With our twins now 3.5 years old, we chose to try to get our kids into (get this name) Kiddie College (2 hours, 5 days a week, PERFECT) at the Chicago Park District (like, 8 million dollars less expensive) because regular Preschool around here is a gd crime with how expensive it is and for TWO? NOPE. I was feeling the pressure. There are only a handful of spots available and the online registration was this morning at 9am SHARP.
I give you - How to Register Your Kids for Park District Classes in 35 Easy Steps!
- Start obsessing over preschool when they are born.
- Have your husband and everyone you know try to calm you down.
- GET DOWN OFF THAT LEDGE, MAMA!
- Preschool is preschool for gob sake, not college. Not even grade school. Just settle the eff down already. One year or two years of preschool is not going to make or break your kids.
- OK, but really, when they are about 3, decide if you want them in any little classes or not. And no, homeschool is not for us, so we are going in!
- Yes. Yes, we did want them in some classes.
- Research every option.
- Talk to every mom you know with little kids or who had little kids and pick their brain.
- Listen to the talk around your neighborhood and read the articles and be smart. But also, STOP listening and reading and researching when it's getting obsessive. I mean really. JUST BACK AWAY. If this is keeping you up at night, you know you need to turn it off. It's up to you.
- Check your funds.
- Realize you don't have funds for TWO in preschool - at least not the way the system is right now.
- Decide to save your funds for things like food and shelter and the water bill instead of fancy preschool.
- Based on the classes we've taken through the Chicago Park District already, we decided on their offering of Kiddie College. 2 hours a day, 5 days a week AND it's within walking distance from our house. AND AND as Chicago residents, we can afford it! PERFECT.
- Peruse the Park District website and add 184 classes to your wishlist in the order you'd like them. YOU NEED BACKUPS. Underwater Basket Weaving is making a comeback!
- Make sure you and all family members are registered so that at the time of grabbing the classes, you just drop their info in and you don't have to spend any extra time writing stuff in right at the critical moment. Every second counts. LITERALLY.
- The weekend before the actual registration starts, FREAK OUT AT EVERY TURN.
- Please see steps 2-4.
- PANIC SOME MORE.
- Actually sleep through the night right before registering, WHAT IN THE WORLD?
- Get into the zone. Get your computer all ready to go and watch that countdown - 55 minutes until registration opens - OH MY GOD.
- Make sure you have a debit or credit card that works, has funds, and is not expired! Know that number, preferably have it out so you can copy and paste that sucker in because you will inevitably screw up the numbers because AHHHHHH.
- Get your heartbeat steady. Go get some water. BUT QUICKLY. DO NOT STOP FOR SNACKS FOR THERE WILL BE TIME TO SNACK LATER.
- Scream into your phone on your conference call for work that you have to get off the line and you'll catch up later because there is a family emergency and you hope they understand.
- DING DING DING! IT IS TIME!
- Grab that sucker (class) you want and throw it in your basket and then when it asks ADD ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER TO THIS ACTIVITY hope hope hope that the other twin gets a spot too because what if only one spot is open for one twin and then WHAT WILL YOU DO YOU'LL HAVE TO SOPHIE'S CHOICE THIS BITCH AND YOU CANNOT HANDLE THIS MUCH STRESS IN YOUR LIFE.
- Realize that within 20 seconds you have added BOTH children to the class that had such limited space and start screaming in your office combined with tears that YOU DID IT WE DID IT WE GOT THE CLASSES AND EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK!
- Take a lap.
- Call your loved ones and text your Caregivers.
- We haven't completely failed our children yet.
- Eat some congratulatory candy.
- Don't drink any more coffee.
- Just think - You get to go through shit like this with them for the rest of your life - if we are so lucky. And it's all going to be ok. No matter what. Even if you don't get the class. Even if you disappoint them. Even if it's not your first choice. It's all going to be ok. Because you are doing the best you can for them, and that is more than enough. None of this is going to make or break them. What makes or breaks them is you. And them. And one class might be good for them, but really? What we do and what we say are WAY MORE IMPORTANT. And those of us with little kids? Remember that EVERYTHING THEY DO AND SEE is a learning experience. I do my best to let them be little as long as possible. Once they get in school they are in school forever and it's too delicious right now to rush all that. LET'S ALL REMIND EACH OTHER AS OFTEN AS NEEDED.
- Take another deep breath and repeat number 34 as often as needed. It's all going to be ok.
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