Thursday, March 13, 2008

Like Yale With Less Ivy and Hardly any League

I've closed one of many chapters in this journey I call motherhood. I registered Girl-Child for kindergarten for this coming fall. I was met with mixed emotions. First, elation that this is the last time I ever have to do this; unless someone throws a small child in our general direction some time in the future, and we somehow manage to catch it. This was quickly followed by sorrow that this is the last time I will ever have to do this. Our brood has aged. Rapidly. It seems like yesterday that I was going through these same motions for Boy-Child#1. Although, at that time, because of the severe overcrowding, school was on a year round schedule and admission was first come first served. Which meant getting in line at 3:00am. In the rain. With hundreds of other parents. And at that time, I was a young parent. A first timer. My first kindergartener. This time I took notice of all the young mothers. Now I'm the veteran to their rookie status. The mother of a 6th grader who will be moving on to junior high school in the fall. The mother of a second grader rapidly approaching third grade. I could answer their questions. I knew the drill. "How strict are they about needing two current utility bills for proof of residency?" one young mother inquired. "Very firm. Run home and get it. I'll save your spot." The only thing about this that was new to me is that I did it without a toddler in tow; trying to keep them occupied and entertained while standing in line to retain a spot in one of the kindergarten classes, since there is a 120 pupil cap. Even with siblings already enrolled, which ensures priority status, one does not want to dilly-dally nor take any chances. So one gets in line. Then one has to sit through the inquisition while a staff member reviews page after page of the enrollment package complete with firing off copies of birth certificates and immunization records. This time I'm alone. Girl-Child is busy at preschool. And a sense of sadness starts to squeeze the bejesus out of my heart. Even for a veteran I'm entering an unfamiliar frontier: The infant stages of empty nest syndrome. Quick! Prescribe the Prozac.

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Mild Rant


1) Why is it necessary for the students to dress up like the author/character/subject of their oral report? I know it only cost me about $5.38 to throw together enough of a makeshift costume; but why create an expense for the parents? It's not like I've got a beard and a top hat lying around to turn my son into Abraham Lincoln. I imagine most people do not.

2) Why is it that a popular craft store like Michaels never has more than one checkout lane open at a time? And WTF is up with people who continue to shop while they're IN LINE? I stood behind 3 (yes THREE) over flowing carts of crap, and honestly thinking that they were items that the employees needed to put back because it was just SO MUCH RANDOM CRAP; and also thinking this because there wasn't a customer in sight associated with said carts...UNTIL? The cashier said "next please", and as I made my way around the load, armed with my ONE package of black pipe cleaners and ONE SINGLE sheet of black felt; a woman comes sprinting from the back of the store metaphorically carrying the kitchen sink, mind you, and says "oh, that's me!". Note to Michaels: Spring for an additional cashier.

29 comments:

Cheri said...

Wow! When Laura went to Kindergarten I thought a piece of my heart went missing too. But she's right where she's supposed to be and that's good, so I take my comfort in that.

Now, about those rants:

1) Word.

2) Also Word.

Karen said...

Your school is crazy-nuts! I cannot fathom standing in line, having a cap and taking a chance of not getting in. Our school? Boasts 30 children per grade. They're obviously beating the bushes for enrollees.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Ah yes, the mystery of Michae'ls. I guess when you're the only show in town you can do it your way!

Caution said...

My youngest is in kindergarten this year. I looked around that first day and realized I was the same age as some of the grandparents. Then I decided I was way too old to be so very sad. (That epiphany didn't help one bit.)

HRH said...

I am going to be a total mess when the baby goes to Kindergarten. Stay strong.

I have that same question in craft stores...I usually end up sitting ON THE FLOOR waiting in line. You would think that would be a huge hint that it is taking too long if your customers are napping.

Jennifer said...

That's why you should go to Hobby Lobby where they have TWO check-out lines open. It's high-class, I tell ya.

Shania said...

Where we live the schools are so bad (just BAD, overcrowded, low ratings, losing accredidation...)that I had to go private for piglet. When you pay an arm and a leg (sometimes an organ for enriched language class) thay make things like lines and waiting go away. Of course, we eat ramen four nights a week, but whats nutrition when you're edumacated? (I kid, mostly)

Melissa said...

I am grateful that we don't have your school issues. Thank you for reminding me of how good I have it.
Yeah, same for Hobby Lobby and the single cashier. Send 5 employees to restock fake flowers and 1 to check out 15 customers. Makes sense to me.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I refuse to think about my sweet little thing going to Kindergarten. She is never growing up. Period.

WTH is with Michael's? I know there are other employees in the building. Do they not know how to run a register? Cause, you know, I do. I check myself out all the time at the grocery store, I'm sure I could figure it out at Michael's. Gah!

Melissa said...

You'll be amazed what you can get accomplished in the 4 hours your girl child will be at school. It's the fullday school that freaks me out a bit...next year!

jennifer h said...

Having just been to Michael's... seriously. Every time I'm in there, it's the same.

I can't believe you hand to stand in line like that for school registration.

When the Girl went to kindergarten, I felt that ache, too. (And then I jumped up and down when they announced they would offer all day kindergarten.) I love how confident school has made her, but she's still my baby.

seachange said...

