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Two Preschools, Both Alike In Dignity

We’ve been preschool shopping in
earnest the past couple of weeks, since registration’s begun
for September and we’ve admitted that Maddie absolutely needs
to go for a year before kindergarten. We narrowed it down to two
and took tours recently of both facilities, and have finally made a

The hard thing is that both schools are really good, and
Maddie’s got friends at each one. Ask her which school she
prefers and she’ll say, ‘Maxum’s school!”
simply because it’s where Maxum goes. Somehow I’m going
to have to break it to her that we’ve chosen the other

Here’s the deal: either school would
give Maddie a great, age-appropriate education. Both have great
teachers and would provide valuable experience for her as she gets
ready to enter the academic world in earnest. But one school is a
bit more cuddly, touchy-feely, kind of casual and laid back, and
that’s what we think is right for Maddie at this time. We can
do apples-to-apples comparisons right down a list, but it came down
to a gut feeling, and our collective parenting gut told us to send
Maddie to the “other” school. I could give you
specifics, but it boils down to feeling like the right school at
the right time for her.

My friend Alison’s a teacher at Maxum’s school, and she
encouraged me in the decision-making by saying, “At this age,
scholastic achievement’s not so important. What’s
important at this age is that Maddie needs to love going to
school.” Of course, she’d love going to Maxum’s
school simply because he’d be there, but with her borderline
OCD, her separation issues, and her worrying and anxiousness, we
think the other program’s going to be just that much better
of a fit for her.

We’re taking a risk here; registration for our first choice
doesn’t open to the public until next week, and our second
choice registration was yesterday, with only four spaces available
before the day began. So we could end up with no choices at all,
and I’ll end up second-guessing myself for the next several
months. And of course, we could have registered at our second
choice today as a fallback position, but I have two things to say
about that: first, blowing almost two hundred bucks in a
non-refundable registration fee for a school you probably
won’t attend seems like bad stewardship in today’s
economic climate; and second, I can’t believe I’m even
talking about “fallback schools”. She’s four, not

So we’re letting go and trusting it’ll all work out the
way it’s supposed to. Hopefully there will be space at the
school we think is right for Maddie, and she’ll love it; I
know when we took the tour she was enthusiastically joining in with
the class, taking over a stack of foam blocks and bossing around a
couple four-year-old boys (boys, no less!) for a few minutes with
great joy. Hopefully this will be the right environment for Maddie
and she’ll flourish and look forward to school days.

I can’t even start thinking about that first day of school
– don’t get me started. Let me enjoy these last few
months with my baby in peace.


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