I’ve been feeling down lately. D day arrived last week and despite doing tons of research I was unprepared.

Valuable Mistakes

The day after Labor Day is the most stressful day for a New York parent. It’s the day when you have to sit at your computer pushing the refresh button and obsessively calling schools to try and get an application for the the coming year. All the applications are usually gone by 10am and if you don’t get one you are outta luck.

Then you have to fill out 10 page applications about everything from what your 1 1/2 year old’s interests are and if you had a normal pregnancy. After that a play date is scheduled where your child’s behavior around other kids is observed and then a family interview. It’s more strenuous then most colleges. In fact, it is harder to get into a preschool in New York City than Harvard.

I am saying this because when I complain about the situation to most people they think I am being dramatic. I am not. There are too many kids in NYC and not enough schools to go around.

The day after Labor Day I was in denial. I knew if I wanted an application for certain schools I would have to wake up at 6am and start calling like a crazy woman. But I didn’t. Then at 10am I freaked out and started calling around but the schools didn’t have any more applications. Except for 2. Luckily, these 2 were at the top of my list. I told myself it was ok because any school that requires you to wake up at 6am is not my style.

But then I wondered why did I not do what I knew I had to do. Looking back I think it is because I am not ready for my kid to be judged. All kids deserve to go to an awesome school but the truth is there are only so many spots. How do the teachers decide? I know Princess A is the best but on the day she is interviewed will she be in a good mood or teething?

My other issue is if she doesn’t get in or she does and we can’t afford the tuition am I putting her at a disadvantage before her second birthday?

Logically, I know the answers and the majority of the people I look up to did not go to expensive Manhattan private schools. But I can’t help but want “the best” for my kid. I just keep telling myself that the best is different for every kid. And sometimes not having “the best” makes your journey better.

The above collage is of women that inspire me who did not go to a Manhattan preschool 🙂

Stay Glamorous,

Shannon Sutherland

Janitor at Mommy Blog

Lover of Funny at The World New York Comedy Club

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22 Responses to “THE BEST”

  1. hobee1971 September 11, 2012 at 3:14 PM #

    Preschool is a wonderful thing, but what happens between birth and age 2 is the foundation of A’s life. It hasn’t been too long since I sat in the office of a co-worker in our parenting program and bawled my eyes out over the mistakes I made when I was raising my son. The person looked me in the eye and said “You gave him the tools to be the success he is.” So, before you place your hopes for A’s future on the shoulders of someone you’ve never met, remember that you have brought her to this point and she is an amazing child. She has all of the positives that people look for: humor, intellengence, empathy and curiosity. Even if she doesn’t get into preschool, you have the tools to bring her even further. Don’t be so hard on yourself about this. I know that it’s a thing in Manhattan, but in the rest of the world, our two year olds finger paint in the kitchen! (that is an attempt at humor even though my kid did, in fact, finger paint in the kitchen)

    • Karen Nigh-Dent September 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM #

      My kids didn’t finger pain in the kitchen but my 3 year old did butter the dogs in the kitchen LOL! I think my kids are doing okay 😉

      • hobee1971 September 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM #

        Mine wouldn’t use his fingers. He hated his hands dirty so he used a brush, but he was in the kitchen LOL it’s the biggest room and where we had room for the Little Tykes easel he had.

        • Shannon September 11, 2012 at 7:26 PM #

          After Amelia’s art class I want to get her a easel!

          • hobee1971 September 11, 2012 at 9:29 PM #

            N had the one with a chalkboard on one side and a clip for paper on the other and he loved it. If you get one, go to a moving company and buy a box of packing paper. It’s the perfect size and shape for the ease

          • Shannon September 11, 2012 at 9:38 PM #

            You are full of good ideas today lol

      • Shannon September 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM #

        I still love that story Karen!!!

    • Shannon September 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM #

      Amelia loves finger painting. I know if I was anywhere else it wouldn’t be an issue. I shouldn’t try to be like everyone else it’s just hard when everyone is talking about and I keep asking “what if I am wrong. What if these preschools could really help my kid?”

