Monday, March 17, 2008

She's In!

We got an e-mail today from the preschool I was hoping to get Maija into. There is a spot open, so...yea!!!...Maija will for sure be going to preschool in the fall. I think I've even got summer lined up. Am I a soccer mom in training or what?

I've been teaching a little Spanish preschool class for about a month now, and I have to say that I am loving teaching again. There is something so fulfilling about seeing the lights come on, especially when they are so young and are absorbing the world around them. Many linguists believe that there is a critical period for acquiring language, which pretty much ends at puberty, and is at its height in the preschool years. You can see it with these little girls. They are taking so much in and are learning faster than my high school kids ever did.

Maija is in the Spanish class, so between my speaking to her occasionally, watching Dora, and her Spanish class, she is actually picking things up. The other night after tucking her in bed, I was headed out of her room, when she yelled to me, "Mommy! ¡Espera!" which means "Wait!" That made my day! Spontaneous EspaƱol. Now I'll have to start working on Rebekah too.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Preschool Push

One of the "joys" of living on the outer-outskirts of town is that there just aren't enough businesses, stores, or services around. The latest dilemma has been figuring out preschool for Maija. She is starting to go stir crazy at home (making 2 of us) and is asking all the time, "Where's my school?" as we drive past our neighborhood elementary. I kept telling her that she couldn't go to school until she could go peepies on the potty.

Well, now she goes peepies on the potty (most of the time,) and she now says as we pass the elementary school, "I get to go to MY school because I go on the potty." Sigh. Now I have to do that following through part. I started by asking some of the young moms at church about local preschools, and they had great things to say about their children's schools. But, as I soon found out, getting INTO one of these schools would be no easy task.

Believe it or not, to get in for this fall it's pretty much too late already. Luckily, I started contacting preschools and submitting forms before everything filled up, but as it is, we are still on waiting lists. Is that crazy, or what? These kids are not even kindergarten age, and you have to "tour" the preschools, submit forms, pay deposits, and sit on waiting lists to get into the local homegrown preschools - these aren't fancy pre-Ivy League schools. We're talking about your average at-home operations.

The good news is that one of the home-based preschools in our neighborhood says that Maija is as good as in since we are at the top of the waiting list. The sad news is that I NEVER thought I'd be the kind of mother who would be clamoring to get my 3 year-old into preschool, waiting lists and all. Of course, I also had no idea before having a 3 year-old how ready I would be to get 2 hours twice a week with only 1 child at home.

I'm guessing that 30 years ago (OK, fine, 33 years ago) when I was 3 years old things weren't like this. Disposable diapers didn't exist, car seats as we know them didn't exist, and 3 year old children didn't go to Little Gym classes and sit on waiting lists for preschool. I'm not sure what is better, but I will say that those once-a-week tumbling classes sure do save my sanity. I'm already figuring out what we can do during the summer to keep all of us from climbing the walls in our air-conditioned home. I love the desert, but summers can be brutal!

Wish us luck with our preschool odyssey!