I can’t believe it is already August. Where has the summer gone? Next month Emma starts pre-school. Well, technically it’s a “Two Year Old Pre-School Readiness Class.” Whatever. Twice a week, I will get to leave Emma for two hours so I can… well, that should leave me enough time to….. go to the post office?
I have been waiting for this since Emma was six weeks old. Oh yes, that’s when I put her on the freaking waiting list. I know, right? It seemed like as soon as she was born everyone was asking me if I had put her on The List. I would stare at my little swaddled bundle and think, “Pre-school?” I mean, I was barely about to make it to tomorrow and I had this to think about?
Apparently, I was supposed to do it while she was still in-utero like one of my amazing and beautiful girlfriends Kristen (I’m calling you out girl!). She literally signed up her darling boy when she was about eight months pregnant. I know this because I saw his name on The List. There it was, about ten rows up from Emma’s name, Connor: DOB- TBD. So, at six weeks old, Emma was already WAY behind. Just another item to add to my List of Things To Worry About.
Well, a couple of months ago I got the phone call I had been waiting for. The woman’s voice said, “Hi, this is so-and-so from school. Congratulations Mom, there is a spot available for Emma in our 11am toddler class. It’s not the most desirable time slot, but given her position on The List, this is a truly remarkable opportunity.” My first thought was, “I’m paying for her to go there, right? What’s with this congratulations business?” But, not wanting to compromise my daughter’s good fortune, I graciously accepted their generous offer. Insert eye roll here.
Then came the paperwork. OMG. There was a stack of it. Policies, procedures, medical information, emergency information, dress codes, conduct codes…. It went on and on. The last form I filled out had the most thought-provoking question and answer section- “How would you describe your toddler?”
I literally had to put the paper down and think about it for a couple of days. This was serious. How do you describe a child who is part Fairy Princess, part Road Runner, and at least half Neanderthal without damaging her reputation? I had to really think long and hard about this one and use my words wisely. So here is how it went down.
Emma is an energetic (hyperactive) little girl. She is passionate (temperamental) and head-strong (stubborn). She is a real leader (bossy). Emma is also creative (dramatic) and artistic (sensitive). She has very high standards (picky) and can be tenacious (relentless) at times. She is particularly detail-oriented (anal). Finally, Emma is a spirited (intense) and delightful (she will charm the cookie right out of your hand) child. She will be a wonderful addition to the classroom.
This was a great exercise for me. It helped me realize that every personality trait has a flip-side. Yes, Emma’s energy levels can be exhausting. But you know what? She’s always ready to go out and have a good time. She inspires me to get out and do something fun every day. She can be really stubborn, but the girl knows what she wants. Who can blame her for that? Plus, I know that she will never get pushed around on the playground and she will always stand up for what is right.
Sometimes Emma makes me crazy because things always have to be her way and exactly how she wants them (I wonder where she gets that from?). It’s her tenacity and attention to details that assures me she will go far in life. But really, how seriously can you take it all when your three-foot little dictator is trying to boss you around while literally wearing nothing but Cinderella high heels and a tiara?
So, I am having a mini panic attack right now. As I was writing this, I realized that I never put Annie on The List! Ack! I was going to try to wrap this post up, but I need to call the school asap. Great. Annie can just add this to the list of things she will discuss with her therapist in 30 years.