  2. Karen Nigh-Dent September 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM #

    I cannot imagine the stress of trying to get into a preschool under those circumstances. I would be a nervous wreck and feel like my parenting is being judged. It is wrong! As long as you know the truth. That Princess A is an amazing little girl, who is loved and loves life then everything else doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I know easy for me to say right? Try not to stress over this. What is meant to be will be, and Princess A will still grow up to be an amazing woman all because you and your husband love her and appreciate her for the amazing girl she is. Good luck with the applications!

    • Shannon September 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM #

      Thanks so much Karen. I am trying to stay positive. I am proud that I haven’t freaked out in front of Amelia… only when she is sleeping lol

  3. Lisanne September 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM #

    All the question you have is normal, it’s normal for a mother to want the best for their kids. Try to remember that : nobody prefect, you can’t protect A from everything, but you can try your best as a mom and help A growing up in a wonderful woman! If you don’t let A make mistakes, it’s probably gonna be “worse”, because she won’t have any idea, any experience of what the world in which we live is and what happen when you make one.

    P.s: And for “what the teacher want” (from my teacher experience), I would say their looking for a kid that is alert, curious, motivated, who want to learn,who show good leadership, who listen to adults. A bit difficult to find in a toddler the age of A!

    • Lisanne September 11, 2012 at 3:25 PM #

      Not “what the teacher want” but “how they decide”…. and there a lot of other stuff to put in the balance too! My mistake!

      • Shannon September 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM #

        I knew what you meant 🙂

    • Shannon September 11, 2012 at 7:26 PM #

      Yeah a 18 month old that listens lol. I am interested though to see what these interviews are like. It all seems so comical lol. Amelia says no to every question people ask her.

      • Karen Nigh-Dent September 11, 2012 at 9:36 PM #

        If you find an 18 month old that listens I want to meet those “perfect” parents. Mine only listened if the sentence involved the word “cookie”.

        • Shannon September 11, 2012 at 9:38 PM #

          LOL…. Amelia only listens to cookie, puppy, or tapir

  4. Lara J September 13, 2012 at 3:02 PM #

    Where I live, preschool is just another word for daycare and the people who “teach” are young adults who got a certificate in early childcare development. I kept my child at home because I know how fast they grow up and I didn’t want to miss those moments. Sure, they will be teaching her things, and giving her socialization, but that can be had in other ways. I’m not against your choice, but what are they doing for her that you can’t? My daughter stayed at home and is fine. Private schools are a luxury most of us can’t afford.

    • Shannon September 13, 2012 at 4:40 PM #

      True but in NYC it is very hard to get into a good public school unless you have the exmissions officers at the private schools help you. Most of the good public schools here you have to test into and have little to do with where you live.

      • monkeyjunkiegirl September 16, 2012 at 3:38 PM #

        That really sucks!! I started homeschooling my daughter for preschool and we have the option to do so from K-12 as well. They have an online program for our state and many mail order sets that have the entire curriculum. When my daughter gets a little older I will enroll her in the virtual school we have, which is free.

        • Shannon September 16, 2012 at 10:28 PM #

          I wish we had an online option here then we wouldn’t have to move. I will look into it and see if New York has one. The main issue is we can’t leave NY because of my husband’s job but it’s so hard to get into a good school here that most people leave once their kids are school age because they don’t want to deal with the crazy

  5. Angelia September 19, 2012 at 3:42 PM #

    I just don’t understand how these teachers and administrators do not understand child development. You might try to homeschool because its sounds like from what you and others have said that these crazy people think these babies should be college material by now. So far as the pictures and everything you’ve posted, she is right on time in her development. She may be higher in some areas and lower in others, that’s normal. I’d say enjoy the precious angel she is and continue doing what your doing and everything will be fine. I’d be surprised if she could spout out her ABC’s and 123’s at her age. I’m sure as smart as she is she’s trying though.

    • Shannon September 20, 2012 at 8:16 PM #

      I agree. I know she is smart the problem is there just aren’t enough schools in NY for all the kids so they have to be choosy.

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