When did I become a preschool floozy? Oh, right.

I should run for president; I’ve got the essential waffling skills. I was against the Bridge to Preschool before I was for it.

At the moment, we’re for it, having found this kick-ass co-op nursery school that (despite having made us sit for two-and-a-half hours in toddler chairs) seems like heaven on earth, preschoolishly speaking.

What could possibly be that good about a nursery school, you say? The garden? The dress-up room? The craft supplies? Nah, I bet a lot of preschools have all that stuff. Well, some, anyway.

No, here’s what makes this place stand out:

Their database.


To translate: College theater major who can sweet-talk a little bit turns into a database programmer —
it’s just what 1995 was like.

I don’t admit this often, but before I was a naturalist I was a database programmer. As a result (or was it a pre-existing condition?) I have a soft spot in my heart for good organization. Nothing drives me crazier than a cafeteria where you can’t tell where the line goes, or cars merging willy-nilly instead of logically, or … well, I guess a lot of things drive me crazy. But the antidote in all cases is better organization.

A good database makes me drool.

* * *

So I was daydreaming about this school’s database (and the parent organization it implies) on Friday when who should arrive at the playground but two kids from one of this school’s families, with their grandmother from New Jersey in tow.

They quickly joined our game of “zookeeper”: I pretended to pitchfork hay and shovel poop and the kids pretended to be a giraffe, a cat, a monster, a cat, a snake, a cat, a monkey, a cat, a dog, and a cat, in that order. (The 3-year old appears to have a cat thing.) We swung on the swings, rode the galloping pony, teetered on the totter, went ’round the merry-go, kicked the soccer ball — just generally had a great playground day.

And that jewel of a school wasn’t in my thoughts the entire time. Maybe just a little.

In my defense:

  • I don’t know if their parents have anything to do with deciding which of the 80ish applicants get one of the 20ish seats for next school year.

  • These are fun kids I played with anyway before I knew or cared what school they go to.

    • I suspect that the kids and their grandma don’t even know my name, so they can’t pass on information about my playing prowess to mom.
    Nonetheless, someone on the outside who knew the whole story might think: “News Flash: Doodaddy, middle-aged dad, panders to toddlers to curry favor with preschool.”

And maybe that someone would be a tiny bit right. But mostly, I just like playing, and when met with enthusiastic, happy kids (whom Boo is nuts about, anyway), we’re going to play with them, whether or not it does our school chances any favors.

And, ethical loser that I am, I bit my tongue as we were leaving to keep myself from saying, “Say hi to your mom! From me! Doodaddy! With the glasses, remember? Don’t forget, now!”

But I thought it…