Sighhhhhhhhhhh.... Tootsie. :-) You and I are at exact opposite ends of the spectrum. As your girl leave home for K, mine will be leaving home for college. I've been "saying goodbye" all year to my "little" girl. It is so bittersweet. Where did the time go?

Mrs. G. said...

I'm starting to wonder if there is some sort of Michael's Syndrome-the need to pay money for poor service, frustration and a side of silk flowers.

EatPlayLove said...

Well, my first is off to the big K next year, so I am the fretting unexperienced mom, caught up in wild computer lottery open enrollment drama. I almost wish there were lines, then I could see what I was up against!

Aah..Michaels. I've walked in your shoes a few too many times. Although I have to disagree about Hobby Lobby, even though they have many cashiers, there always seems to be some cash register drama. They need to upgrade their system desperately!

Angie said...

I have the same beef with just about every craft and grocery store. Seems like the only place anyone is ready to check out customers are the commission based clothing stores where I am mauled when I walk in the door.

I register my baby for Kindergarten next month.

KEEP BELIEVING

Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said...

This is why I'm a Hobby Lobby fan.

Except for the whole "Closed on Sunday, you filthy heathen" thing.

That I'm not a fan of.

Sometimes you need pipe cleaners on a Sunday, Hobby Lobby.

Stop judging me.

Colleen said...

Well, I will be in that kindergarten enrollment line next year...Gavin is only 3-1/2...and we have full-day kindergarten in our county. Even though he's been in daycare since he was 7 weeks old, I think I will still become blubbering jello when he starts kindergarten.
You're more than welcome to fly on out to our Michaels. I've only had the un-manned carts once or twice, and they'll open another lane when there's 4 or 5 people in line.

Sue said...

I have never heard of fighting to get your kid into kinder.. That is crazy! Well I am from Mass. so maybe we are crazy!
My daughter was just Gwen Stefani for her biography. You can check her out on my blog. Luckily, I bought her a spring outfit for her "costume" so I didn't have to wait in the line at Michaels!

honeywine said...

You'd think they'd get smart and donate the costumes to a classroom box for next year. Big Duh there!

Marlee said...

Oh, I AM that clueless mom w/ the toddler in tow, and I REALLY APPRECIATE the veterans who offer to help out. So, THANKS! :)

Lulu said...

It's a good thing that you didn't have to pee while you were in line.

stephanie said...

Blessings to you about the impending empty nest...

And I am so with you on the fricking Michael's nonsense. If I need to put my foot in there, it's for a few things I can carry in my hands yet I am ALWAYS behind the person with a cartfull of CRAP. I want to drop a ten on the counter and just leave...

Crafty Mom said...

I wish I could join you in your euphoria! I just keep telling myself, a few more years and they will all be in school! lol! I will probably have a twinge of sadness, but I think it will be overtaken by the feeling of pure joy and giddiness that will be freedom! LOL!

And if I may add to your rant? Why, if they want them to dress as a character, can't they give you at least a week's notice and not a day or two?

oldervoter said...

Just after our last high school graduation, I ran into the school to pick up the "real" diploma since our son was occupied with a summer job. It hit me that this was IT. No more going to school for this or that. I have to say that my reaction was more along the lines of Yippee Skipee. Our kids were always--okay almost always--fun to have around, and it was wonderful to see the world through their eyes. But I promise you, the Empty Nest is the sundae at the end of a very satisfying meal. Grandkids are the hot fudge and cherry on top. Somewhere along the line I've realized that if we're lucky, it just keeps getting better and better.

BTW, I just discovered your blog and have been laughing outloud as I read. Thanks for sharing your world.

LaskiGal said...

Kindergarten may be nearly 5 yrs away for J, but I still dread it . . .

So, the people at Michaels and stores of the ilk really freak me out. I feel so intimidated by the ladies with ribbon, wood, tools I can't identify, canvases, paintbrushes, silk flowers. "So, what are you making with all that?" I ask innocently (me, with a felt tip marker and wooden block in my hands). "Oh, not much. I'm just building my daughter a doll house, painting a portrait of my son, and making a flower arrangement for my niece's wedding." I hate people like that . . .

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I have not heard of this Hobby Lobby. Fortunately, because I'm completely craftless? I RARELY have to venture into an actual craft store. Usually whatever I'm throwing together can be done with scotch tape or Elmers.

Sea~ I CANNOT believe she's going to college in the fall. CANNOT believe. Where DID the time go, Girlie?

Lisa Milton said...

I come with my coupons and good intentions and always leave, fuming.

Terrible service, glutton for punishment.

smalltownmom said...

Ouch for you. My town is so small we don't have a Michael's, and my local grocery store never has more than 2 people in line ahead of me. For costume material, we go to the thrift store. Very good for 4th grade gold rush programs!

My elder is graduating high school in June, the younger is in 6th grade. We never had to wait in line for kindy registration, always an on-time appointment.

Of course, if I have to buy something other than groceries, hardware or souveniers, I have to drive a ways or order it on the internet.

I think I like my small town.

JCK said...

I understand your elation and sadness. i felt that way when GIRL gave up her bottles, when I folded up and put away all those bibs...a critical stage is over. You're thrilled on one hand and it also pulls at your heart strings.

You picked one of my pet peeves. Yet, if that person is me in front of you, and I'm not saying that it is, but IF it is...I have to say that ALMOST always I tell the person behind me with 2 items to go ahead.