Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And there wasn't even a ride at the end

Each year, we have one day set aside for Preschool registration at our school. Georgia has really been a pain in the tushie with their stupid, stupid rules and regulations on the front runner in regards to preschool. Because there are a set number of slots (our school has 40 slots), each school system is allowed to register the kiddos in one of two ways: first come, first serve or a lottery drawing. For a variety of reasons and our system's ability to be creatively cruel, we go with the first come, first serve method.

After school on Monday and after the halls had been sanitized again from the god-awful stomach virus making the rounds, we set up for the registration that was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. the next morning. When I got home, I reminded my husband of all the excitement called "Preschool Registration" that was scheduled to occur the next morning. And despite having several parents be rude to me on Monday (unrelated to preschool), I had a sucker of a happy and forgiving heart and I set my alarm to wake up at 4 a.m. (which is stupid only 30 minutes earlier than usual) so I could get to school early. I had even planned skip reading your blogs at home and just read them at school while the few early-bird parents thawed out in the lobby.

So there I sat on Monday evening tooling around on my computer when the phone rang. It was one of my custodians (she is from the Philippines - and is an awesome person). We'll call her Ms. Electrolux in honor of the vacuum she loves.

Ms. Electrolux - "Thay is people at da door and thay shake it and I is scared."

Me - "Holy &@*$! Those must be parents out there waiting for the preschool registration."

Ms. E - "Thay is got thay face up against the glass in da door and thay is looking at me. It only eight tirty and we supposed to stay until nine tirty but I is scared."

Me - "Well, just go on home. Let's call it a day."

I could not believe there were parents in line already. When I checked the weather report, the prediction was for the temperature to dip below freezing again. Didn't they know we weren't giving away any computers. And there were going to be no concert tickets available for purchase.

As I went to bed, I tossed and turned. I kept thinking I am nice and warm in my bed. They are probably freezing. Would it look bad if a parent froze to death right outside the front door? They'd probably blame the school because after all the schools get blamed for everything wrong in society. I can just see the front page of the local joke of a rag newspaper - "Human Popsicle sticks found outside school doors."

Finally, I got up at 2:30 a.m. (again, thanks insomniac sleep) and jumped in the shower. And holy automotive oil at the difference in traffic when you leave for work three hours early! I only passed one car and it was a police car. When I got to school around 3:30 a.m., it looked like a squatter's community had descended upon the school grounds. The parents were sitting in chairs with piles of blankets covering them. One parent who will probably have a child in the gifted program even had an extension cord plugged into an electric blanket.

I've never seen parents so excited about coming to school. There were FIFTEEN parents in line at 3:30 a.m. Unbelievable! It was probably my golden opportunity to plump up the principal's account but I resisted.

But next year, I am so going to capitalize on the preschool registration. We'll be selling coffee and donuts and for a small fee, we'll let them camp out in the lobby.

29 comments:

Michel said...

OMG. I won't even wait in line for something I need - like my driver's license!!! Those are some good parents. Or, they really want their kids out of the house!!

You should rent pillows too....You've likely solved the public school budget woes.

Vodka Mom said...

just give me a call- I'll come over and we'll have a telethon.......

Beth said...

Michel - Great idea on the pillows! We could even get out the mats from the classroom. For a small fee, of course.

Vodka Mom - Sounds like a plan!

Sunny said...

Gosh! I thought the preschool registration is THAT crazy only over here! But now I'm taken aback by the fact that you, my dear colleagues overseas, deal with the same problems. Isn't it a wild system?

Sunny said...

P.S. lol.. strikeout in the post makes it look like a teenager's composition. Cool! :))

Just B said...

Trust me when I say these are the same parents who will eventually be doing their little preschoolers science fair projects!!

Gaston Studio said...

LOL on Just B's comment! I hear about preschool registration from my other daughter who is the owner of my only grandkids; it's sure different from my era!

Deb said...

i'm speechless.

you are probably wiped out. the weekend will be here soon!

