On Thursday, Jay, WCK and I went to an open house at WCK's future preschool. We all got to meet her teachers and explore the classroom and fill out a bunch of forms. The forms had really complex questions that were hard to answer on the spur of the moment in a room filled with shrieking three-year-olds. We had to answer questions like, "List your child's strengths and weaknesses." We also had to answer, "Does your child have any fears we should be aware of?" Jay and I looked at each other and knew that we had to write down "vacuum cleaners." We had to. Another question also required that I shamefully scribble something about the fact that she is not 100 percent potty trained and will not pee in a public restroom unless bribed. OK, I left out the part about the bribe. She'll probably ask for one, though, and I'll be exposed.
I'm wondering if the teachers take these forms and laugh at them together over drinks. "Check it out! This kid is afraid of vacuum cleaners!"
We also dropped off the school supplies, and -- get this -- I noticed that nobody else bought the correct size glue stick! Quitters!!!!
When we left, WCK seemed to feel a little bit better about preschool; I seemed to feel a little bit worse. It finally sank in that SHE IS GOING TO SCHOOL. MY CHILD IS REALLY GOING TO SCHOOL. I also was surprised to learn about the morning drop-off procedure. I've always had visions of taking her by the hand and walking her to the door of the classroom, hugging her goodbye, perhaps lingering by the door for a moment once she's inside, wiping away a little tear.
Clearly, I am a fool, because this not how drop-off is done at modern-day preschool.
Instead, they give you a big sign with your child's name on it, and you post it in the window of your car. All of the parents drive in a line to the front of the building at 7:50 a.m., and the teacher comes to each car and pulls the child out, and all of the children gather by the door and walk to the preschool room together. I don't even need to get out of the car. What? Whaaaaaaaaaat?
I talked to a bunch of people, and apparently the "car line" is common practice at preschool. Everyone tells me that I will grow to appreciate this system, especially in the wintertime. It means that I could drive to preschool in my pajamas if I wanted to. The car line is the in thing. Nobody wants to go to a preschool that doesn't have a car line.
Still, I picture her confusion as a relative stranger lifts her from the car, her little face crumpling as she sees my car driving off. I don't know if I can do it. Maybe I will keep her home from preschool until she is, I don't know, 25.