I am not a fearful parent. Apart from a recurring nightmare in which my gargantuan daughter is recruited to play for the Utah Jazz (I mean, really — jazz? In Utah?), I don’t worry about her future all that much. Things will work out as they should.
But I gave myself a huge scare a couple Saturdays ago when I realized that it was two days over the application deadline for the nursery school we’re interested in.
Strike that: replace not “interested in” with “desperate for.” The importance of some daytime occupation for my older daughter didn’t seem so big a deal until Blueberry was born. I quickly realized exactly what it means to have a three-year old and an infant to care for at the same time: it kicks my ass three times daily. I need to have preschool for Boo to look forward to.
Is there such a thing as boarding preschool?
So the application is two days late, but it’s just Saturday, so maybe I can fill out the application, run it down there on Sunday, and it’ll be as if it “came in over the weekend,” no damning postmark to prove my tardiness. I’ll be like that suave kiwi dude in the cool commercial.
Except — now where’s that dratted application? Nowhere in the inbox. Not keeping the dusty old brochure company in the “preschool” folder. (Sometimes I make folders. Not sure why.) And it’s not available online, either — they only give you an application when you take the tour.
Desperate searches ensue into the wee hours of the morning. I excavate every paper-containing nook of our house (and, hoo boy, there are a lot) and come up with nothing. I see my daughter’s educational future — and, more importantly, my own sanity — sacrificed to my poor filing skills.
Finally, I sleep for a few fitful hours, then as early in the morning as is reasonable, I call a compassionate friend who’s also vying for this school. Maybe I can copy her application, blank out all the responses with correction fluid, then re-copy it, then fill it in, then drop off my barely legible application at the school. (They’ll never know!)
I rush over there, upset their evening, knock over their baby with my crazed, deer-in-the-headlights energy, and copy their still-blank application. The deadline, you see, was actually a month away. A month.
What scares me the most about this little adventure in ulcer acquisition isn’t that my baby brain messed up the due date or that I lost an important piece of paper. No, what gets me is how quickly I’ve gone from spouting to 190,000 people about how lukewarm we are on the whole preschool thing to being desperate — desperate — for it.
And, of course, I’m haunted by the certain knowledge that both of my extremes — bored indifference to piercing anxiety — are equally bad ways to enter into this school adventure.
Bad month. I. Cannot. Do. Anything. Right.