Jan said...

Back when I was young enough to have children in preschool and the earth's crust was still cooling, that sort of behavior was reserved for buying tickets to concerts featuring the Rolling Stones or Led Zepplin.

All I can say is you must have one helluva preschool program.

Deb said...

That is crazy! I can't believe it. It's like people that wait outside stores after Thanksgiving.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

At least they are serious about their child's education!

Threeboys1mommy said...

WTF!?! There had to be a Wii giveaway too, this is too crazy and you know what? I blame the school system ;-)

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

Wow thats crazy!! Is there a limited amount of preschools in the are or is your just the best? And 330 AM you are crazy! : )

HeatherPride said...

This is crazy to me! Wow, I've never heard of such a thing! An angry preschool parent mob scaring off Mrs. Electrolux? Incredible. I loved the electric blanket person, that is hilarious.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

You're a marketing genius! I can't believe this. Oh wait, what am I saying? I soooo believe this.

Anonymous said...

Does someone really believe that these parents were there because they are concerned about their kids education, pleese.They want to get the little bastards out of the house as soon as possible

Sarah said...

In the town I lived in when my oldest was of preschool age, you put in your application for preschool 6-12 months in advance. We moved between that time and when the next kid went into preschool- a half hour away. That's all. Less than twenty miles. Preschools in that town didn't even pay attention to the next school year's registrations until April-May. When I called the year in advance, they laughed!

Not The Rockefellers said...

Too bad there isn't some kind of online registration thing like they do for Red Sox tickets. Virtual Waiting Room.

Of course you'd have to offer the live alternative as well but it may cut down on the crowd.

Peace - Rene

Candice said...

People camped out for a new chik-fil-A that opened up around here. Hell, at least they got some food out of the deal...

I think you should add booze to your list of things to make money off of. I think that would go over very well.

Kulio said...

I love the idea...but man is that system CRAZY! Wow, those are some dedicated parents. Selling coffee? Get the girl and boy scouts out there recruiting, sign 'em up for the Parent-Teacher Association, hold a midnight raffle, enlist the safety patrol...partAY!!!

anymommy said...

That is absolutely insane. I guess my kids will not go to a good preschool, because NO way I would freeze to death standing in line for registration. I'd home school first. (Just had a heart attack.)

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Wow, that is a cruel system! But the extremely motivated obviously do get an edge. ;-)

amy said...

wow, beth! you guys were like, like, ROCK STARS! i used to do the exact same things as those parents, except it was for front row bon jovi tickets.

i can't even get started on the whole pre-k, school registration thing. it all just makes my blood boil. one day, i have hope that someone somewhere with some real power (and some real money) (which won't be given to the bankers and other sleazazoids) will wake up and smell the coffee: "Oh, you mean...if we start educating them, reeeeally educating them, as early as possible? and you mean...if we start parenting education classes and make parents take full responsibility for their child's education, behavioral issues, etc etc? they will come? and america will be good, whole, and king of the world again? huh. Who knew? Well, then here. Fix that whole system. Git 'er done!"

It's my one professional wet dream.

:-)

nikkicrumpet said...

WOW I smell desperation in getting the little nugget out of the house for a few hours. These mommies obviously aren't standing in line all night for an education for the wee one...they are seeking peace for themselves!

Smart A$$ Mom said...

I remember being one of those crazy parents getting my kids enrolled in preschool.

Sorry for scaring all the Mrs.Electroluxes!!

Comedy Goddess said...

We all LOVE competition. Especially for preschool slots.

bernthis said...

That would be so tough for me. I literally could ot get up that early for anything. WEll, I guess the thought of having my kid with me every single day for a year MIGHT do it

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Maybe there is something the government could do without and instead have the money to pay for preschool for all those who want their kids to go...

only a movie said...

I commented on this one the other day. Lost again to blogger hell. Anyway - if it meant saving preschool tuition, I might camp out too. I'm sure your teachers are angels. Cos all teachers are angels, right?