out at 2am, this is going to be a fun experience that's for sure!