I woke up a little nervous this morning because today Ron and I were taking the parent tour at the Dinosaur School. The handbook said the child can’t be present at the tour, which seems more than a little weird to me. Benny has always been a part of my daycare searches, both in Michigan and California. It seemed weird to be scratching for child care so I could keep a preschool appointment. But if that’s the way things go around here, so be it.
I wasn’t sure why Ron and I were going anyway – I mean it was just a tour. Last I heard, the Dinosaur School had no openings. But the parent tour was the first step toward getting Benny into a preschool and perhaps I should be grateful it was in August. I’d just scheduled another parent tour at some preschool for Oct. 17.
This was also a chance to test out Reema’s “Princess School” for Benny, our one and only daycare possibility. My first day of work was in five days and time was running out. (I’d already called the Russian Orphanage place and said thanks, but no thanks.)
The parent tour was at 2 p.m., so Benny and I left the apartment for Reema’s at noon. The 43 bus came fairly quickly, that part was OK. But we waited forever for the 71 bus on Haight Street, watching all the weird people, I uncomfortably aware that we were two blocks from the infamous Haight/Ashbury intersection. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and hailed a taxi.
Reema was kind and welcoming. (She knew a basket case when she saw one.) We went to the backyard, which had a very nice play structure and plastic cars and Big Wheels to ride. Benny dashed off without a backwards glance, but I was already sniffling. I didn’t know this woman, I didn’t know the preschool director who recommended her. Why hadn’t I demanded references? Was I totally irresponsible? What if my and Ron’s instincts were wrong?
I rushed out to the 71 bus stop and stood by an empty field between two buildings. It took a while for the bus to come, which was a good thing, because I was sobbing. This is temporary, I told myself. He’s only going to be there a few hours. I’ll get some parent references when I pick him up.
Back at the apartment, I had 30 minutes to change and wipe my face before Ron turned up. He arrived and we zipped over to the Dinosaur School.
What a great school! It was in a big blue house that the organization paid a mortgage on. The children were happily doing a craft downstairs. Everything was bright and cheerful. As the assistant director extolled virtue after virtue, I became more depressed and I’m afraid my mind wandered. The words “possible opening” caught my attention quickly, however.
“Possible opening?” I squeaked.
“Only three days a week,” she said apologetically.
“We’ll take it,” I said.
“It’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.”
“Benny can’t start until August 29.”
“Perfect,” I said.
Ron shot me a look that said, “You don’t want to talk about this?” I answered with a look that said, “Are you totally nuts?” In the end, we left with a sheaf of forms, a list of rules, and a semi-commitment to a school Benny hadn’t even seen.